Days of Wonder have posted a response to articles in the UK erroneously linking the Small World boardgame to a case of criminal negligence.
From their website:
In a classic case of “Google Journalism”, erroneous press reports from British newspapers, the Daily Mail and the Sun that implicate Days of Wonder’s Small World board game have spread like wildfire over the internet. The stories mistakenly blame the Small World board game as the reason a British woman neglected her children and let the family dogs die because she was so addicted to online game play. We can only assume that the so-called “journalists” mistook Small World, for a similarly named online virtual world.
Check out their website for the full story.
Update: Days of Wonder have also issued a press-release.
Newspaper editors across the Atlantic seem to be living in a fantasy world – perhaps to the point where they will write anything.
Contrary to incorrect reports published in several English newspapers and their respective websites, Days of Wonder’s Small World board game is not connected to the tragedy that occurred in the London suburb of Swanley, where a mother reportedly let her children starve and the family dogs die while she played in an online virtual world whose name might be similar to, but is totally unrelated to the family-friendly Days of Wonder board game.
Apparently journalists and editors of some British newspapers can’t be bothered to check facts and distinguish between “smallworlds.com” and the family board game “Small World”, created and marketed by Days of Wonder
“Since when are board games a source of danger and cause for addiction?” asks Eric Hautemont, CEO of Days of Wonder, the publisher of the Small World board game, who prefers to take such journalistic mistakes with a sense of humor, even if he regrets this unfortunate news item. “One wonders if reporters check their sources! The information published on the websites of the Daily Mail and the Sun has spread like wildfire on the Web. The copyrighted images attempting to incriminate our Small World game have circulated from England to Australia and no one bothered to check if this was indeed the right game in question.”
Contrary to the misinformation relayed on the web, the board game Small World cannot be played online and there is no invitation to play it on Facebook. Launched in April 2009, Small World was originally only available as a physical board game, with a digital version (non-online) released on the iPad to critical acclaim just six months ago. Winner of the Games Magazine 2010 Game of the Year award, Small World is a two player game on the iPad and plays with up to five players in the physical version.
“Our philosophy has always been to create family friendly games that are fun to play with others, not alone. It’s the total opposite of an online game that would isolate the player in a virtual world.” said Eric Hautemont.
Days of Wonder is currently considering legal action regarding this misrepresentation of the Small World board game and hopes the newspapers responsible for these defamatory statements will give similar coverage to a retraction. To help the editors of the Daily Mail and The Sun to make up their own mind of any addictive nature of the real Small World, CEO Eric Hautemont invites the respective editors to contact Days of Wonder to receive a complimentary game – either as the physical board game or the iPad version.