(Title should be: "Kotaku writer twists Prince Harry comments to suggest he believes war is like a videogame". My apologies.)
In a rather odd turn of events today, Kotaku writer Patricia Hernandez twisted recent comments from Prince Harry on the well-designed controls of an Apache helicopter to suggest that he believes war is like a videogame, and she provided a platform for a Taliban statement sharing in that distorted view of his comments.
The article "Prince Harry, Taliban Argue Whether War is Like a Video Game" starts off with "Is war like a video game? Prince Harry of Wales thinks so." despite the fact that she links to no instance where he has stated that war is like a videogame. Instead, she links to an article from the Telegraph where Prince Harry discusses his Apache helicopter control panel and how it is accessibly designed for a younger generation, and, at one point, he states, "It's a joy for me because I'm one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think that I'm probably quite useful."
More of the interview can be found here.
He doesn't state that war is like a videogame; instead, he talks about how the control scheme is well-designed, similar to a videogame controller. And the article links to a video of the interview where he expounds upon how the Apache controls also have different textures to allow for easy use in darkness. His point is clearly that it is accessible and his experience with Playstation and Xbox controls make the control scheme feel natural. Yet, his words are twisted to somehow be a diminishing of war as a videogame.
And then she goes a step further. Having already twisted his words, she cites a statement from the Taliban as though it were the voice of reason here. The article ends with:
"It's not a game. It's very, very real," the Taliban declared.
It should be noted that video games have been used for both military recruitment and training, but that doesn't really make Harry's statements less insensitive and possibly damaging when it comes to the relations between soldiers and Afghan locals.
Obviously, war is not a game, but Prince Harry clearly does not state that war is a game. And somehow, Hernandez agrees with the Taliban's propaganda and its twisting of his words to get a rise out of people. It's shameful and horribly disappointing. Whether one likes Prince Harry or any of the British royals, it doesn't change how absurd it is to misconstrue his words like this.
I have appreciated many of Hernandez's articles before and often defend Kotaku articles from knee-jerk criticism, but her portrayal of these comments and subsequent promotion of the Taliban as somehow being on the right side of a ginned up argument is ridiculous and beyond the pale.
(I have taken down a link to the article out of an interest in not rewarding this kind of writing with pageviews; if you want to see the full article, you can still find it on their front page.)