The front page leads on the arrest of a 15 year-old boy, who has been accused of the recent TalkTalk security breach. True to form, The Mail somehow links the boy's alleged behaviour with an addiction to violent video games.
Without going into any sort of detail, or bothering to find out more, the implication in the "news"paper is that because the boy "spent hours playing violent video games such as Call of Duty, Resident Evil and Grand Theft Auto", he was somehow driven to hack into TalkTalk's computers. Never mind that he apparently suffers from ADHD, learning difficulties, and behavioural issues. The piece wants to point the finger of blame at "violent video games". Oh yeah. And the fact he's the "son of a single mother", naturally.
As tediously familiar as that line of reasoning is, it does feel like a throwback to the early-90s, when kids worldwide were apparently stabbing people in the nose, while having epileptic fits, after playing Lethal Enforcers and Street Fighter II.
You don't expect better from The Mail, perhaps, but how much does the games industry bring this sort of thing upon itself?
The Daily Mail story might've been typically repugnant and sensationalist, but it still indicates just how little progress games have made into the mainstream.
It's 2015, and yet some sections of the media still want to portray video games as something to be feared, something that's going to warp and destroy your little ones. But why? Why are we still here, still hearing those same tired accusations?
It struck me while playing Assassin's Creed Syndicate and Halo 5 how utterly unwelcoming they are to the unititiated. Both games throw you into an ongoing story that makes no concession to those who've never played a previous instalment - in Syndicate's case it's the ongoing Abstergo conspiracy, in Halo 5 it's the small issue of the war Master Chief is fighting, who the man himself is, and why we should care when he apparently goes rogue.
Both titles are so in love with their own lore and continuity that they're baffling even to me, and I've played all the main games in both series. If the stories were in movie sequels, it would be considered commercial suicide. There's absolutely no catching up for the player.
It's worse than that though, because even the gameplay assumes a lot of the player. There is the barest of tutorial handholding - it's taken that you know how a Halo game plays, and what you're meant to be doing in Syndicate.
These are blockbuster, $100 million-plus games, and they've basically been made for the existing fans. Is that wise? Look at Nintendo's games. They make tutorials charming, never assuming anything of the player, but never boring them either.
It's weird how gaming can be so huge, such a massive industry, and still feel like a cult thing.
We're at a point where people of all ages play games on their phones, or Facebook. However, when it comes to the supposedly Triple-A titles - outside of Minecraft, or FIFA, say - they're still mostly bought and played by people who would identify as "video gamers".
I love going to the pictures, but I wouldn't write "moviegoer" in any description of myself. And that's because it's a given that I go and watch films - everyone watches films... because speaking broadly, films don't exclude. Especially the big budget ones.
Look at the lengths Lucasfilm and Disney are going to with The Force Awakens. Doubtless, there's stuff in there for the fans, but they're pushing the newness of it. Han Solo, Princess Leia et al barely feature in the marketing. There's no "Episode VII" on the poster, and you can bet that whatever story they tell doesn't rely on knowing everything there is to know about the Star Wars universe. Because you don't spend that much money on something, and then shut out any potential customers.
But so many of today's blockbuster games seem determined to push away the curious, more casual, gamer. The bland poster campaigns for Halo 5 and Syndicate speak to nobody other than people who know what an assassin's hood, or Master Chief's helmet (matron), look like. They're just saying: "Look: there's now a new version of a thing you once liked".
To the average punter it's just more grumpy, grizzled, action types glaring at them from billboards or bus shelters. There's no effort to speak to people, to draw in new players.
So it's little wonder that the buttock holes at The Daily Mail, and others, are still peddling their same old "games are bad for your kids" schtick - because the games industry still has a wall around it, topped with barbed wire and searchlights. It's the biggest clique on earth, but it's still a clique. And if you're outside that clique it's all too easy to criticise or misrepresent it.
U2 CAN BE BRAINWASHED by Mr Biffo
YOUTUBE RED ALERT by Mr Biffo
REPEAT AD INFINITUM: Why All The New Games Are Old News by Mr Biffo