Sky News presenter criticised for condescending remarks towards young Tetris record-breaker

Sky News Presenter criticised over Tetris record breaker remarks

A British journalist and presenter for Sky News has been criticised by the esports and gaming community for her comments regarding a Tetris prodigy.

13-year-old Willis ‘Blue Scuti’ Gibson of Oklahoma posted a video on his Blue Scuti YouTube channel of the moment he went so far in the game, he reached the kill screen, causing the game to crash.

The story received global coverage, racking up millions of views across multiple news networks and channels.

Sky News journalist Jayne Secker said of the achievement: “Willis Gibson beat the original Nintendo version of the game to such a high level, that the coding froze. As a mother, I would just say step away from the screen, go outside, get some fresh air. Beating Tetris is not a life goal.”

Scottish games journalist Chris Scullion shared the clip below, which has been viewed 700,000 times so far and received many comments.

Back in April 2019, Jayne Secker also drew criticism for her comments during an interview with housing campaigner Kirsty Archer about ‘no-fault evictions’. She was labelled “patronising” and “insensitive” by some viewers.

The comments are reminiscent of similar remarks made by a BBC presenter almost seven years ago over now-dormant UK esports organisation MNM Gaming.

At the end of that show, another presenter, Sally Nugent, said: “I really want them to just go outside and get some fresh air.”

Grant Rousseau, Global Director of Esports and EU Operations at Team Falcons, said: “Aren’t Sky a leading sponsor and fully invested into a huge UK esports org [Guild Esports]? This is a very poor moment and take from Sky News but we’re used to it in UK esports.

“That kid had an incredible moment and should be celebrated for something that required so much focus and dedication.”

Esports host Frankie Ward added: “There’s something so disappointingly smug about this. I bet that kid had so much boss battle style adrenaline from doing this – and it’s so cool to see a 13 year old playing a game that’s more than double the age he is.”

Fellow host Yinsu Collins remarked:

“To be clear, going outside and getting fresh air IS important, but the condescending tone and way she handled such a brilliant story is disappointing. Being passionate about something isn’t a crime, don’t let people like this stop you from doing what you love.”

Yinsu Collins

Another host, Iain Chambers, said: “What I find funny is nobody tells people who binge watch Netflix to “go outside”. This narrative is so boring now. I ran 5K yesterday and celebrated with a session on Resident Evil 4. Which is shocking because you can’t play video games AND go outside!”

Artist and content creator Djarii commented: “What a gross reporter. I don’t know how mainstream media can seriously still not recognise achievements made in gaming when our industry makes more [money] than music and movies combined.”

Mark Cox, EMEA Head of Regional Marketing at Dreamhaven, said: “Great job Sky News, you really are condescending and out of touch! Most games influencers make more than your news readers and have more viewership but hey, “get outside and get some fresh air” as your crumbling network finds ways to be relevant to the generation you just shat on!”

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