Mayor's article in Higher exam

AN ARTICLE by London Mayor Boris Johnson, in which he blamed video games for poor reading levels among young people, appeared in a Scottish Higher English exam.

The article, penned by the former Shadow Minister for Higher Education, in December 2006, featured in exams taken thousands of teenagers across Scotland on Friday. The exam paper contained two passages on the same theme of video games, which were selected by exam organisers from this year's genre of "quality journalism".

The passage condemned video games as "narcotics for children" and blamed the "hypnotic little machines" for a drop in reading levels.

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"Some children have it bad," Mr Johnson wrote. "Some are miraculously unaffected. But millions of seven to 15-year-olds are hooked, especially boys, and it is time someone had the guts to stand up, cross the room and just say no to Nintendo.

"It is time to garrotte the Game Boy and paralyse the PlayStation and admit the catastrophic effect these blasted gizmos are having on the literacy and the prospects of young males."