Increasingly prevalent educational discourses promote the use of video games in schools and universities. At the same time, populist discourses persist, particularly in print media, which condemn video games because of putative negative effects on behaviour and socialisation. These contested discourses, we suggest, influence the acceptability of games and limit critical analysis of their effectiveness as pedagogic tools. This article focuses on the representation of video games in media discourse. We present insights from a small-scale study of the construction of video game discourses in the UK print media in 2013, and discuss three areas that emerged. First, the assumptions inherent in the representation of the ‘video game’; second, the implied lack of agency in the behaviour of ‘the gamer’; and third, the way in which blame is manipulated. Finally, we consider the implications for game-based education.