Posted on August 15, 2007,

Dr. Phil vs. Video Games Episode Being Filmed

dr-phil.jpgTomorrow’s taping of the Dr. Phil show might forever condemn violent video games in the minds of every soccer mom across America. But I guess that’s just being pessimistic.

According to, the Dr. Phil show is taping an episode tomorrow about video game-related violence, complete with a lineup of video game “experts,” which hopefully will have actual experts instead of many hacks we’ve seen recently surrounding the VT incident. Although the show is being taped tomorrow, when it will air isn’t clear, and it’s not listed on the show’s website.

This episode is a concern, definitely, for many of us. Let me refresh your memory about what he said about video games to Larry King following the Virginia Tech shootings.

DR. PHIL: …the problem is we are programming these people as a society. You cannot tell me – common sense tells you that if these kids are playing video games, where they’re on a mass killing spree in a video game, it’s glamorized on the big screen, it’s become part of the fiber of our society. You take that and mix it with a psychopath, a sociopath or someone suffering from mental illness and add in a dose of rage, the suggestibility is too high.

And of course, let’s not forget that Seung Hui Cho didn’t play video games.

What is troubling is the idea that later in the interview Dr. Phil is quoted as saying, “We’re going to have to start addressing those issues and recognizing that the mass murders of tomorrow are the children of today that are being programmed with this massive violence overdose.” Because, you know, toddlers are seething for destruction. And if you see a pre-teen coming at you on the street, just run to the other side.

Any doctor who starts saying that children are mass murderers needs to have his or her medical license evaluated. I’m sure Dr. Phil does some good things for some people, and probably has good advice in other areas. But he needs to stop pretending he knows anything about gaming.

PC World had a great analysis of what to expect from this show, as in what it needs to be to warrant any attention from the general public:

1. Peer-reviewed scientific evidence of causal links between violent media and proclivity to engage in actual (real life) violence; the same for any purported links between RPGs or MMOs and game “addiction.”

2. A dearth of maudlin, exploitive, anecdotal “true life” stories about John or Jane Whoever’s “personal tribulations due to the impact of video game violence on this or that loved one.” (I know, I know — I’m pretty much soliciting the moon on a platter with this one.) Also, no misrepresentative zeroing in on the one in a gazillion kids who die while playing an MMO.

3. Accredited academics, scientists, and game experts, i.e. No (and I repeat no) Jack Thompson. Update: GamePolitics is reporting today that Jack Thompson is claiming he was “initially invited to be a guest on the program.”

If any of those expectations aren’t met, you can safely dismiss the episode (as if you’re watching the guy anyway), and — assuming the same — consider telling Dr. Phil what you think about his “professional” analytic standards.

I cannot agree more.

via GamePolitics

via PC World

via Dr. Phil

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12 Comments on Dr. Phil vs. Video Games Episode Being Filmed

Jack Thompson

On August 15, 2007 at 4:08 pm

Oh, I see. Unless these experts agree with the gamer community, then they’re not really experts. Right.


On August 15, 2007 at 4:38 pm

Dear Jack:

”And of course, let’s not forget that Seung Hui Cho didn’t play video games.”

Answer please ?


On August 15, 2007 at 4:53 pm

No Wacko Jacko, when they get people like you and label them “experts” the gaming community has a problem.

So there are a few shootings where the suspect was a gamer. What about the rest of the violence going on in the country? What caused people to flip out before games became mainstream?

Oh Jack, hows that lawsuit with Microsoft going? I havent heard much about you since then. Is your ass still sore?


On August 15, 2007 at 7:29 pm

My grandparents went to high school with Dr. Phil. Dr. Phil allegedly (i have to say that or else this statement would be fought as libel) — excuse me — he “allegedly” “drank” and “beat his first wife” leading to their divorce in 1973. He later had an “affair” with a “19 year old girl” whom he attempted to provide employment for, while married to his second wife.

Now he helps people. Great guy that Dr. Phil.

I cant wait to see the black eye he leaves on Videogames.


On August 16, 2007 at 1:21 am

Get lost Jack Thompson!Shouldn’t you be meeting with a phyciatrist right about now , so you can have your licence back?

If an expert is going to make a statement against an industry they better have hard facts to back up there statement. Thats what it’s saying how your delusional mind can see that as saying “agree with us or your not experts” is beyond understanding of one who isn’t mentally ill. Seriously if your truly Jack Thompson take the advice of your peers and seek mental evaluation.

If violent video games induce violence why is violence decreasing as sales of violent games increases? If the VT school shooting was caused by video game violence why is it the shooter , Seung Hui Cho didn’t even play video games? You like pulling irrational unfounded statements that target violent video games out of your dumb ass. And you publish them publicly because you want attention. Thats why you have , are and will be sued for defamation. You just can’t learn your lesson , can you?

I know this is hard for you to comprehend Jack because of your mental issues which we won’t discuss further. But video games DON’T create violent people! Violent people are attracted to violent video games! Oh MY GOD! I know right? Further more if anything violent video games act as a safe release of rage.

See I know this is hard for you to understand but people have free will! Violent video games don’t hijack the minds of people and use them as puppets to do evil deeds. The violent acts of sociopaths is caused by the fact there a sociopath not the fact they played that violent video game the other month. People have free will Jack. Blaming violence on video games will cause nothing then negative reprocussions. What the hell is wrong with society when we blame media reflecting our actions for our actions? God help us…


On August 16, 2007 at 11:35 am



On August 16, 2007 at 6:44 pm

Oh boy, I cant wait untill this JACKass gets disbarred. and i use the term jackass suggestively. ambulance chasing .


On August 16, 2007 at 7:36 pm

Why are the people who are quoted as experts people who only see extreme cases where video games have been partially involved and have hardly ever played a video game. These people criminalise (English spelling) the industry for no reason at all. JT lost his license because he kept harassing the games industry.


On August 17, 2007 at 5:56 am

Let’s not get too worked up. Dr. Phil did not isolate video games – he mentioned that violence has become a part of our society on-whole. He even mentions other media specifically (big-screen movie theaters, for instance). I’m sure the overall message of his show, as it usually is, will be that parents need to take responsibility for what their children are exposed to. A lot of what is being complained about in this blog is taking Dr. Phil’s comments out of context.

Jack Thompson

On August 23, 2007 at 7:16 pm

I have been… for a very long time… a rotten little bastard.

i like trees

On October 21, 2007 at 4:40 am

**Edited for content**

I don’t like Dr. Phil.

most of his ideas are common sense that homeless uneducated people would benefit from


On October 21, 2007 at 4:43 am

@i like trees
While I can agree with you on not liking Dr. Phil, I think maybe you need to cut back on the smoke, my friend.