Dr. Phil vs. Video Games Episode Being Filmed
Tomorrow’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 Gamepolitics.com, 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: â€¦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 theyâ€™re on a mass killing spree in a video game, itâ€™s glamorized on the big screen, itâ€™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 PC World
via Dr. Phil