Friday, October 19, 2007

How The Morning Show Used Psychologist Susan Bartell

Earlier this week, a Fox affiliate doing a segment on the effects of violent video games dragged out pop psychologist Susan Bartell, author of a children's weight-loss book, for comment. Bartell commented on some brain scans indicating that the minds of children involved in "violent" video games are far more active than the minds of a "control" group of children who played "non-violent" games. This image showed up briefly on the screen:

The show apparently didn't consider context important for their audience. (What is considered a "violent" game? Why is it bad for a brain to be "more active"? The host's comment paraphrased: "Couldn't the same thing happen at the symphony?")

Apparently not. Dr. Bartell's response:

". . . it’s negative activity that the child really has to get into the character of the person that they’re playing that’s killing all these people. So when they walk out of the room and they go out into the streets and someone might bump into them, what are they going to do?"

What a relief - now we can account for the scores of hyperactive children on hair-triggers absolutely MASSACRING classmates in the hallway every day.

Sarcasm aside - let me get to the point. Dr. Bartlett didn't make the graphs. She didn't even bring the graphs to the show. She was shown the graphs by a Morning Show producer minutes before the show began. Anybody with a mouth and a memory could have done her job - regurgitating the show's positions back at our televisions - but it took a special kind of moral weakness to come masquerading as an expert, purporting to know just what on Earth she's talking about.

My question: why don't we have a scandal when these things happen? Connecting yourself to anti-game warfare seems to get you a free pass from any kind of character study or attempt at moral fortitude, as scumbag ambulance-chasing "lawyer" Jack Thompson has proven.

Link to the Original Story at GamePolitics

The Story About the Scam

Now if you'll excuse me, I've been playing violent video games and I have to go hang my neighbors.*

Satire! Parody! Whimsical sarcasm!

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