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Monday, August 08, 2005

Interview with a WallFly

CBSNews, which has often featured gaming related interviews and columns, has a sitdown with Dr. Jerald Block. Aside from being a physician, the good doctor is also CEO of SMARTguard Software, creators of WallFly. WallFly is software for your PC that monitors your children's activities and allows parents to chose when and what their kids are playing.

Unlike other voices trying to warn parents about games, Dr. Block comes off as rational and logical. Falling firmly on the "games can be bad but are unlikely to turn your child into a murderous android" side of the camp, he provides a measured response to the current witchunt:

While I believe it is the government's job to regulate dangerous products, I think we are nowhere near being able to say that about computer games. We need loads and loads of more research. For example - look at the recent Kaiser study on media. It was a terrific study, really very well designed and on an important topic. However, when it came to computer use, I think it had some flaws. Specifically, (1) the data was self-reported and not actually measured by the investigators and (2) the diaries that participants filled out stopped at 12 midnight. What sort of gamer stops at 12 midnight? Finally, (3) the data under sampled the weekend use by participants.

I believe gaming is a binge-like behavior that may peak on weekends. Anyway, this was one of the best studies out there and it has some important flaws. We need research, research, and more research. Until then, any government response is premature and based on inadequate data.
-- What's Up, Doc?

Once again, a reasonable voice you probably won't hear much from ... simply because the crazies have control of the microphone.


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Josh said...