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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

(Assistant) Professor Chicken Little

I wasn't going to read about this assistant professor from DePauw, but it seriously became impossible to ignore at one point. So now I have. And I gotta say.

I'm so tired of hearing about how the sky is falling.

Fifty years of research have established the negative consequences of watching violent television and movies. However, violent video games may have even stronger effects on children's aggression, because (1) the games are highly engaging and interactive; (2) the games reward violent behavior; and (3) children repeat these behaviors over and over as they play.
-- Degrees in Video Game Design "Kidnap American Education"

That quote is the crux of his argument. Children play video games. They like violent games. Violent games make them more violent. So we shouldn't teach people how to make games. Because that will make more violent kids. And that's bad.

Course, he doesn't mention what the fify years of research concludes about all that. This guy, like so many others, like to leave the implication open that this all will end with blood and gore ... but once again, there's no such evidence. No crime has ever been successfully blamed on a joystick. No good kid ever went south solely based on his PlayStation. Nobody has ended up in prison because they played too many games. None. It's a non-existent epidemic, no more worth the worry than fearing a crack in the sky. This is psuedoscience at best, quite like here where psychologists try to make us all believe that every child is an innocent angel until he picks up a controller.

Sorry, I'm not buying it. Nor am I buying an argument from a Poli Sci teacher about interactive media. I mean, it's not even a very solid argument even if he had a point about violence and kids. Colleges shouldn't teach video game design because they might make a violent game? Huh?

Maybe colleges should stop teaching photography. Someone might shoot some porn.

Or chemistry. You wouldn't want anyone inventing a new poison or anything.

And dear sweet jeebus, don't teach the political science. They might start a war or something.

Why would someone make an argument based on such bad facts and logic? Well, probably because he's a complete prude:

In addition, the content of video games may influence children's atititudes toward gender roles. In Nintendo games, women are often depicted as victims. The covers of Nintendo games show males striking a dominant pose. Many games are based upon a scenario in which a woman is kidnapped or has to be rescued

Oh. Right. Nintendo. Those rakish dogs, have they no manners?

Yes. Strike that dominant pose, Mario.

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1 comment:

Brinstar said...

Great post!