Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

January 14, 2010 -

Dr. Michael Rich, Director (and self-described “Mediatrician”) of the Center on Media and Child Health for Children’s Hospital Boston  recently fielded a question on the hospital’s blog from a parent asking about the impact Call of Duty might have on teenage boys.

Dr. Rich’s first attempt at answering the question resulted in a bit of a misstep, in that he misrepresented the Modern Warfare 2’s controversial “No Russian” scene, referring to it as the game’s opening scene and then falsely wrote that the player earns points by gunning down civilians in the airport.

The doctor’s recommendation? “Given all the evidence, I personally would never recommend that a parent give this game to a child or teen.”

Following a handful of comments on the original post which pointed out his errors in describing the game, the good doctor scripted a second blog in which he apologized, writing, “… even though I play video games, I have neither the skills nor the practice time to be a great gamer, so Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was demonstrated to me—I have not played it.”

He then went on to explain his interpretation of how violent games affect younger gamers:

…many research studies have shown that the majority of violent video game players do not go out and start shooting people—but they do show that those who view violent movies or play violent video games experience a consistent, measurable shift in their attitudes and behaviors toward greater fear and anxiety (especially in children), desensitization to suffering, and, in some, increases in aggression.

Therefore, as a pediatrician, I would steer parents and kids toward video games that are sports-, logic-, or strategy-based, instead of those that center on violence.

GP: A relatively even keel, non knee-jerk recommendations from the doctor in that at least he didn’t claim that all studies suggest violent games have a negative impact on youth. Or maybe we’re just learning to expect less from non-gaming experts that judge games. What do you think?


Comments

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

The pediatrician should stick to his job & what he knows to do rather than think he is giving advice to parents & mind his own business.

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

To be honest why would anyone ask a peditrican (typo) for advice on MW2


 

 

Never underestimate the power of idiots in large amounts.

Never underestimate the power of idiots in large amounts.

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

When will they stop treating gamers like lab rats? People have grown up on violent games and remained normal people, violent games are not arsenic. This effort could have been put into finding new ways to treat victims of cancer.

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

If this guy thinks sports aren't violent, he's clearly never played football or seen a riot at a soccer match.

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

A lot of the comments made are indeed false in a lot of cases or at least misguided, but I generally agree with his conclusions.  I have 2 nieces and a nephew who love games; each has a DS and they share a Wii.  I would not buy them a violent game at this stage in their lives (the eldest is 10) and make sure my sister is aware of what to get them as well.  I dont think there is anything wrong with the conclusions that are outlined in this article, infact I think they are common sense, but the means by which he came to them are flawed.

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

All this proves is the same thing gamers have been saying for a while: Parents, it's your responsiblity to know what your kids are playing.

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

It is an even and non-kneejerk reaction. At least as even as you should expect from someone who calls himself a 'mediatrician,' and probably more. (I cringed when I saw the title) One can't (or can but shouldn't) attack the man simply for holding and expressing an opposing point of view.

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

As a self professed 'expert' he has the responsibility of knowing what he is talking about. It is painfully clear he hasn't any idea about videogames, and is just re-spewing old scare-mongering propaganda. If a contractor built a house with four walls, a roof, and no floor, he'd be out of a job (or still in prison as Lewis Black would say).

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

Sorry Rich, but if you say "the player earns points by shooting as many tourists as possible, including those who are injured and crawling away" then you are either lying about having the game demonstrated for you or you have absolutely no understanding of how games work.  If it's the later, I take it a quick game of video solitaire or something similar is about the extent of your recreational gaming?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

The same "kill things, earn points" bullshit i can't even remember a game where i last saw points...

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

Rock Band, Devil May Cry, COD4 multiplayer (you get XP!)...

Points are still alive and well in many games, but sometime they're just hidden a bit in a lot of cases (anything with XP is equivalent with "points")

Not saying he has a valid argument here.  He clearly doesn't, as COD MW2 doesn't have points in the single player campaign.  However, saying "nope, no points in games anymore" is also not a very valid argument.

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

You have a point here :D

Well, maybe i'm not seeing them because i don't play games to have the highest kill count, but because it's fun to trap idiots with claymores.

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

at least he didn't single out games, he mentioned violent movies too

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

Yep, instead of shovelling bullshit about one medium, he;s shovelling about 2. What a champ.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

I've got more "knee-jerk recommendations" from the mediatrician. But I do think that he's not suited for being a "mediatrician" given how he makes a lot of mistakes.

http://vgresearcher.wordpress.com/

Re: Doctor Asked About COD’s Influence on Teen Boys

No GP, an overly neagtive analysis that says that some (but a minority) of studies show the opposite of the shit he's shovelling is NOT a relatively even keel, non knee-jerk recommendation.

An even keel non knee-jerk reaction would be to go the (hugely absurd) route of suggesting parents play through these games first, or with their children or at the very least be aware of their content.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
SleakerGamestop articles popping up everywhere about their ludicrous new Credit card offerings at a whopping pre-approval for 26.9% APR07/29/2014 - 10:19pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/07/podcasting-patent-troll-we-tried-to-drop-lawsuit-against-adam-carolla/ the podcasting patent troll scum is trying to turn tail and run.07/29/2014 - 9:50pm
MaskedPixelanteOf course it's improved. At launch, Origin was scanning your entire hard drive, but now it's just scanning your browsing history. If that's not an improvement, I dunno what is!07/29/2014 - 8:59pm
Papa Midnighthttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/experienced-points/12029-Has-EAs-Origin-Service-Improved-Any-Over-the-Last-Two-Years07/29/2014 - 8:25pm
Sora-ChanSo it's just a matter of having better emulation software. If it can be done with a 3DS game, with all the memory and what not it takes up, it can be done with a GBA title through emulation.07/29/2014 - 7:30pm
Sora-ChanOther VC titles for the NES and Gameboy had the same setup where you couldn't access the homescreen without quitting out of the game til a later update when those games were released for the public outside of the founder program.07/29/2014 - 7:28pm
Sora-Chanthe 3DS can, and does, run GBA games, as seen by the founder gifts, which included a number of GBA titles. As for running GBA games and still having access to the home screen, I beleive it's more of the game emulation software needs to be updated.07/29/2014 - 7:27pm
Matthew Wilsonthe 3ds already swaps os's with the original ds. plus I dont think people expect miverse interaction when playing a gba game.07/29/2014 - 6:06pm
MaskedPixelanteBut that's not the issue, the 3DS is perfectly capable of emulating GBA games. The problem is that it doesn't have enough available system resources to run it alongside the 3DS OS, and thus it doesn't have access to stuff like Miiverse and save states.07/29/2014 - 5:45pm
Matthew WilsonI am well aware that it requires more power, but if a GBA emulator could run well on a original psp, than it should work on a 3ds.07/29/2014 - 5:36pm
ZenThe reason the SNES could run Gameboy, or the Gamecube could run GBA was because their adapters included all of the necessary hardware to do it in the respective add-ons. The systems were just conduits for control inputs and video/sound/power.07/29/2014 - 4:51pm
ZenMatthew: Emulation takes more power than people realize to run a game properly. You can make something run on less, but Nintendo...as slow as they are at releasing them..makes them run as close to 100% as possible. Each game has its own emulator for it.07/29/2014 - 4:47pm
Matthew Wilsonkind of hard to believe since the 3ds is atleast as powerful as the gamecube hardware wise.07/29/2014 - 4:27pm
MaskedPixelanteYes, the 3DS has enough power to run 16-bit emulators, but not at the same time it's running the 3DS systems themselves. You could run the games, but you wouldn't get save states or Miiverse.07/29/2014 - 4:04pm
InfophileRunning GBA on 3DS shouldn't be hard. The DS had flashcarts sold for it that added just enough power to emulate GBA and SNES games, so the 3DS should have more than enough natively.07/29/2014 - 3:37pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's a bunch of people whining about boycotting/pirating Trails in the Sky FC because XSEED didn't license the Japanese dub track, which consists of about 10 lines per character.07/29/2014 - 11:27am
Sleaker@MP - devolver Digital issued a twitter statement saying they would replace the NISA pledge.07/29/2014 - 10:57am
E. Zachary KnightIs that a discussion about RIAA member music labels?07/29/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://steamcommunity.com/app/251150/discussions/0/43099722329318860/ In this thread: Idiots who don't understand how licensing works.07/29/2014 - 9:20am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/28/gaymerx-in-dire-straits-after-nis-america-allegedly-backs-out-of/ NISA backs out of GaymerX support, but it seems like the only people crying foul are GaymerX.07/29/2014 - 6:30am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician