Psychologist Jerry Weichman Clarifies Bulletstorm Comments

February 23, 2011 -

Clinical psychologist and self-proclaimed adolescent specialist Jerry Weichman has clarified his position on comments made to Fox News that were used in a Bulletstorm hit piece written by John Brandon. Responding to a request for comment by Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Weichman said that he stands by his comments to Fox News, but adds that those comments do not clearly state his full opinion on violence, video games, and his position on mature rated games.

First, Weichman defends his comments in the Fox News article ("If a younger kid experiences Bulletstorm’s explicit language and violence, the damage could be significant. Violent video games like Bulletstorm have the potential to send the message that violence and insults with sexual innuendos are the way to handle disputes and problems"), saying that greater regulation on videogames is necessary, because of this. He cites his own experience with teenagers as a psychologist, but does not provide any research data to back up his claims:

"My experience as an adolescent psychologist lies the behavioral work I have done with thousands of teens, including many teen gaming addicts. My opinion, as stated in my quote, is that there is potential to do harm, but certainly this is not the outcome for 100 percent of the game’s users. And obviously the folks at ESRB agree, since it’s rated M for Mature and was not designed for young audiences."

Despite sticking to what he told Fox News, Weichman says that he sees no problem with mature game content being enjoyed by the audience it is intended for, adding that he enjoys playing games such as Halo and Call of Duty. He does admit that his comments on Bulletstorm were based on several videos he watched online. He has not played the demo:

"I have not played it but seen videos of its content. As an adult, I enjoy playing first-person shooter games like Halo and Call of Duty and do so in my spare time quite often. But I would certainly not want my child exposed to these games either. Mature content should be reserved for mature or adult users."

The most interesting quote from Weichman is about parental responsibility and his disappointment that the article didn't offer some resources for parents to check out:

"My work with teens leads me to put the bulk of the responsibility on the parent and I wish that the article had given parents more information or tips on ways they can monitor their child’s gaming activities to insure that they are playing games which contain content appropriate for the individual child’s maturity level. It’s not easy being a parent today when many children are more technologically-advanced than their parents but ultimately the parents cannot just rely on the “system” for their child’s safety. They have to educate themselves, stay involved in the content entering their home, and work a little harder to make sure that they are aware of what their kid is doing."

Read the whole thing here. You can check out his web site here.


Comments

Re: Psychologist Jerry Weichman Clarifies Bulletstorm ...

If a younger kid experiences Bulletstorm’s explicit language and violence, the damage could be significant.

Is there any evidence of this? How he defines "damage"? How he defines "significant"? Does he consider that other media also has the same kind of content? Who I am kidding, he doesn´t care.

Despite sticking to what he told Fox News, Weichman says that he sees no problem with mature game content being enjoyed by the audience it is intended for, adding that he enjoys playing games such as Halo and Call of Duty.

Then, what´s the problem with Bulletstorm and all Mature rated games on Earth? They are meant for adults. This is not a problem coming from game companies or the ERSB or from retailers. This is a problem related to parents unwilling to do the job by themselves and oportunistic politics and "news" media like FOX.

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: Psychologist Jerry Weichman Clarifies Bulletstorm ...

He keeps referring to his "experiences" with teens with addictions, etc.

The problem with the "results" of his "experiences" is that they totally involve troubled teens and children, of one type or another.  Whether he's lumped them together as "addicted" or some other problem, he hasn't compared the overwhelming number of unaffected and "normal" individuals, child or adult, that DO exist.  He clearly hasn't bothered to compare/contrast the general population and determine why the troubled individuals are different from the not troubled individuals.

Yes, I know, psychological research eliminates the individual from the equation.  And that is where so much research fails at the core, despite all the "yup yup, uh huh" peer review nonsense.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Psychologist Jerry Weichman Clarifies Bulletstorm ...

Freud doesn't get away with it today, why are we letting clinical psychologists get away with it now? 

Re: Psychologist Jerry Weichman Clarifies Bulletstorm ...

He cites his own experience with teenagers as a psychologist, but does not provide any research data to back up his claims:

He takes a page out of Frederic Wertham's book here. Wertham based Seduction of the Innocent entirely on anecdotal studies on delinquent teens he worked with who mentioned they liked comic books.

Re: Psychologist Jerry Weichman Clarifies Bulletstorm ...

Ah, the ubiquitous "What I really meant was..." restatement.
 

There sounds like a lot of hindsight in this, like maybe doing the research, siting his sources, and PLAYING THE GAME before making the statment. Or maybe not making the statement in the first place.  Especially TO FOX!

"My opinion, as stated in my quote, is that there is potential to do harm, but certainly this is not the outcome for 100 percent of the game’s users. And obviously the folks at ESRB agree, since it’s rated M for Mature and was not designed for young audiences."

And that's another problem. People assuming what the ESRB might have researched, rather than looking it up themselves.

I mean, if games aren't harmful to kids, why do we even have a rating system? Obviously, the ESRB MUST agree with anti-gamers if they don't want kids to play these games, right?

Re: Psychologist Jerry Weichman Clarifies Bulletstorm ...

"Violent video games like Bulletstorm have the potential to send the message that violence and insults with sexual innuendos are the way to handle disputes and problems."

And if your child takes that message as a fact of life then there is something significantly wrong with him/her.  And probably your parenting too (or, likely, lack thereof).

 

Andrew Eisen

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

How do you feel about Amazon buying Twitch?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Andrew EisenZip - Bullies on both sides? What both sides? And of course bullies are worse than people who aren't bullies.08/29/2014 - 11:23am
Neeneko(2) yes, male tropes also have problems and gender studies looks at those too. But this highlights a privilage problem, the idea that if male issues are not brought up too female issues should not be discussed.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
Neeneko@ZippyDSMlee - jumping back (1) one can acknowledge systemic problems without requiring every male be a Neanderthal.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
MaskedPixelanteI don't like the new 3DS, mostly because it means there's a good chance future 3DS games won't be compatible with the current models.08/29/2014 - 9:30am
ConsterI don't get why Amazon decided to buy this "Twitch" fellow, really. It took him ages to beat Pokemon.08/29/2014 - 8:31am
ZippyDSMleeIt goes without saying that we need to et rid of the bullies on both sides that are far worse than Sarkeesian or Quin will ever be.08/29/2014 - 8:24am
ZippyDSMleeI'm talking more about the genreal movement and how silly it is, as for Sarkeesian half of what she is says rings hollw while the other half tend to be over exsagerated.08/29/2014 - 8:22am
Avalongod@Papa, agreed. I think people are reluctant to get involved if they're not the target. But I think we need to take responsibility as a community to confront harassing behavior, whether on gender or race.08/29/2014 - 7:23am
E. Zachary KnightSo Nintendo has given gamers what they want and have fractured the 3DS user base at the same time. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/224476/Nintendo_reveals_the_New_Nintendo_3DS.php08/29/2014 - 7:12am
Papa MidnightI could say the same about race. I certainly enjoyed being on the receiving end of this while playing StarCraft II this past week: http://i.imgur.com/mIZA1QB.png (and this is actually mild compared to what I usually see). Report players? What a joke...08/29/2014 - 12:29am
AvalongodWhether you approve of Sarkeesian's view or not, no woman deserves to be the target of that kind of harassment and it won't stop until men tell each other it's not appropriate under any circumstance.08/28/2014 - 8:44pm
AvalongodI'm guessing the twitter account was a troll, but come on, I'm sorry, it's just disgusting someone is saying those things to Sarkeesian whether serious or a joke.08/28/2014 - 8:43pm
ZippyDSMleesocial movement that is bringing most of these issue to the spot light to be nothing but trend mongering white knighting bullies who are not much better than the hateful moronic bullies on the other side.08/28/2014 - 5:20pm
ZippyDSMleereflects the world we live in while the rest is the worst stuff that should be focused on. Leaving whats reflected in the same boat as everything else that's exaggerated and skewed by media/fiction and happliy consumed by current society. I find the socia08/28/2014 - 5:20pm
ZippyDSMleemales live off the power fantasy but once you realize as a male you will never reach what fiction or media calls perfect it demoralizes you just the same. And I would not call female negative stereotypes rampant and out of control not when 70-80% of it re08/28/2014 - 5:19pm
ZippyDSMleeNot saying that there is not a difference in the treatment of males and females in media, but males are begin painted as near perfect superhumans with cliched flaws it dose as much damage to the psyche as how females are treated. Sure you could claim that08/28/2014 - 5:19pm
ZippyDSMleeNeeneko:As I said if you do not 100% belive it then you are a Neanderthal. Theres more gray to everything than black and white.08/28/2014 - 1:27pm
NeenekoMeh, the "PCism" is just trotted out when people do not know their place and dare to complain about things the speakers think are fine. How dare people complain about how they are treated/portrayed, it is not like it bother us, our feelings matter!08/28/2014 - 1:13pm
ZippyDSMleeNeeneko I do not think its against feminism but rather against PCisim’s and that most things are offensive since if you do not believe that you are a Neanderthal that beats women,ect..08/28/2014 - 12:48pm
Neenekocomplete with the standard 'she is a lying and attacking the game industry! threats are wrong but she did it to herself' comments.08/28/2014 - 11:28am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician