Dr. Oz Proclaims: Video Games Bad for Teens

In a syndicated editorial penned by Dr. Mehmet Oz (who is known best for "The Dr. Oz Show") and Dr. Mike Roizen (chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute), the good doctors proclaim that "It's official (again)- violent video games hurt teens." They determine (without citation) that playing games like Call of Duty: Black Ops (which they say features dismembered limbs, obscene language, torture) and Hitman: Absolution is "bad for teens" (both games are rated "M" and therefore shouldn't be played by teens).

They also say that "violent games harm young, developing brains by fueling aggressive behavior, dulling empathy and causing sleep problems."

At least they offer some good advice for parents on limiting screen time and using the ESRB's ratings system before buying children games that are outside of the proper classification for age groups. They also recommend joining your kids in physical activities that reduce stress and improves impulse control.

Of course the problem with all these proclamations from Dr. Oz and his colleague is that he is not qualified to make them. He holds no degrees in clinical psychology or therapy, and has never conducted any research on the affects of violent video games. Dr. Oz is a Professor of Surgery, and Vice-Chairman – Department of Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in NYC; and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY an attending surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

You can read the editorial here.


Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Brosch91 says:

    I think he generalized way too much. No, video games in themselves are not bad for anyone, they are pretty much entertainment just like movies, music, books, etc. The only time video games are harmful is when they are played so much that it interferes with your daily life. Video games are just like anything else: good in moderation, but too much of it is bad for you. We've seen evidence of this with people dieing after playing games like World of Warcraft for days on end without stopping

  2. 0
    John DeGraffenreid Jr. says:

    What really bothers me is that this guy actually has influence with some families. People who don't know any better will think he knows what he's talking about and not look any deeper. We still have to be on our toes and put the truth out there for people to know.

  3. 0
    Papa Midnight says:

    Negating the fact that there is not one single source cited in that entire editorial, I am personally curious to know where they pulled this statistic:

    "…but 50 percent of kids report having inappropriate-age-rated games ("M" for "mature" and "AO" for "adults only") among their often-played favorites"

    Unless they were playing GTA:SA, I cannot think of a single mainstream game rated A/O that could possibly have been played by a statistical 50% of those under 17; and, considering that GTA:SA was released in 2004, I cannot think of a reason why anyone who may have crossed the age 18 threshold today should have been playing it then at that age.

    Despite some legitimate points being made, the baseless statistic, and fear mongering cause me to dismiss this op-ed in it's entirety.

  4. 0
    Zerodash says:

    Doctor OZ has absolutely no credibility- his endorsement of homeopathy has basically cemented his status as a dangerous pseudoscience-promotin quack.  

Leave a Reply