Monday, July 23, 2007

I <3 Fox News...

...because they make my job too easy. That is, if my job is to look at flawed reasoning in mass media stories as they pertain to causational arguments on the topic of video game addiction.

Take, for example the lovely "Parents Neglect Starved Babies to Feed Video Game Addiction."
Oh, angels in heaven. Mind you, I did appreciate the headline's sophisticated use of words that would have had me weeping in grade three.

Some of the other 'indicators' in the story about the Straws hinted they may have been less than competent to begin with...

Michael Straw is an unemployed cashier, and his wife worked for a temporary staffing agency doing warehouse work, according to court records. He received a $50,000 inheritance that he spent on computer equipment and a large plasma television, authorities said.

Ok, so they hint at the biographies. But then go on the same video-games-are-drugs bent that is all too common.

While child abuse because of drug addiction is common, abuse rooted in video game addiction is rare, Viloria said.

Some reason, that is quickly dismissed:

Last month, experts at an American Medical Association meeting backed away from a proposal to designate video game addiction as a mental disorder, saying it had to be studied further. Some said the issue is like alcoholism, while others said there was no concrete evidence it's a psychological disease.

Punctuated by G.I. Joe style moralisms:

Patrick Killen, spokesman for Nevada Child Abuse Prevention, said video game addiction's correlation to child abuse is "a new spin on an old problem."

"As we become more technologically advanced, there's more distractions," Killen said. "It's easy for someone to get addicted to something and neglect their children. Whether it's video games or meth, it's a serious issue, and (we) need to become more aware of it."

Whether it's video games or meth. For cryin' out loud.

Well, time for me to go do some meth.

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Blogger ffelsl said...

At least video games are taking the heat off of the old "new" entertainment problem, TV. It's good to know that TV is safe now that video games are the bad guy.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Florence Chee said...

Thanks Franz. Yeah, I could see people getting riled up about television more than video games (especially if you are talking about the online ones). It's way easier to become 'isolated', anti-social and disengaged by being a couch potato than an online potato (like me... right now... responding to your comment... :)
Works like Neil Postman's "Amusing ourselves to death" and Meyrowitz's "No sense of place" (absolute staples in CMNS) are critical of television and for me have been key works that distinguish the reception of television with current video games.

10:01 AM  

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