In response to "Step Into the Light" from The Escapist Forum: Great article. It's incredibly ironic to me that in fielding so many of these game damning reports, these game journalists themselves ignore the source material and instead focus on a secondary or tertiary level source. While I understand the pressing need to immediately go out and defend your lifestyle, misquoting or responding to a non existent threat does nothing more than make us look foolish. The violent and rabid 12 year olds do a well enough job for that and any further fuel for the fire just makes it harder for people to take us more seriously, even if those people are the 1% of a population who actually read the source material.
I think questioning their journalistic responsibility is interesting as well. I don't think this is a symptom of games journalism but the news media in general.
Integrity is very rarely heard nowadays and it's a sad day when a comedian is considered to be one of the most trustworthy newsman in, for the moment, the only superpower. It's inevitable that if the source of a river is impure then logically it will also be corrupt and I think that irrational lash outs against medical studies that don't vilify gaming, but are used to do just that, is just the start.
As games journalism is still relatively new and traditions haven't become established, I think it's a perfect time for them to shake themselves off and start reporting like real journalists. While they're at it they can pick me up in their marshmellow bus and we'll drive to candyland while peace reigns on Earth below us and Hell freezes over.
I really wasn't expecting to be the voice of dissent on this one, but I have to say I disagree with the article. Or at least, I disagree with the suggestion that the gaming press should have been reporting this "story" as a service to the gaming community.
The mainstream media has a very unfortunate relationship with science. Hungry for stories, they seize on research papers and write them up as news. This is bad, because on top of the fact that the journalists almost never understand the statistical significance of the studies they report, they focus too little on the data and too much on conclusions. In reality, the correct response by mainstream media to a research paper is to print nothing at all in the vast majority of cases. If there really is news there, they should get a clear statement of the news content from a scientist not involved in the research and print that without rewording it.
As far as this particular study goes, the key finding is that modern kids are getting less vitamin D than they need. This, as stated, is not surprising. More detailed conclusions drawn from the data by researchers are "Low vitamin D levels were especially common in children who were older, female, African-American, Mexican-American, obese, drank milk less than once a week, or spent more than four hours a day watching TV, playing videogames, or using computers."
Only a commentator with a particular agenda would draw the conclusion from a list like that that videogames (or screen use generally) represents any kind of problem. It's a typical instance of confusing correlation and causation. If a child is spending all their time indoors, then they will probably be using a screen for four or more hours. You won't ever see the press complaining that reading books is the problem!
I suggest the following headline: "Children should take vitamin D supplements".
So no, that is not a suitable story for the gaming press.
In response to "Waggle Therapy" from The Escapist Forum: Ha, very nice. I have to say,
Getting back into shape after the surgery was especially tricky, since he ardently refused to join a gym.
I would also rather wither away than join a gym. I worked out at one for a few years, and it's the most boring activity I've ever taken place in. And I actually enjoy my boring, repetitive work, so that's saying a lot. Still can't get my head around the fact that people like it.
Video games have shown to be related to increased dopamine levels?
WHOO!! :D Yay! Scientific proof that video games make you happy!
And I'm glad your dad is doing well after surgery.
Eh, anything that makes you happy increases your dopamine levels, from chocolate to cocaine. It's been known for decades.
And I'm glad your dad is doing well after surgery, as well... any cancer that can be safely removed from the body could have been much worse, no matter how bad it ended up being.