8.25.2006

Just Because You Have a PhD

doesn't mean you know what you're doing.

Or that you're smart.

I'm not going to repeat the whole argument for you, so here are the links to the articles:

How the Government is Hearing Flawed Research
Violent Pac-Man Researcher Responds
Responding to Dr. Thompson

I work for a large research library at an even bigger university. So, I'm going to tell you exactly what this is all about: recognition, funding, and tenure.

As the government weighs in whether or not to censor my video game enjoyment, someone with a PhD stands up and throws a highly suspect study into the mix. This gives the professor, national recognition (no matter how dubious), moneys and grants for further research and projects, and a spot among the tenured elite of their university.

Using absolutely rediculous research standards, a professor will throw out a blatant, politically motivated piece of drivel in an effort to get the big 3: money, recognition, tenure.

So let's se how this adds up to Dr. Thompson:
Dr. Thompson runs KidsRisk, a project that needs funding. (moneys and grants)
Dr. Thomspon runs an open course called
Probabilistic Risk Analysis: Assessment, Management, and Communication, which is needs enrollment to continue. (recognition)
Dr. Thompson is an associate professor, which means she does not have tenure. (tenure)

Now, I'm all for game control. A ten year old should not be playing Grand Theft Auto, but the ESRB system works just fine. The only people who object to it are those who are too lazy to turn the game box over and read why the game has a particular rating. But all of this research means nothing when you take into account that average video game buyer is 37 years old. And we aren't talking about parents buying for children. We are talking about people buying the games for themselves. Thanks to the media, we have an over inflated view of exactly how many children are playing video games.

I remember being a kid. I had school all day and homework when I got home... in second grade. I didn't have time to play video games. The video games I managed to play have a special place in my heart for their corny graphics, and the hours of fun provided to my brother and I solving puzzles together. Homework these days is longer, more complex, and once it is done, the child still has to show up for a myriad of school and extra curricular activities. I give my little sister a game for Christmas and she
might have it finished by next Christmas.

Remember PhD does not equal smart.
No PhD does not equal stupid.

I've seen to many people with advanced degrees who are so functionally illterate its scary. I've had professors argue with me over research and policy so often, it'd make your head spin.

And before I leave, how about a low blow:

No gamer should ever trust someone with the last name Thompson.

Makes you wonder if there's any relation, huh?

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