Earlier this week we told you about the antics of Dr. Susan Bartel, who made claims about Halo, violence, brains and video games on The Morning Show. The thing is, I go drinking with a lot of brain researchers. They are a specialised group of scientists who probably wouldn't write books like Dr. Susan's Girls-only Weight Loss Guide: The Easy, Fun Way to Look and Feel Good? You know, because it takes a lot of specialisation to make claims about brain scans, not to mention months of argument on different modelling techniques, area activation relevance, etc.. Anyway, she came clean to Game Politics when they questioned her about her area of expertise:
GP: One thing I found especially concerning... was [an e-mail]comment that you only saw the [Indiana University]brain scan pix five minutes before air [of The Morning Show] . That being the case, do you think it appropriate to go on and offer a professional opinion based on the scans to the audience?
Dr. Bartell: That's the way it is with TV — it's just not a black and white thing. I am genuinely sorry that it caused such a sense that I was being so disrespectful [to gamers] . The scans aside I stand by my opinion that violent games should not be played by teens... As to whether I should have responded to the scans — my intent was going on air to discuss whether the church should be holding Halo nights, clearly that was derailed.
GP: In all honesty, I'm having difficulty reconciling "that's the way it is with TV" to responsible professionalism. It smacks of sensationalism. Just being candid here.
Dr. Bartell: I can understand how you feel... there is an element of sensationalism to it I suppose...I couldn't — five minutes before going on air — say, sorry I won't do it, I don't have enough background information about this brain scan! I'm just not that much of a purist...
As a doctor/researcher/specialist of any kind, you can always say "no" to others' claims and requests for validation. That's how you keep your credibility (then again, that's not an issue if you never had any in the first place).
From the looks of it, not only does Dr. Bartell have a horse in this race, but The Morning Show doesn't seem too keen on video games, either. For a program that oversimplifies major issues into 4-minute coffee talk to an audience that should be, I dunno, working, there must be a more suitable story to run like "drink more water" or "the bad people are coming to knock over children not wearing their bike helmets after raping the tailpipe of your unlocked car and wiping avian influenza on the seats." How Fox Morning Show Sensationalized the Halo-in-Church Issue [gamepolitics]