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Pointless Quote: Gamers are Losers

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Child psychologist Tanya Byron might have surprised everyone by taking a very sober view towards gaming and giving the UK Government what many consider a fair and smart review of the gaming industry. But now she made headlines by hosting a show on BBC 2 called Am I Normal?, an investigation into game addiction. That’s fine – television needs material to sell. It’s just this little quote that caught my attention:

“Michelle Hart is not what you would imagine as a dedicated gamer. She’s an intelligent, 39-year old woman with a decent job and no history of psychological problems.”

So, what do people imagine a dedicated gamer is? A retarded madman without a job? How would we afford the games?

Last Updated: April 18, 2008


  1. doobiwan

    April 18, 2008 at 09:39

    I think you’re taking it a bit hatsh, I think she’s leading in, trying to break down the exact perception you’re bringing up.

    doobiwan’s last blog post..The GTA4 & Rock Band combo:Xbox 360’s European Assault


  2. James Francis

    April 18, 2008 at 10:07

    Maybe, but the words were poorly chosen.


  3. Nick

    April 18, 2008 at 11:26

    I agree, that wasn’t thought through from the script writers side.


  4. Mr Critic

    April 19, 2008 at 09:01

    You’ve taken a little information and posted it out of context. The program goes on to say that she spends hours and hours in front of her PC screen playing this game. She is addicted to WOW. The psychological problems comment is central to the theme of the program – can games addiction be compared to drug addiction.

    Don’t post stuff out of context – was your post intended to deliberately wind people up?


  5. LazySAGamer

    April 19, 2008 at 09:24

    I can’t speak for the Authors original intentions, however I do agree with his statement that the words were poorly chosen.

    Gamers in general have been pigeon holed and while the show was trying to break that stigma they could have started it all off in a better manner


  6. James Francis

    April 19, 2008 at 10:53

    I’m a bit at a loss on how what you say changes the context of the above quote. I wasn’t talking about the program. If I was, I could have made noise around what the other gaming sites did – that comparisons between game addiction and hard drugs were made. Instead, I’m simply isolating this specific quote and its general poor choice of words.


  7. David

    April 19, 2008 at 13:34



  8. LazySAGamer

    April 19, 2008 at 13:47

    Way to go in proving that gamers are not psychotic…

    I think she is trying to help and just got it wrong


  9. David

    April 19, 2008 at 18:02

    Your DAM RIGHT LAZYSAGAMER. All we need to do is put a next-gen controller in hands and she’ll be hookedand probably change her mind and if she doesn’t we’ll just send some spacial ops recon team to take her out 😉 hahaha


  10. bhw

    April 21, 2008 at 09:16

    Here’s hoping David is a master satirist with a penchance for irony


  11. doobiwan

    April 21, 2008 at 10:22

    The gaming industry has got soem pretty good press recently, between Byron and the researchers that were recently on X-Play.

    What the Games industry needs now is to pull finger and deliver some exceptional developmental games that reinforce the positive message. I reckon something like the Lego MMO has a chance to make a massive impression in that regard.

    doobiwan’s last blog post..The GTA4 & Rock Band combo:Xbox 360’s European Assault


  12. Mr Critic

    April 21, 2008 at 23:24

    no no no

    The program begins with examples of classic addiction – Heroin, cocaine etc and discusses how people become addicted. Just before introducing M. Hart, the presenter asks the question ‘what is addiction?’ and then talks about Ms. Hart’s addiction (as it was) to WoW. The program showed how there were basic similarities between her behaviour and that of an addict. That is why Ms. Hart was introduced as a person with a decent job and no history of psychological problems. It was a reference to an ‘addict’, and was designed to b in stark contrast to the drug dependent addicts. Nothing to do with gaming. Dr. Byron is a professional psychologist and knows her stuff – she is not some dumb presenter with a script. She knows what she is talking about.

    Watch the program again, and you’ll see.

    Dr. Byron has done more for the image of gaming recently than any other media presenter. The Byron Review is balanced and mature.


  13. LazySAGamer

    April 21, 2008 at 23:47

    Hi Mr Critic,

    Any chance you could organise an electronic version of this show?

    Or point me in the direction to download it?


  14. Mr Critic

    April 22, 2008 at 08:30

    I did not see the show when originally broadcast. I downloaded it from the BBC’s site and viewed it via the BBC iPlayer. However, I think it may have expired now. If I see a reference to it, I’ll post it.


  15. James Francis

    April 22, 2008 at 08:30

    I was referring to the specific quote and its poor choice of words.


  16. Mr Critic

    April 22, 2008 at 23:12

    The program does not seem to be available any more. However, here are some quotes:

    This is from MCV who also seem to have missed the point:

    From http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv_and_radio/story/0,,2273475,00.html

    Gordon Brown’s favourite clinical psychologist, Dr Tanya Byron, investigates whether addiction is illness or a choice. While some shouty American author is in no doubt that it’s the latter – and addicts are weak and self-indulgent – others to whom the poised Byron speaks suggest otherwise, – and they have evidence to back it. Or at least lots of brain scans. Here, Byron also questions if behaviours, such as shopping, can become addictive like substances, such as heroin, and examines unorthodox treatments that may rid addicts of their cravings.


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