Last updated on: 10/6/2014 | Author: ProCon.org

Carly Kocurek, PhD Biography

Title:
Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities and Media Studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology
Position:
Con to the question "Do Violent Video Games Contribute to Youth Violence?"
Reasoning:

“The percentage of Americans in particular that play video games is very, very high, so if they were the root cause of a lot of these things, the sole cause, we’d be seeing a much more profound spike in violence…

It’s easier to blame the games because the games seem like something we could regulate, we could curtail, we could take away. Whereas if we start talking about violence in the family, or bullying at schools, or things that involve human factors that gets much more complicated. We have this conversation with a lot of different types of media at a lot of different points in history. The comics code is kind of infamous. That dates back to the mid-century and that just came apart a few years ago. I think if we heard today that someone really read a lot of superhero comics and maybe that was why they had these behaviors people would think that was really peculiar to pick up on. I’m sure there will be some point in the future where people say ‘oh this person played video games’ and everyone will say ‘so what?’ That’s clearly not it. Reading Superman didn’t do it, playing ‘Call of Duty’ probably wasn’t the only thing going on here either…

One of my favorite studies is… on what in games made people the most aggressive or made them the most violent. There are two things. One is, when people play games they’re not good at, when the game is too hard for them, people get very agitated and very upset. The other is when the technology fails. So if you’re playing a game and your X-box crashes or your PC crashes you’re very likely to get very angry and very upset. Those are the two things that have the most direct effect on how people respond to games and neither of those has to do with the tone or content of the game.”

“Playing Video Games vs. Acts of Violence,” sparklebliss.com, June 2013

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Experts
Individuals with PhDs, MDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to violence and video games. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to media violence and related issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities and Media Studies, Illinois Institute of Technology, Aug. 2012-present
  • Reviewer, Syllabus July 2012-present
  • Regional Director, Learning Games Initiative
  • Member, Women’s Committee and Digital Humanities Caucus, American Studies Association
  • Member, Fembot Collective
  • Member, Society for Cinema and Media Studies
  • Editor-at-Large, Digital Humanities Now, Fall. 2012
  • Drop-in Center Volunteer, OutYouth, Oct. 2007-Oct. 2011
  • Volunteer, Austin Bakes for Bastrop, Fundraiser for Emergency Relief, Oct. 2011
  • Site coordinator, Austin Bakes for Japan, Fundraiser for Emergency Relief, Mar. 2011-Apr. 2011
  • Event Volunteer, Explore UT, Mar. 2009, Mar. 2010
  • Co-coordinator, In Media Res, May 20, 2013-May 24, 2013
  • Senior Editor, Flow, May 2007-May 2009
  • Student Editor, Flow, May 2005-May 2007
  • Education:
  • PhD, American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, 2012
  • MA, American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, 2006
  • BA, English and History, Rice University, 2004
  • Other:
  • Recipient, Mellon THATCamp Fellowship, 2012
  • Recipient, A.D. Hutchinson Endowed Fellowship,University of Texas, 2012
  • Recipient, Best Student Paper in Computer Culture at the SW/TX PCA/ACA for “Arcade Economics: Class Values and Coin Operated Video Gaming,” 2009
  • Named OutYouth “Volunteer of the Year” for 2008
  • Quoted in:
    Pro & Con Quotes: Do Violent Video Games Contribute to Youth Violence?