Last updated on: 1/18/2010 | Author: ProCon.org

Guy Cumberbatch, PhD Biography

Title:
Director of Communications Research Group
Position:
Con to the question "Do Violent Video Games Contribute to Youth Violence?"
Reasoning:

“The evident weakness in the individual studies and the general pattern of inconsistent findings would not normally lead us to expect researchers to make any strong claims about video games. However, this is far from the case. As with other research on media violence, some of the strongest claims are made on the most flimsy of evidence…

The real puzzle is that anyone looking at the research evidence in this field could draw any conclusions about the pattern, let alone argue with such confidence and even passion that it demonstrates the harm of violence on television, in film and in video games. While tests of statistical significance are a vital tool of the social sciences, they seem to have been used more often in this field as instruments of torture on the data until it confesses something to justify a publication in a scientific journal. If one conclusion is possible, it is that the jury is not still out. It’s never been in. Media violence has been subjected to lynch mob mentality with almost any evidence used to prove guilt.”

“Video Violence: Villain or Victim?,” Video Standards Council, 2004:

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:
  • Director, Communications Research Group (United Kingdom)
  • Community Tolerance Researcher, British Board of Film Classification
  • Consultant, Video Standards Council (United Kingdom)
  • Member, Pan European Games Information Appeals Committee (Belgium)
  • Head of Psychology, Aston University (United Kingdom)
  • Senior Lecturer, Applied Psychology, Aston University (United Kingdom)
  • Lecturer, Multi-variate Statistics, Aston University (United Kingdom)
  • Expert Witness in the Home Affairs Select Committee (United Kingdom) report “Video Violence and Young Offenders,” 1998
  • Researcher, Leicester’s Centre for Mass Communication Research (United Kingdom), 1969-1972
Education:
  • PhD, Information Processing, Leicester University (United Kingdom)
  • BS, Special Honors, Psychology, University College Cardiff (United Kingdom), 1966
Other:
  • None found