Oh Dr. Phil, what would the world be like without your eye rolls and exasperated drawls and emotionally cathartic finger-pointing? Stuck without its favorite Oprah-anointed self-help guru, I guess.
In case you missed it, this Monday Dr. Phil McGraw aired a show devoted to video games addiction. Dubbed "Virtual Chaos," the show has the doc of talk asking in promo clips "Is someone you love obsessed with video gaming?" in front of bullet-quick snips of people saying "My eyes were burning, my wrists ached..." and "He gets up at noon, and he stays on it 'til 12, one, two in the morning" and McGraw himself opining "He's spending as much as 80 hours a week..." while the audience oohs and aahs in apparent amazement.
"These games are supposed to be fun, not wreck lives and ruin marriages," says McGraw. "Your family is gonna lose their house if you don't get off your computer."
And finally, McGraw promises to show you "How to control the obsession before it's too late."
I suggest that if you watch Dr. Phil, you have a very different sort of problem altogether, and that it may already be too late.
But if I comment further, it'll go poorly for McGraw, whose understanding of video games research is culled from nothing steeped in even a whiff of the actual research.
If you enjoy your soupy mind-massaging loud and raucous and In Your Face, however, I imagine there's no better stop on the home-afternoons-highway than a slap to the intellect like this.