Month: February 2022

EP51: This is Your Brain on Trial (ft. Andrew Scull, Tess Neal & Roland Nadler)

EP51: This is Your Brain on Trial (ft. Andrew Scull, Tess Neal & Roland Nadler)

Imagine reading or watching The Minority Report and thinking of that as a model for the criminal justice system. Well, plenty of forensic types are doing just that. Can you figure out if you are a criminal by scanning your brain? On this episode of Darts and Letters, guest-host Jay Cockburn and our guests explore the study of the criminal mind, from the history of madness, to spotty personality tests, to the emerging neuroscientific frontier.

  • First (@7:23), what do you see in this image? Wrong answer, off to jail! We look at the state of forensic psychology, and how to improve it. Tess Neal is associate professor of psychology at Arizona State University. She studied the quality of hundreds of assessment tools and processes used to understand individuals and found that the quality…varies. A lot.
  • Then, (@24:34) what might neuroscience tell us about criminality – and how dangerous is that as a source of assessment tools? Roland Nadler is a PhD candidate in law at the University of British Columbia and a Darts and Letters researcher. This is Minority Report type stuff and the implications are, to say the least, potentially very disturbing with technologies ripe for abuse, error, and systemic injustice.
  • Finally (@46:08), the history of madness is extraordinary, and it comes with warnings for the current and future of psychological and neuroscientific techniques in the criminal justice system. Andrew Scull is a sociologist and the author of Madness in Civilisation: The Cultural History of Insanity, From the Madhouse to Modern Medicine. He defines madness and guides us through its history throughout the last several hundred years.

——————-FURTHER READING AND LISTENING——————

——————-SUPPORT THE SHOW————————-

We need your support. If you like what you hear, chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patreon subscribers usually get the episode a day early, and sometimes will also receive bonus content.

Don’t have the money to chip in this week? Not to fear, you can help in other ways. For one: subscribe, rate, and review our podcast. It helps other people find our work.

—————————-CONTACT US————————-

To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. If you’d like to write to us, email darts@citedmedia.ca

—————————-CREDITS—————————-

Darts and Letters was hosted and produced this week by Jay Cockburn, with editing from Gordon Katic. Our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. Roland Nadler provided research assistance, and David Moscrop wrote the show notes.

Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop, and our marketing was done by Ian Sowden.

This is a production of Cited Media. And we are backed by academic grants that support mobilizing research.. This episode was also a part of a mini-series on the state of forensic science. The scholarly lead on that project is Professor Emma Cunliffe.

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples.

EP31: Moral Kombat (ft. Liana Kerzner, Cyril Lachel, & Henry Jenkins) [Rebroadcast]

EP31: Moral Kombat (ft. Liana Kerzner, Cyril Lachel, & Henry Jenkins) [Rebroadcast]

*Programming note: This is a rebroadcast.

You can learn much about a media and political culture by examining when it panics, and who it panics about. And we’ve always panicked about video games, from the early arcades until this very day. Whether you are a prudish Christian conservative, or a concerned liberal-minded paternalist, demonizing video games has long been good politics.

On this episode: guest host and lead producer Jay Cockburn travels back to the 90s, and looks at the story of Mortal Kombat. The game was violent, gory, glorious. It was a youth rebellion in miniature. Parents rebelled against the rebellion, staging their own petulant counter-revolution, and politicians embraced it. It  triggering a moral panic and even congressional hearings into violence in games. But why did it happen, who did it serve, and what does it tell us about our own culture?

  • First (@14:21), Liana Kerzner is a game developer and critic, YouTuber, and gamer. She takes us through her discovery of Mortal Kombat and the visceral attraction to…just how cool and groundbreaking the game was. Then, she looks at the moral panics around games today: panics about sex and nudity.
  • Then (@22:52), Cyril Lachel is a journalist and the editor in chief of Defunct Games. He explains the history and evolution of gaming in the 1990s as Sega tries to differentiate itself from Nintendo as an edgier system for its gamers as they enter their teenage years. Plus, he points out what parents and politicians got wrong about video games and how gaming media evolved around the time.
  • Finally (@39:34), Henry Jenkins is Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of South California. He tells us why moral panics keep coming back time after time, starting with comic books in the 1950s. Then he takes us through their generational politics and sociology. Plus, he takes us back to his appearance before the congressional hearings into video games.

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——————-EVEN MORE FURTHER READING AND ACADEMIC SHOW SOURCES——————
  • Ferguson, C. J., & Colwell, J. (2017). Understanding why scholars hold different views on the influences of video games on public health. Journal of Communication, 67(3), 305-327. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcom.12293
  • Ferguson, C. J. (2015). Do angry birds make for angry children? A meta-analysis of video game influences on children’s and adolescents’ aggression, mental health, prosocial behavior, and academic performance. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(5), 646-666. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691615592234
  • Ferguson, C. J. (2014). Violent video games, mass shootings, and the supreme court: Lessons for the legal community in the wake of recent free speech cases and mass shootings. New Criminal Law Review, 17(4), 553-586. https://doi.org/10.1525/nclr.2014.17.4.553
  • Ferguson, C. J. (2007). Evidence for publication bias in video game violence effects literature: A meta-analytic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 12(4), 470-482. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2007.01.001
  • Kline, Stephen (n.d.). Moral panics and video games (source)
  • Markey, P. M., & Ferguson, C. J. (2017). Internet gaming addiction: Disorder or moral panic? The American Journal of Psychiatry, 174(3), 195-196. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.16121341
  • Markey, P. M., & Ferguson, C. J. (2017). Teaching us to fear: The violent video game moral panic and the politics of game research. American Journal of Play, 10(1), 99-115.
  • Quandt, T., & Kowert, R. (Eds.). (2015). The Video Game Debate: Unravelling the Physical, Social, and Psychological Effects of Video Games (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315736495.

—————————-CONTACT US————————-

To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. If you’d like to write to us, email darts@citedmedia.ca or tweet Gordon directly. And if you haven’t already, subscribe to our show wherever you get your podcasts.

——————-SUPPORT THE SHOW——————-

We need your support. If you like what you hear, chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters.

—————————-CREDITS—————————-

This week, Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Jay Cockburn, who is also our lead producer. Our editor and usual host is Gordon Katic. Our managing producer is Marc Apollonio.. David Moscrop wrote the show notes.

Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop, and our marketing was done by Ian Sowden.

This episode received support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research, which provided us a research grant to look at the concept of “public intellectualism.” Professor Allen Sens at the University of British Columbia is the lead academic advisor. This is also part of a wide project about the emerging politics of video games housed at UBC with advice from Lennart E. Nacke at the University of Waterloo.

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples. It is also produced in Vancouver, BC, which is on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

EP50: Don’t hate the player (ft. Alexander Lee)

EP50: Don’t hate the player (ft. Alexander Lee)

Guest host (and regular lead producer) Jay Cockburn gets ready to enter the world of e-sports, with a lesson in Super Smash Bros from a top player and professional coach. Find out why he won’t make it (spoiler alert: he doesn’t have that reaction time he used to); but also, find out why he might not want to make it. Unfortunately, e-sports have many of the problems that ‘real’ sports do, and some are even worse. E-sports have lower pay, more stringent IP regimes, singular corporate control, and less labour organizing. However, could things be changing? Jay talks to Alexander Lee, esports and games reporter at Digiday. He takes us through the booming world of esports: the good, the bad, the repetitive stress injuries, and what to do about it.

——————-FURTHER READING AND LISTENING——————

——————-SUPPORT THE SHOW————————-

We need your support. If you like what you hear, chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patreon subscribers usually get the episode a day early, and sometimes will also receive bonus content.

Don’t have the money to chip in this week? Not to fear, you can help in other ways. For one: subscribe, rate, and review our podcast. It helps other people find our work.

—————————-CONTACT US————————-

To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. If you’d like to write to us, email darts@citedmedia.ca.

—————————-CREDITS—————————-

Darts and Letters is usually hosted and edited by Gordon Katic. This week, our lead producer Jay Cockburn hosted. Our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. David Moscrop is our research assistant and wrote the show notes.

Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop, and our marketing was done by Ian Sowden.

This episode had support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. It is was part of a wide project about the emerging politics of video games housed at UBC with advice from Lennart E. Nacke at the University of Waterloo.

 

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples.

EP49: Unionversity: College Athletics and the Fight for Fair Pay (ft. Edwin Garret, Helena Worthen & Joe Berry)

EP49: Unionversity: College Athletics and the Fight for Fair Pay (ft. Edwin Garret, Helena Worthen & Joe Berry)

College athletes are workers, and they deserve to get paid. They put their bodies and futures on the line for the profit of their schools,  without seeing real compensation for their labour. However, things are changing. For instance, a 2021 Supreme Court decision upholding a lower court decision that found the NCAA were being anti-competitive in capitalizing on the name, image, and likeness of their players, while not letting the players do the same. Plus, a November memo from the National Labor Relations Board that noted student-athletes have been misclassified as ‘student athletes’ – they are, in fact, employees with a right to organize. On this episode of Darts and Letters, we go downfield to look at university labour and the battle for union rights.

  • First (@6:40), get to know the College Football Player Association. It’s not a union, but it’s growing a membership base and who knows where that will lead. Ed Garret, a brand ambassador with the group and former cornerback at the University of Mexico, takes us through his time (and injuries) in college football and the working conditions college athletes face on the field, off the field, and in the classroom.
  • Then (@30:39), labour organizing isn’t just for college athletes. And it’s on the rise on campuses across North America. We talk to JP Hornick, bargaining chair with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, and Glynis Price, president of the Concordia University of Edmonton Faculty Association, about their strikes. Then, Helena Worthen and Joe Barry are scholars, organizers, and the co-authors of Power Despite Precarity: Strategies for the Contingent Faculty Movement in Higher Education. They tell us about successful labour strategies in academia, and why university workers are no different from other workers.

——————-FURTHER READING AND LISTENING——————

——————-SUPPORT THE SHOW————————-

We need your support. If you like what you hear, chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patreon subscribers usually get the episode a day early, and sometimes will also receive bonus content.

Don’t have the money to chip in this week? Not to fear, you can help in other ways. For one: subscribe, rate, and review our podcast. It helps other people find our work.

—————————-CONTACT US————————-

To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. If you’d like to write to us, email darts@citedmedia.ca.

—————————-CREDITS—————————-

Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Gordon Katic. The lead producer is Jay Cockburn. Our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. David Moscrop is our research assistant and wrote the show notes.

Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop, and our marketing was done by Ian Sowden.

This episode had support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. It was part of a wider project looking at neoliberal educational reforms. The lead is Dr. Marc Spooner at the University of Regina and Franklynn Bartol at the University of Toronto. They provided research and advising on this episode.

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples.