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Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth about Violent Video Games

Lawrence Kutner, Ph.D and Cheryl K. Olson, Sc.D, who are co-founders and directors of the Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health and Media and Board Members of the Phillip Morris USA Parent Resource Center, make the following statements in the preface to their new book, Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do:

"We did not set out to prove anything about video games. We have no vested interests for or against them"

The authors' professed lack of bias is called into question by their research design and how they interpret their own data.

They report the findings of their $1.5 million research grant from the Justice Department, in which they asked middle school children to report, among other things, on their own video game habits and their own problematic behaviors. They then compared kids who played M-rated (extremely violent) games a lot to those who played them less or not at all.

Results showed that among both boys and girls, M-gamers were significantly more likely to have been in a physical fight, to have hit or beat up someone, to have damaged property just for fun, and to have gotten into trouble with the teacher or principal.

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psychcentral.com
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Webswinger933745d ago (Edited 3745d ago )

that make the kids go beat up people it's just that the angrier kids are more fond of M-rated games than other games.

SpaceCowgirl3745d ago

GAMES DON'T MAKE PEOPLE VIOLENT!

GAMES IMPROVE YOUR MOTOR SKILSL!S

these scientists are SO DUMB I WANT TO HEADBUTT THEM SO HARD THAT THE NEXT SCIENCE WANNABEE WILL THINK TWICE of ever dare Saying that GAMES MAKE YOU VIOLENT OR ANGRY!!!! AHHHHHHH

*headbuts the wall and knocks herself out*

marioporter3745d ago

Is this supposed to be ironic?

marioporter3745d ago

They do say at the end of the article that you shouldn't be worried because there are other factors involved. You can't say that video games make kids violent. Violence in our society is pervasive (everywhere). You can't just point the finger at video games. You have to wonder what kind of parent buys their children M rated games. I won't buy them for my kids, but I will let them play mine. The ones that I deem OK. The difference is that I am engaged with them, and talking with them about right and wrong and letting them know what's acceptable behavior, and what's not. I'm not buying them GTA and sending them up to their rooms to figure it out for themselves. And, just for the record, it's up to the PARENT to determine the accpetable level of violence for their child. As we all know, there is a world of difference between GTA and Halo.

thisguywithhair3744d ago (Edited 3744d ago )

"Should parents be concerned? Not really, conclude the authors. They say these data are correlational only, and it may be that kids who already have these problems are more attracted to violent video games or that a third factor may be causing the relationship."

So in other words, this article will be used in order to further the agenda of video game haters. I will not be surprised if this study is reported on thousands of times by the end of the year as proof that video games are bad for everyone. Meanwhile, the scientists will be able to sit back and say that their study is being used for reasons beyond what they intended.

This is very irresponsible. If there is nothing to be worried about than why didn't they say that to begin with?

And the way they conducted the study? Allowing all participants to fill out their own experiences and video game histories without doing anything back-up the info? How about the good old double-blind studies? Those are the only ones that ever show any real results and that also can't be accused of bias.