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.