Interview: Grand Theft Childhood co-author Dr. Cheryl K. Olson

In 2007, results from a breakthrough Harvard video game study found that children used video games to manage their feelings, the stereotype of the socially stunted gamer was a myth, and there was no obvious connection between violent games and youth crime. Two of the researchers who conducted the study have written "Grand Theft Childhood", due out this spring. Expanding on what they have already written, this authors promise to cut through the "myths and hysteria" about the affects of violent video games on children and address the real issues "parents, teachers and public policy makers" need to be concerned with. Co-author Dr. Cheryl K. Olson was kind enough to answer some questions Game Couch had about the book.

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Bleyd4003d ago (Edited 4003d ago )

"We recommend looking at screenshots, trailers and reviews and getting familiar with the content, so that you can talk with your kids about your concerns.

If you decide to buy or rent the game, watch your child play until you feel comfortable with his/her response to it. Ask him to teach you something about how to play; most kids welcome the chance to do this. If your child seems angry or upset after playing GTA IV, or is playing for long hours by himself, reconsider your decision."

In other words, parents, go educate yourselves about the games and then talk to your kids about the game and watch your kids play the game and then monitor their behavior and make an educated decision about something in your children's lives for once. This is where the real responsibility of deciding who gets to play what resides.