Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Grand Theft Childhood

Adam Thierer has posted a thorough review of a new book about violent video games and children called Grand Theft Childhood - The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do.

Written by Lawrence Kutner, PhD and Cheryl K. Olson, ScD from Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health and Media the book is, according to Adam Thierer, "...the most thoroughly balanced and refreshingly open-minded book about video games ever penned."

The book points out many of the points heard before:

  1. Research on the affects of violent video games is simplistic and makes conclusions without proper proof
  2. Violent video games are played by pretty much an entire generation or two of the entire population, yet violent crime rates are down significantly
  3. Violence in kid's play and literature is as old as humanity, yet video games get singled out

It's good to see established scientists come out and say what us gamers have been saying for quite some time already.

Update: G4 TV had the authors of the book on their show. The interview is a great summary of their work.

Selected quote from the interview:

The big concern that you hear the politicians and the pundits argue that playing violent video games will somehow turn your child into a criminal or a violent person. There's absolutely no evidence for that.

No comments: