As GTA IV Launches, Harvard Med School Author Advises Parents: Relax

April 28, 2008 -
Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer features a front page article on GTA IV which includes an interview with one of the authors of Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth about Violent Video Games.

Authors Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson are both members of the Harvard Medical School faculty and the recently-released book has been widely acclaimed by the video game community for its reasonable - and unqiue - perspective on video game violence.

Kutner told the P-I:
For most kids and most parents, the bottom-line results of our research can be summed up in a single word: Relax... We have a long history of panicking over the introduction of new media. We have no evidence this is different.

The real question is which kids if any are at significant risk, and can we use behavior involving violent video game play as markers as what kids [should watch].

If you're looking for more of Kutner's thoughts, the Toronto Star has an excerpt of Grand Theft Childhood in today's edition.

The Post-Intelligencer story also features interviews with a concerned parent, as well as with What The Play editor John Davison and Hilarie Cash, author of the upcoming book Video Games & Your Kids: How Parents Stay in Control.

GP: Big thanks to GamePolitics reader Phantom for the tip!

Comments

I know of the Toronto Star article, didn't get a chance to read th whole thing though.

Kutner?

Ignore him, would you listen to anyone who has "That guy from Harold and Kumar" on his resume?

I read the seattle article this morning. It's funny, but you can tell that the writer really doesn't want to give games a fair break. For instance he/she brings up that several studies have linked violence with videogames but doesn't explain that the link is not causal.
Still, I guess that's as close to objective as we can get from the media.

@ Vinzent

Yeah I saw the same thing... Still it WAS a lot better than most.

The author did seem let down that Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson didn't go game bashing. :)

Yeah, it surprises me when these parents hear about "GTA?!? OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG SAVE TEH CHILDREN WTFWTFWFTWFTFTWWTF!!!!1111ELEVENELEVEN111ONE111!!!!!!!PORK!!!!!" when we have much bigger issues that are actively happening, like the economy (without sufficient funds, you can't buy little Tommy his daily mac & cheese), $4.00/gallon gas (little Tommy will have to walk on his poor little feet all day long, and the Iraq conflict (little Tommy will never sleep knowing the fact that his daddy could be drafted or, worse yet, those scary terrorists will kill him in his sleep). All these issues are happening right NOW, and here in Washington, we have 8 hours and 14 minutes until GTA IV starts corrupting Tommy's wee wittle mind. Stay cool, gamers.

I should read this book!
I'll add it to my list.

It's much easier than done when you have so many people trying to sway everyone else's judgment on an industry that somehow is different from every other media genre on the planet.

I guess it's a good thing that kids don't like to read books or we would be in real big trouble.

Correction:

easier SAID than done....

darn this cold

[...] wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptToday’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer features a front page article on GTA IV which includes an interview with one of the authors of Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth about Violent Video Games. Authors Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson are both members of the Harvard Medical School faculty and the recently-released book has been widely acclaimed by the video game community for its reasonable - and unqiue - perspective on video game violence. Kutner told the P-I: For most kids and most parents, the bottom-line results of our research can be summed up in a single word: Relax… We have a long history of panicking over the introduction of new media. We have no evidence this is different. [...]

The SF Chronicle also has an article about the release tonight that talks about the controversy, the financial TT and EA deals, and even about the lofty cinematic ambitions of the game. And the best part is that He-who-must-not-be-named wasn't named once!!! Woohoo!!!

Betcha he's royally pissed about it as is going to harrass them and attempt to commit faxcide unless they put his name in the article... after he's done trolling the forums here of course.

http://www.sfgate.com/flat/archive/2008/04/28/chronicle/archive/2008/04/...

@GryphonOsiris

And the best part is that He-who-must-not-be-named wasn’t named once!!!


Are you talking about Voldemort?

(Harry Potter joke)

*Head explodes*

Unfortunately, the calm voices of reason will always be overwhelmed by the panicked screaming of the extremists and their fear-mongering.

At first glance, I saw the paper today (with that article right in the center of the front page) and thought, "Oh, great, here comes another slam." But they actually played it pretty much down the middle, and even listed Gamerdad as another resource parents could turn for further information.

Major props to the P-I today. :)

Read the article on Toronto Star and enjoyed it :) .

@Shadow, Gryphon:

That's what the guys at the site in my link call him, when we have to mention him.

and in before 'overeducated'. :P

I want to read that so bad!!

Good advice. It's what I've always said: CALM DOWN!

Have we learned nothing from books?

"Don't Panic" works better.

@ Dark Tetsuya

Exactly, nothing for him to Google there for his Ego surfing.

@Gryphon:

Yeah... he does come up in conversations, but more of a footnote to end the show with (I'd say 'as it should be' but him disappearing off everyone's rader is really 'as it should be'...)

I read and enjoyed the Toronto Star article, but... Um... "The video game Halo involves shooting an unrealistic gun at a giant alien bug."?

...eh? (lulz)

Definitely #1 on my book list.

CH-CH-CH-CHILL THE F$CK OUT!

It's hard getting a copy of that book from my part of the world. I'm asking my aunt in NY to get it.

Ahh, relatives :)

Relax. Amen to that.

I just found this:

http://gamerdadforums.redbirdsolutions.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=5476&p...

Please read the post from momGamer as I think her post sums it up quite nicely. Her tale of her her son playing GTA IV is just -ehm- funny and explains that you can do other things than steal, maime or kill in the game.

And 4 US dollars for a gallon of gasoline? Try about 8 US dollars for a gallon a gas ? (or about 2 US dollars a litre...)

'Harris and Klebold enjoyed playing the bloody shoot-'em-up video game Doom, a game licensed by the U.S. Army to train soldiers to effectively kill.' - The Media

Sorry, just made me laugh, Doom has NEVER been used to train, thats a complete media-promoted myth.
How the heck can the army train to kill insurgents in a pixelated game where you can hardly make out a red devil creature from the background?
Right sure, it really shows you how to kill, and in case you did not know, the army prefears to train soldiers to use the weapons, desensitizing the last on their mind, and in most cases is not done since it can lead to soldiers refusing to kill.


But anyway, the artical is good, and does show you the media are over reacting, I wish Jack Thompson would read reports from actual members of harvard medical school instead of finding a self proclaimed 'child' psychologist and getting her to bad-mouth video games.
 
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quiknkoldhttp://www.nichegamer.net/2014/09/real-gamedevs-sound-off-regarding-the-gamergate-controversy/09/19/2014 - 8:35am
MaskedPixelanteMeanwhile, in news that actually DOES matter, Scotland voted "NO" to Scottish independance.09/19/2014 - 8:20am
ConsterSeriously? "We shouldn't make a new hashtag - it's better to associate ourselves with psychos than to decrease our visibility"?09/19/2014 - 7:54am
Michael ChandraI forget what it is exactly, but there already is another hashtag that some use, exactly to separate themselves from the abusive behaviour. So don't bother lying to me.09/19/2014 - 7:06am
quiknkold2 to 3 or more09/19/2014 - 6:53am
quiknkoldMichael Chandra : I'll say this. The only reason they havent used another hashtag is because it would look like a form of dividing the arguement. Using another Hashtag has come up, and they feel like if they made a new hashtag, it'll split the debate from09/19/2014 - 6:53am
Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
Michael ChandraAnd someone claiming #notyourshield was to be taken serious, when chatlogs show they wanted it going to hide even more harassment behind? Yeah, not buying a word you're saying. You poisoned your own well.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael Chandraallegedly fired over giving a game a mediocre review and the company threatened to pull ads? Sorry but I ain't buying this.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael ChandraBut people arguing this is horrible and just about ethics, even though there's very little support that journalistic integrity was actually violated here, while they never spoke up when a journalist was09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Michael ChandraIf people start with condemning the way GamersGate was used as a misdirection, then use a better hashtag, that would work in convincing me they mean it.09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Andrew EisenOoo, this one came down to the wire! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/749082525/nefarious09/19/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenI don't doubt that many are truly interested in journalistic integrity. The problem I'm often seeing is they seem to have no idea how or where to talk about it.09/18/2014 - 11:46pm
Andrew EisenDidn't word that well. Busy at work. I've seen people claim that GamerGate is solely about ethics and transparency in games journalism and then go on to show that what they're really after is silencing those who talk about gender issues in games.09/18/2014 - 11:45pm
Kronodebate. Becaus apparently people who only post on Reddit are supposed to police twitter before they're allowed to question anything about the people involved.09/18/2014 - 10:40pm
KronoI highly doubt many, if any are using journalistic integrity as a cover for harassment. The people harassing are essentially trolls. They aren't interested in subtle. More often it's othe other way around. People use "but X is being harassed" to shut down09/18/2014 - 10:38pm
Andrew EisenAnd exacerbating everything is the fact that all the cries of ethics violations have been obnoxious and easily proven false.09/18/2014 - 8:59pm
Andrew EisenProblem is, I would imagine, the sheer number of people who are using journalistic integrity as a cover for their harassing actions or only bringing it up on the false pretense of journalistic integrity.09/18/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenHaving said that, I can certainly see how one would be frustrated if they truly just wanted to talk about journalistic integrity and someone said they were one of the people harassing Sarkeesian, Quinn and others (though I've seen no examples of that).09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoThat's been the common refrain, that talk of journalism ethics is just an excuse to harass people.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
 

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