Grand Theft Childhood co-author Dr. Cheryl Olson appeared yesterday on CNN Prime News in order to bring a little grounding to the network’s coverage of the game RapeLay.
Anchor Mike Galanos introduces the piece with a dire tone, saying, “Parents, we’ve got to warn you about this videogame, because your kids could get their hands on it,” before bringing in Dr. Olson. Galanos asks Olson about how easy it would be for a kid to download the game.
In answering, Olson puts some of the onus on CNN for their sensationalistic coverage of RapeLay, “One of my concerns is that kids generally never hear about this stuff unless it gets this kind of publicity.”
Olson mentions the Grand Theft Auto “Hot Coffee” mod, which went under the radar until politicians and the media drew attention to it.
Galanos then turns to violent games in general, asking, “What does this do to our kids?” Olson responded:
We’ve had concerns about media violence and content ever since the paperback novel and the gangster film.” Citing her own research, Olson continued, “We found it’s normal for boys to play these games once in a while and pretty much everything we worry about—violence and crime—is down, rather than up. Now this doesn’t mean an individual child could not be badly affected…
Galanos interjects with “It’s moderation right Cheryl? It’s gotta be moderation.” To which Olson answers, “Yes. We don’t want in this country, censorship, where someone’s trying to figure out well, what’s violent, what’s not, what can my kids see, and going down that slope… That’s not the American way.”
Olson ended the show with some advice for parents, which drew a “Yep,” and “Well put” from Galanos:
Get the game system, the computer, the TV and the cell phone (at night), out of the kids bedroom. If you’ve got that in a common area of the house, you can walk by and see what’s going on…