Special Needs School Rewards Students With Violent Video Games

The East Valley Education Center, an Oakdale private school for special needs children, has been making an effort to help its students come out of their shells and be more social by allowing them to play video games.

Pretty groovy, no?

Well, according to a CBS Sacramento report, some of these games are M-rated titles such as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

Yeah, probably not the best pick and to the surprise of no one, there has been a complaint.  The parents of one autistic boy told CBS that their son had been acting angrily and even violent towards his sister.

“It can cause emotional distress,” said Kim Moore, the boy’s mother.  “We had an appointment set up with the Assistant Superintendent Jose Adalco, but after driving for two hours he stood us up.  However, in an earlier phone conversation, he told us the violent video games would no longer be allowed at the school.”

The family reports that the school originally told them nothing would change because they were the only parents that complained.  Of course, it’s unknown if any other parents are aware of what types of games are being played at the school.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen

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  1. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    You make it sound like one parent raising a fuss about one game made the school remove the entire incentive and rewards program.  I haven’t seen that reported anywhere.  In fact, I haven’t seen a change of any kind reported anywhere, just second-hand information that the Assistant Superintendent told the parents on the phone that "violent video games would no longer be allowed at the school."


    Andrew Eisen

  2. 0
    CyberSkull says:

    Quoting my comment at Kotaku:

    Speaking as a child who went to a special education school, this is nothing new. Special Ed schools use various tailored incentives to help students improve their behavior and skills, as well as just to relax and get them to open up.

    For some students its video games, others time on the computers, a recess spent reading, etc. The fact that this tool has been removed from the school is very unfortunate, as they have lost a potentially powerful motivator due to stupid parental overreaction.

    The staff at these schools are constantly trying new things to engage their students and need every tool they can get their hands on.

    I’m not going to assign blame as I don’t think the school did wrong here. The fact that they are constantly trying to reach out to the kids and engage them with things they enjoy should be lauded. They should not be condemned for one attempt that failed.

  3. 0
    Thad says:

    "Just a few years ago (no more than 5), every story about violent games seemed to use Mortal Kombat 1 and Duke Nukem stock footage for their stories."

    Yeah, now they’ve graduated to mentioning Postal 2 over and over again instead.

  4. 0
    Kincyr says:

    lol, I can’t believe CBS mistook a colon for a comma

    岩「if Phyllis Schlafly wants to undo Women’s Rights, she should lead by example and get back in the kitchen」

  5. 0
    Zerodash says:

    At least they are making progress.  Just a few years ago (no more than 5), every story about violent games seemed to use Mortal Kombat 1 and Duke Nukem stock footage for their stories.  

    I bet they even remember to rewind their Nintendo tapes.

  6. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    From the source article:

    "Games such as “Call of Duty 4”and “Modern Warfare”, which are rated “M” for mature are some of the games that one parent says the students would play."

    Note to CBS: "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" is one game not two.  Also, I could be mistaken but I believe the footage you’re using in your video is of "Medal of Honor."  The pic in your article is of "Call of Duty: Black Ops."

    EDIT: Looking at the video again, I think it’s a mix of footage, some of which is from Modern Warfare.


    Andrew Eisen

  7. 0
    Zerodash says:

     Am I wrong to be wary of the supposition that "Special Needs" kids are ones who are more apt to act out violence in games?  I thought that the definition also included physical and neurological handicaps that don’t always involve emotional issues.  

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