Posted by: Ryan McDonald | March 11, 2008

The theraputic value of a good drive by…

The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do.

Game Couch has a great interview with Dr. Cheryl K. Olson, co-author of Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do.

Their two-year, $1.5 million research project at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School not only disproves the long-held theory that violent video games cause violent children, but proves that playing video games may be a good way to vent pent up anger in a productive way!

In your FACE middle-school guidance counselors!

“GC: One of the findings of the original study (reported in a Massachusetts General Hospital press release) was “Children who play violent games are more likely to play to get their anger out,” and the study noted that while violent video game playing is up, youth crime is in decline. Doesn’t this run contrary to the popular view that violent video games indoctrinate children into a culture of violence?

Dr. Olson: Many children in our survey, as well as our focus groups with boys who play violent games, said they played games to manage their feelings. This included playing games to “help get my anger out,” to forget problems, to relax, and to feel less lonely. Children who played at least one M-rated video game “a lot in the past six months” were significantly more likely to agree that getting anger out was one reason they played video games.”

I’m putting GTA4 on my baby’s first birthday wish list on Amazon right now so he can start building hand-eye coordination, solve complex real-time problems in an open-ended environment and pop some hookers in the face if they get in his way.

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