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In a previous post, I talked about how parents were responsible for their children’s video games and video game habits.  While it wasn’t the subject of my rant, it did touch briefly on the connection between video games and violence.

Last night on X-Play they had a very interesting interview with two researchers who had just recently writen the book Grand Theft Childhood and shared some of their findings on the matter:

 

My wife and I both watched it, and discussed what we thought it meant overall.  It’s perhaps a bit misleading to say that if your child DOESN’T play video games then they turn violent.  Instead, I believe they were more referring to the fact that it’s natural for boys to do what other boys are doing (you could substitute motorcycles, or tattoos, or needlework for video games in the example then).

I’d be even more interested to learn what they meant when they said “certain behavior of play”.  I haven’t read this book yet, but I’m probably going to.  I would suggest anyone else with kids do the same.

Zuke

Co-founder of Stolendroids.com and Executive Producer for Stolendroids Podcast. Also resident 'tech-head' and de-facto leader of the group.
  • zohner

    That was a very interesting video. Whenever I hear about a violent shooting done by some psychopathic kid, I know that the news stations will immediately play up the “video games make people insane” angle. It happened with Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Trolley Square. I HATE THAT! People look for a scapegoat and video games are an easy target.

    The problem is that parents use video games as a substitution for actual parenting. They don’t know what their kids are playing and they’re not looking at how the kids are playing. Are they hitting the mafia boss from 200 yards with a sniper’s rifle or are they taking out the boss’ family then torturing him?

    Kids who enjoy torturing cats with firecrackers make me much more nervous than a kid that plays Grand Theft Auto. (I’ve never played it, but GTA IV is going to make $400 million in one day so I know that people are playing it.)

    I have played violent video games before. Hitman: Silent Assassin is one of my favorite games of all time but it doesn’t mean that I’m a violent person or that I’m going to become a violent person. Actually, I don’t like real-world violence; there is almost always a better answer. But there is something to be said for playing a game like that in god-mode at the end of a stressful day.

    Video games are fantasy. They may be set in real-world situations but they are still just fantasy. Once people realize this simple fact, we’ll all be a lot better off.

    On a side note, there are lots of games that I would never play, they’re just too much for my personal taste, but that’s my choice. I’m an adult and I’m able to make those choices rationally. Parents need to be parents and help their kids make these choices when they are unable to make them by themselves.

  • There was nothing more stress relieving than Resident Evil 2 in Rookie Mode.

    Unlimited Ammo and a chaingun . . .

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