Thursday, April 24, 2008

Grand Theft Childhood

A cursory book review:

Grand Theft Childhood
The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do
By Dr. Lawrence Kutner and Dr. Cheryl Olson

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The first third of the book explains their approach to the study...

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On page 18 it is stated (in the third paragraph) that some of the most popular games...are not violent.

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page 65
"Designing a Video Game Violence Study..."
"Whom will we study?..."

page 86
"Whom did we study?..."
Two middle schools...one in Pennsylvania (664 students), and another in South Carolina (590 students)...seventh and eight graders, during Language Arts/Enlish classes.

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page 68
The three basic types of studies are explained...

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page 73
How the definition and measure of aggression is resolved...

page 88
"How did we define 'aggression'?..."

page 87
"How did we define 'violence' in video games?..."

page 88
"...What did we use as a measure of aggression?..."
"How did we measure exposure to video game violence?..."

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page 111
"Why Kids Play Violent Games"
(4 obvious reasons:
excitement and fun
sociability
emotions...to get anger out
boredom)

page 129
"Teaming Up: Violent Games and Friendships"

page 132
"Internet Play"

page 133
"Video Games and Learning Disabilities"
"...these kids tended to play games for more hours per week than others...more likely than other children to play games to feel less lonely, to get their anger out, and because they liked 'the guns and other weapons'...
"...more likely to be victims of bullying, and to report being left out or excluded by their peers...overall top reasons for playing games...to connect with friends and cope with feelings..."
"...children with attention deficit disorder...attracted to media, including: television, video games, and computers..." (I've never been diagnosed, but I fit this profile...)
I'm my opinion, this is a GREAT section to read.

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page 76
"Do the results matter?..."
"...academic research on video games effects is not geared to the needs of parents..."
(Has the effects of long-term exposure been considered?...)

page 89
"How meaningful are the results?..."
(Are they of practical significance?)

page 95
Do Violent Games Lead to Behavior Problems?

page 103
Are Aggressive Kids More Likely to Play Violent Games?

page 118
"Is There Such a Thing as Good Violence?"

page 139
"Sex, Hate, Game Addition, and Other Worries"
"Games with a Social or Political Agenda"
recruitment...promotion of suicide...etcetera

page 127
The Appeal of Grand Theft Auto

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page 89
What's Normal?
(Regarding time spent playing games...)

page 83
"Justified Violence"

page 88
How they justified the relationships of aggression and violence to the real world...

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page 209
Practical Advice for Parents
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