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Comic for: May 13th, 2008
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Gaming News: "Something Bizarre"
Posted: Tuesday May 13th, 2008 by

Harvard Medical School professors Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson have released the results of a two year study of more than 1200 middle-school students regarding their attitudes toward video games. The study, titled Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do, seperates itself from previous research by focussing on real children and families in real situations.
Source: Reuters [ more info ]

Kutner and Olson don't seem to buy into the idea that video games are inherently dangerous but at the same time do not dismiss the potential for harmful side effects. And, rather than doing odd laboratory experiments to test aggression, the two actually TALKED to the kids in the study. **gasps**

The results seem to indicate that there is indeed a correlation between playing "mature-rated games" and aggressive behavior. But Kutner and Olson are not inclined to artificially transplant the word correlation with the word cause. Rather, the researchers stipulate that it is not clear if the [violent] games trigger aggression in kids or if agressive kids are drawn to violent games. "Further study is needed".

I encourage to go and read the cited article. And if you're really interested Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do can be acquired via Amazon.Com.

Edited to Add:
I'm not sure if folks are reading the article before getting angry. Or if they're misunderstanding what the word correlation means. From my perspective this is the first validation of the gamer position. From my experience it would be virtually impossible to deny a correlation between "mature game content" and aggressive behavior. But as I mentioned above, Kutner and Olson refuse to use the word CAUSE in the place of correlation like so many previous studies. It should also be noted that these two are also the first researchers to really heap video games in with the rest of the popular media rather than consider it to be individually impactful. Please folks, read. The title of this thread is intentionally ironic.

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