"Grand Theft Childhood" – reactions to the book

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Harvard professor Lawrence Kutner, co-author of the popular book “Grand Theft Childhood” took time to have an interview with Open Education, a site that tracks changes in education in the world today. He discusses reactions to the book that have been written or broadcast and also speaks a little about GTA IV.

It’s always good to know that there are people out there that are conducting proper research into the effects of videogames on gamers. In this interview he addresses many of the reactions and comments that have been passed in the media about their book as well as a few notes on GTA IV.

He goes on to speak about actual reactions to the game as opposed to the ideas that are being put into people’s and parents’ head by the media, saying “Most of the parents we spoke with who had actually seen a GTA game recognized that it was satire. Their concerns were not this type of knee-jerk reaction, but were more nuanced, such as whether their children would understand the essence of that satire and the cultural allusions.”

You can check out the full article here.

source: Kotaku

Last Updated: May 19, 2008

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since ’08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

  • SlippyMadFrog

    “Most of the parents we spoke with who had actually seen a GTA game recognized that it was satire. Their concerns were not this type of knee-jerk reaction, but were more nuanced, such as whether their children would understand the essence of that satire and the cultural allusions.”

    I think those parents should have watched a bit more since the language in GTA IV is appalling! Also, there are heavy violence and strip clubs. I don’t want to expose my kid to those types of things (if I had a kid 😛 ). Kids should not play GTA, period! (Even though I played the original GTA on PC when I was young 😉 )

  • Funny you mention it, I was showing GTA to a friend this weekend and our kids (both 3 1/2) were watching us blow up cars, driving over pedestrians etc etc, and even at that ages they understand that it’s obviously just a game, it’s no more realistic than a lot of cartoons.

    But you’re 110% right, the sound was off completely and thank goodness my kid can’t read subtitles that fast!

  • DarthPenguin

    At 3 1/2 you kid can read?

    One up to you….

  • He’s working on it, blows my mind actually. He can spell anything out, but can’t always put them together. Things like cat or dog, or his name he recognises, so I figure he could probably work out an F-bomb 😳

  • *sigh* I cant wait to see the new videogame generation all grown up one day.

  • PillsburyDeeBoy

    @ Slippy, I hear you about the language…but, the question is: is it a fair representation of that world? In general, I’ve been playing video games since way young and watching shows with objectionable violence and language, too…but, I think I’m all the better for it. Understanding starts young through cultivation, I believe.

  • I brows 4chan and I am still fine *well sort of*

    larch’s last blog post..Vexille (Review)

  • “I brows 4chan”?

    I read that a couple times over and I don’t understand? translation anyone? Am i just a noob that didn’t get it?

  • LOL! 4chan is a image board on the internet with lets just say “highly questionable content” that makes GTA4 look like a walk in the park 😛

    larch’s last blog post..Blog Updates and other Randomness

  • Some might contest that 😉

    doobiwan’s last blog post..The Games that made the consoles

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