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That video game may not be hazardous to your health

Posted Sep 07 2008 2:22am
Perhaps it wasn't the repeated playing of Karate Champ and Pac-Man that drove people to drugs and crime after all.

" Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do," which will be released soon, turns that notion of violent T.V. causing violent behavior on its head.

The book, written by Lawrence Kutner, is based on a $1.5 million research project funded by the U. S. Department of Justice.

Kutner said society is beginning to see a more widespread "backlash" against the notion that violent media cause violent behavior in the real world.

"It’s not just our research. A few days ago, Stephen King wrote an essay about this for Entertainment Weekly," he said . "At the opposite end of the publishing food chain, yesterday the 180-year-old British medical journal The Lancet ran an editorial calling the link into question and challenging the previous research."

Kutner, who is a
co-director of the Center for Mental Health and Media Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, called the issue "a hot topic in the areas of mental and behavioral health."

Areas of dispute range from public policy, he said. What, if any, are the links between violence in video games and violence in society?

"There are also the very practical issues faced by parents daily," he said.
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