Grand Theft Childhood – Greater Good Panel on Violent Video Games

gtchildhood.jpgAny of you gamers out there near Berkley, will have the opportunity to attend a panel discussion with the author of “Grand Theft Childhood?” sponsored by Greater Good Magazine, Greater Good Science Center. This is a free event planned for Tuesday, May 6th, 6-7:30 pm at the North Gate Library, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Harvard Medical School psychologist Lawrence Kutner, author of “Grand Theft Childhood?” will be presenting the results of his breakthrough study on the effects of video games on teenagers.

The popularity of video games–and the bloody, pyrotechnic action of some games–have fueled a wide range of fears. Are those fears justified?

To celebrate the release of its new issue on play, Greater Good magazine is hosting a panel discussion that will reveal the newest facts about video game play, and what guidelines they suggest for parents, teachers,
kids, and the people who create video games.

Remember folks to put your best foot forward. This study’s findings are very positive unlike many others. You can find the full press release including the link to detailed directions to North gate Library following the break.


Grand Theft Childhood?
A Greater Good magazine panel on the surprising truths about violent video games.

When: Tuesday, May 6th, 6-7:30 pm.

Where: North Gate Library, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, on the northern edge of the UC Berkeley campus. North Gate is a brown shingle building on the southeast corner of the intersection of Hearst and Euclid Avenues. For map, additional directions, and information on parking, see http://journalism.berkeley.edu/etc/directions.html

Tickets: This is a free event.

The popularity of video games–and the bloody, pyrotechnic action of some games–have fueled a wide range of fears. Are those fears justified?

To celebrate the release of its new issue on play, Greater Good magazine is hosting a panel discussion that will reveal the newest facts about video game play, and what guidelines they suggest for parents, teachers, kids, and the people who create video games.

The panel will feature Harvard Medical School psychologist Lawrence Kutner, whose new book, Grand Theft Childhood?, reports the results of his landmark study on the effects of video games on teenagers. Kutner’s presentation will be followed by questions and responses from Stephen Hinshaw, the chair of UC Berkeley’s psychology department, and Greg Niemeyer, game developer and Assistant Professor for New Media at UC Berkeley. There will also be ample time for a Q&A with the audience. The discussion will be moderated by Jeremy Adam Smith, senior editor of Greater Good and author of Twenty-First-Century Dad, forthcoming from
Beacon Press.

The Panelists:

Lawrence Kutner, Ph.D., is co-founder and director of the Center for Mental Health and Media, based in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and is on the psychiatry faculty at Harvard Medical School. His new book, Grand Theft Childhood?, written with Center for Mental Health and Media co-director Cheryl K. Olson, is based on the results of a $1.5 million study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice on the effects of video games on young teenagers. Kutner is also the author of five previous books about child psychology and parent-child communication. He wrote the award-winning weekly New York Times “Parent & Child” column, was the “Ask the Expert” columnist for Parents magazine, and has been a columnist and contributing editor at Parenting and Baby Talk magazines. He’s a licensed psychologist and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, which awarded him its National Psychology Award for the best newspaper writing about psychology in the United States.

Stephen Hinshaw, Ph.D., is the chair of the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley. His main interests lie in the fields of clinical child and adolescent psychology and developmental psychopathology. Major themes of his work include the diagnostic validity of childhood disorders, the role of peer relationships in normal and atypical development (particularly ADHD), the utility of identifying subcategories of aggressive behavior, and the early prediction of behavioral and learning problems. Recently, his has also focused his research on the stigmatization of mental illness. He is the author of the books The Mark of Shame: Stigma of Mental Illness and an Agenda for Change, The Years of Silence are Past: My Father’s Life with Bipolar Disorder, and the forthcoming Breaking the Silence: Mental Health Professionals Disclose Their Personal and Family Experiences of Mental Illness. Hinshaw is also a co-founder of the Greater Good Science Center.

Greg Niemeyer received his MFA from Stanford University in New Media in 1997. At the same time, he founded the Stanford University Digital Art Center, which he directed until 2001, when he was appointed at UC Berkeley as Assistant Professor for New Media, where he focuses on the critical analysis of the impact of new media on human experiences. His creative work focuses on the mediation between humans as individuals and humans as a collective through technological means, and emphasizes playful responses to technology. His most recognized projects were Gravity (Cooper Union, NYC, 1997), PING (SFMOMA, 2001), Oxygen Flute (with Chris Chafe, SJMA, 2002), Organum (Pacific Film Archive, 2003), Ping 2.0 (Paris, La Villette Numerique, 2004), and Good Morning Flowers (SFIFF 2006, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt, 2006) and, with Joe McKay, the Balance Game (Cairo 2007, London, 2007). His current project, the Black Cloud, an Alternate Reality Game, is funded by the MacArthur Digital Learning
Initiative.

Event presented by: The UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, the Harold E. Jones Child Study Center, and the Graduate School of Journalism Felker Magazine Program

For more information about this event, please visit the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism at:
http://journalism.berkeley.edu/events/details.php?ID=518

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2 Comments on Grand Theft Childhood – Greater Good Panel on Violent Video Games

justin

On April 30, 2008 at 11:45 am

what i can’t understand is if you want to protect children from violence, start looking at movies – lets see, saw i-iv are awfully violent in a way i have yet to see a video game be, the hills have eyes, texas chainsaw massacre, friday the 13th movies.

or movies, like scarface, goodfellas, the godfather movies…should i go on?

lets look at primetime tv – goodfellas, csi in its various cities, bones, and any other number of shows – all have uber violence or the suggestions of, or the results of.

kids tv sexualizes women, objectifying them, enforcing the myth that only good looks matter – what sort of damage is that doing?

video games have long been the whipping boy of the moral majority, which is really unbalanced. kids have access to all forms of media just as easily as video games, yet video games are constantly blamed for all societys woes.

why not put the same effort into targeting all violent media to keep it away from children and our youth?

yes, thats not going to happen is it? they said that judas priest music made some kid kill himself…hmmmm….

youth orientated culture is an obvious target of people fear and prejudice…but how is britney spears or jessica simpson behaviour acceptable?

badly messed up priorities if you ask me

game developers should not cave on this – unite and defend your right to artistic freedom of expression, be more dilligent about your enforcing the age grades on the games, go out and publicly inform parents and kids that what you are doing is not providing ‘killing simulators’

frankly then, i must think that commando, terminator, in fact all arnies movies, bad boys, cradle 2 grave, bourne supremacy are killing simulators

respect your kids, love your kids, talk openly with them, make time for them, engage with them, play with them, and understand them and things will get better

i have played video games now since 1978, and while never a huge GTA fan until GTA IV, i have played hours and hours of gears of war, counterstrike, call of duty 1-4, and i have never, nor have any of the friends i play with, ever expressed feelings of hate, anger or agression after playing games. in fact none of us would even entertain the prospect of having a gun in our homes.

this ridiculous persecution of video games should stop

justin

On April 30, 2008 at 11:46 am

when i said goodfellas on tv, i meant the sopranos :)