A little while back we had a brief discussion on violent video games along with a look at some new research where it was suggested that the effects of violent video games may not be as bad as it is generally made out to be. While arcade titles have been out of the media spotlight when it comes to the subject (Paradise Lost was a recent red label game and I’m sure that Rambo will be as well) and at the moment the media is focusing on GTAIV, that doesn’t mean that we’re invulnerable as video games are video games no matter what format you play them in.
Some of the same people responsible for the research I mentioned above are holding a panel next week (May 6th)where the facts behind violent gaming are going to be discussed, presented by Greater Good Magazine. It should be interesting to see where it goes and how much attention will be attracted, especially where I just caught on the newswire that there was a shooting on a Florida college campus this morning – it sounds like so far no deaths are being reported fortunately but either way the media always jumps to “they must be playing violent video games to make them do this” argument no matter what might be the case. And with the aforementioned release of GTAIV and violent games coming back into people’s minds, hopefully some attention can be brought to reason on the subject. There is a press release after the break, if you’re interested.
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 psychologyin 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 For more information about Greater Good, please see www.greatergoodmag.org Thanks! Jeremy Lee -- Greater Good Magazine Greater Good Science Center University of California, Berkeley 2425 Atherton St. # 6070 Berkeley, CA 94720-6070 Ph: 510-642-2490 Fax: 510-643-7350 firstname.lastname@example.org Subscribe at shop.greatergoodmag.org