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GRAND THEFT Childhood

By Jackie Burrell
Friday, May 2nd, 2008 at 6:15 am in Technology & Video Games.

Grand Theft Auto IV
The release of the latest entry in the violent “Grand Theft Auto” video game franchise has parents and child development experts wringing their hands. Jack Thompson, for example, a self-styled crusader against video game violence with a penchant for hyperbole, calls GTA “the gravest assault upon children in this country since polio.” Ahem. We prefer the more reasoned approach of someone like Harvard Medical School psychologist Lawrence Kutner, UC Berkeley psychology professor Stephen Hinshaw and Greg Niemeyer, game developer and assistant professor for New Media at Cal.

And Greater Good Magazine is sponsoring a panel discussion – “Grand Theft Childhood? The Surprising Truths about Violent Video Games” – featuring those very guys this Tuesday at 6 p.m. It’ll be in the North Gate Library at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, the wood-shingled building on the northern edge of campus. All free. Bring Qs for the Q&A.

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