Using Grand Theft Auto To Teach

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A few primary schools in Merseyside, England have been using the widely popular, and highly controversial video game Grand Theft Auto, and other violent cartoon television shows, to teach children about violence. The theory that has been presented by the Merseyside Police Department, who are the main backers of the program, believe that images from both the cartoons and video game can be used to teach children the difference between right and wrong, and what is real and what is not. This idea is an interesting form of teaching for the obvious reason that the television shows and video game being presented to the students, have been widely criticized as being extremely too violent for a child in primary school.

http://xboxmedia.ign.com/xbox/image/article/622/622290/grand-theft-auto-san-andreas-20050607044127591_640w.jpg

The reason that I believe this scheme can possibly work is that the video game and television shows are so popular that as the children get older they will most likely see them anyway. When a child is young, and in this situation they are young, they are still absorbing a lot of new information and have highly shapeable minds. Using such popular examples makes the material extremely relevant, and reinforces to children what they should and should not see as right and wrong. Using these examples of media with excessive violence for children lends an alternative to the largely debated issue of whether the television shows and video game should be legally regulated. With this teaching mechanisms children will already know that the game and television shows depict and know what is real and what is fake. Under this theory children will not react to violent television and games because they understand that they present images that are both false and not the correct manor of behavior. This would eliminate a lot of argument about violence in television and video games if the theory were to work effectively because children would have prior knowledge when playing video games and watching television that include excessive violence. This will hinder children from violent imitations like the ones depicted in the video shown in class of children watching Power Rangers.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/8611536.stm

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Do you think it could possibly backfire and lead children to have more interest in the games and shows (much like the DARE program backfired)? Imbed the picture in the link and use the link function for your article (be sure you have text to link it to).

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This page contains a single entry by natal013 published on November 6, 2011 10:27 PM.

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