Grade school children are being shown imagery from Grand Theft Auto in a project that is aimed at preventing them from becoming violent members of society.
Eight schools in Merseyside, UK are showing screens of the game to children between ages nine and 11 in what the project organizers say will keep them from being “desensitized” to violent behavior and teach them consequences.
The Itchy & Scratchy Show from The Simpsons is also being shown.
Children are asked to categorize the pictures as “good real life”, “bad real life” and “not real” and receive an initial one-hour session with a SAMM representative and a police officer. Their teacher will then in turn, conduct more classes before the organizers return to evaluate the progress made.
The measure is being funded by the Home Office and run by the Support After Murder and Manslaughter (SAMM) organization along with the Merseyside police.
“They’re getting that much of [violence] that they’re desensitized,” said Gaynor Bell, the chair of SAMM Merseyside. “They think it’s normal life. We’re telling them this is not real, this does not go on and it should not go on.”
It is to be expanded into Lancashire later in the year and was originally piloted at Barlows primary school in Fazakerley, Liverpool.
More through Guardian.