In an attempt to educate children on violence in video games and on TV, and to prevent desensitisation that may occur, a project being piloted in eight primary schools in the UK is using images from the controversial Grand Theft Auto video game, as well as stills from fictional cartoon The Itchy & Scratchy Show.
The pilot is part of the Get Real project and aims to show children the difference between real life and video games in order to illustrate the consequences of violent crime.
The Daily Mail reports that part of the programme involves giving children trading cards that contain both real life images of knives, drugs and other violent depictions alongside images from the Grand Theft Auto video game.
Opponents of the scheme are worried that it is dangerous to expose children to images from an 18+ rated video game, but Gaynor Bell, chairman of the Merseyside branch of Support After Murder and Manslaughter, which is running the campaign in association with Merseyside Police, defends the pilot project.
"Violent images are in front of children all the time – when they get home and put their video games on or watch cartoons – and it can make them think that this sort of thing is all right," she told the Telegraph.
By Marie Boran