Apparently it's the former -- at least according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) which recently awarded Joel Epstein a $1-million grant to develop a video game warning schoolchildren about the dangers of drugs.
An associate professor of psychiatry at University of Missouri, Epstein plans to work with St. Louis teachers to develop the game. Fourth- and fifth-graders will serve as the test audience.
"My hope is that we can create a unique, memorable and effective learning experience. The students will be so engaged in the storyline of the game that they'll also be engaged in the content we're trying to get across."Epstein's other inventions include It's a Brain Thang (software designed to teach fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade children from African-American churches about the science of drug addiction) and The Doubles (an Internet site also designed to teach children about addiction).
I dunno. Doesn't Grand Theft Auto already teach this lesson?