The book Grand Theft Childhood got a good bit of attention upon its release, and the authors are back discussing reactions to the book, as well as issues that have cropped up (again) in the wake of GT IV. On the media frenzy, they have this to say:
This is strikingly similar to the concerns over and editorials against comic books, radio, gangster films and—back in the late 19th century—the evil influence of paperback novels on teenage girls. None of those bore out. Each time, the pundits and politicians said that earlier concerns may have been silly, but that this time it's different. So far it hasn't been.
It's repeated frequently, but probably worth repeating once more — everything from Hollywood films to Chinese classics like Peony Pavilion have been labelled as 'dangerous' at some point or another (with ferocity equal to or surpassing video game critics' utterances). Anyway, it's an interesting interview touching on a number of issues.