Study: Inappropriate games may give children the wrong message

Tuesday, 5th April 2011 01:16 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Children who lack positive parenting and good relationships with peers may take anti-social messages away from age-inappropriate games, according to a recent study.

Industry Gamers reports the study was published in the latest edition of the Journal of Children and media.

The study polled children of up to and 12 years of age, but many reported playing games rated for ages 15 and over. Results suggest children, and especially boys, who play age-inappropriate violent games may come to believe violent behaviour is of no consequence.

Study author Dr. Edward T. Vieira Jr, communications professor at Simmons College, emphasised that its findings did not suggest games have a direct causal link to violent behaviour.

“Certainly not every child who continues to play violent video games is going to go out and perpetrate a violent act,” he said.

He also made clear that games alone don’t seem to be enough to cause the problem.

“The concern arises when children are taking in this message and there is a convergence of other negative environmental factors at the same time, such as poor parental communication and unhealthy peer relationships.”

Thanks, Go Nintendo.




  1. neon6

    We’re still debating about this? I thought everyone stopped talking about it when JT got disbarred.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. The_Deleted

    As opposed to the same kids watching Ben 10 or the CGI Transformers movies? The key words here are “positive parenting and good relationships”. It’s nothing to do with the media they are subjected to and relies solely on how these children are shown what’s right and wrong.
    My son plays plenty of what would be considered age inappropriate games (at 5 years of age, The Wheelman is one of his favourites) but he knows how to treat others and it’s Ben 10 and Super Heroes that determines his play with his peers.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Kalain

    I agree, the_deleted. I dont see the kids playing ‘Call of Duty’ in our street, but rather something they can relate too. Currently it is Ben 10 and Thomas the Tank Engine.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Blerk

    I still think people underestimate kids. All the ones I know how no problem whatsoever distinguishing the difference between fantasy and reality, and that what happens in a game or on the television is not always appropriate for ‘real life’. I often wonder if these people are wasting their time trying to protect children from a problem that doesn’t actually exist.

    There are plenty of reasons to prevent minors from accessing certain games which are inappropriate for their age, but I don’t believe games (or TV) can cause the long-term problems that many people seem to want to blame them for.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. thefaulkness

    I think the way to go is actually teaching children not to do these things in real life and to teach them the line between fiction and reality.
    Problem solved

    #5 4 years ago

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