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Study – 75% of parents believe violence in video games contribute to violence in the US

Friday, 11 January 2013 14:50 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Common Sense Media has released the results of a study conducted in the US, which found that 75% of parents surveyed believe violence in video games contributes to violence in
the United States.

The survey was conducted January 4-5, 2013, and 1,050 parents across 50 states with a child of under 18 years living at home participated.

Of those, 89% felt violence in today’s video games is a “problem,” and 75% felt shielding children from violence is “difficult.”

All parents were shown a video advertisement for Hitman: Absolution, and 84% felts the advertisement was “inappropriate to show on TV at a time when
children are watching.”

In fairness, we personally never saw the ad aired at a time when children would be watching – then again, we don’t watch a copious amount of television. When we do, it’s usually TBS or Adult Swim.

Participants were also asked if movie and video game ratings allowed parents to make informed decisions about violent content. 68% said “Yes”, 23% said “No” and 9% weren’t sure.

77% felt violence on TV and in movies contributed to overall violence in the US as well, and 64% said violent toys were also a factor. 92% said bullying also contributed to violence.

In all, 93% of parents admitted that a lack of supervision for children contributed to violence.

You can read the full results here.

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26 Comments

  1. OlderGamer

    I do, that is all.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. YoungZer0

    Ignorant people believing in ignorant things.

    Moving on.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. miketheiron

    These kinds of surveys are a terrible distraction. The idea that the surveyed opinion of individual parents, only monitoring their own children, can have anything substantial to add to the very wide-reaching subject of the behavioural effects of videogame portrayals of violence is preposterous.

    This is an incredibly important subject, and must be treated appropriately. As such, only properly conducted research can usefully inform the discussion – hearsay and speculation (of which this survey is a perfect example) is less than useless, it negatively affects the quality of the debate.

    By all means engage parents, but simply taking their opinions and presenting them as some form of analysis, rather than the raw data it is, is dangerous.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DrDamn

    The last one is the headline stat. “93% of parents admitted that a lack of supervision for children contributed to violence.”. So the conclusion of where the problem lies is …

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Ireland Michael

    Here’s an obvious question.

    If 75% of parents think that violence in video games causes violent behaviour… then why are they buying them for their kids in their first place?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. sonny

    7% of parents said that parenting had nothing to do with it.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Deacon

    I would expect this tbh. A lot of these parents probably have little knowledge of games in general.

    I hope that as the years progress and 80′s/90′s kids become the parents that these statistics aren’t quite so negative.

    These 89% probably still buy little Jimmy his CoD every year.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. viralshag

    @5, That’s usually when the “I don’t buy it for them but they play it at a friends house” statement, or something like it, comes in.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Ireland Michael

    @8 Which is probably bull in most cases. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen parents in my local video store buying stuff like Grand Theft Auto for their 6 year old.

    Spineless parents have only themselves to blame.

    I don’t believe that violent video game inherently cause violent behaviour, but I don’t let my kids near any of the few overly graphic or overly violent games that I own, simply because I don’t think young kids don’t need that sort of visual stimuli in their life on a regular basis. As they get older, they can make the decision for themselves.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. OlderGamer

    The thing is I didn’t say cause. I agree that they contribute. As does all media. As does almost all of the pressures on childern, internal and external. Hell it is in our genetic code. But to be so dedicated to your hobby that you can’t even admit that yes, games do influence people is rather one sided imo.

    This debate has been done to death. But there is a hella lot more to it then just simply bad parrents. But yes ignorant parenting is also a contributer. Tbh, there is a lot of blame to go around. But I doubt banning, limiting or even slightly restricing violent games will solve anything.

    I didn’t have games when I was growing up, didn’t stop me and my friends from pretending to kill each other. We called it Cowboys and Indians. We saw them on TV, and we played them in the backyard.

    I don’t think game cause violent outbursts, ie cause school shooting. I think kids today are under extreme social pressures that didn’t exsist 40 years ago. Bullying is an extreme problem too(worse then it used to be imo), because there is no where to get away from it. I used to come home and the social crowd was gone. Todays kids come home and log into something(facebook, twitter, XBL, even turning on their phones/texts) and those same kids that hounded them all day long can pop up and be right in their faces again.

    It has to be tuff. I wouldn’t want to be a kid again, not in todays world.

    And while sometimes violent gaming can be a triger for violent outbursts, often times violent gaming is an outlet instead(where is the study to show gaming reduces tension and displays of violence)? But games or not the problem is still there lurking underneath the surface, imo.

    So do I think violent games contribute? Yes I do.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Kabby

    In America it’s always someone else’s fault.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. blackdreamhunk

    how about research into mind alter drugs

    The Truthseeker: Schools, Guns & Drugs (E6)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1VzKb7IUGk

    #12 2 years ago
  13. YoungZer0

    It’s the suicide pills, the massmurder pills! We have to stop those! 1776 will commence again!

    Just ask yourself this: How many great white sharks kill people every year but they are afraid to swim?

    Exactly! There is no metal shark in the water!

    #13 2 years ago
  14. blackdreamhunk

    @13

    Edward Bernays Jedi mind tricks don’t work on me. Do you have statics on drugs (pills) vs guns deaths before you go speaking?

    Did Tony Blair and Gorge Bush ever find their weapons of mass destruction in Iraq ?

    Did you ever ask your self question who owns the media?

    #14 2 years ago
  15. YoungZer0

    @14: Lol, you think i was being serious? :D

    Anyway, watch that video to understand what i’m talking about:

    http://youtu.be/371FxceOb-Y

    This guy is fucking hilarious.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. blackdreamhunk

    yea it is funny I have to admit lol

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Cobra951

    The idiocy never ends, especially while the media focuses on it in its feeding frenzy over a tragedy. I wonder how many of those parents remember what they did for entertainment as children, particularly the fathers. I played war, and cowboys and indians with other kids. I also had a Sheridan Blue Streak 5mm pellet rifle and a 40-lb fiberglass bow at the age of 12. I should be a mass murderer now, according to the “wisdom” of 3 out of 4 surveyed parents.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. sh4dow

    @4: Exactly. But nobody dares to tell people that they’re shitty parents. Just like nobody dares to tell people that it’s not such a good idea to keep reproducing like crazy anyway. For different reasons but both are the probably biggest issues involving children today.
    There are too many of them as it is, yet people keep pushing one out after the other, so that there are yet even more they can not pay enough attention to and screw up in other ways as well.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. YoungZer0

    @18: It’s only dumb people that are reproducing like crazy (What’s a condom?), which is why people in general are getting dumber.

    Honey Boo Boo. That is all the prove you need.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Cobra951

    @19, yes, idiocracy. Here in the US we paid the most indigent to have the most children for decades. See the results now.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. orakaa

    @12 : EXACTLY
    In most mass murdering cases, killers were under psychiatric meds whose side-effects included “violent behaviors”, “suicidal tendencies”, etc.
    My own aunt received psychiatric meds because she was advised to do so by her “doctor” for many years.
    She went from being a normal person to try to kill her brother (my own father) in front of me.

    So you’ll hear video games, guns, etc, to be blamed in public media… but most of the time, nothing on those drugs (who once again, are recognized to generate aggressive behaviors, NOT video games)

    #21 2 years ago
  22. deathm00n

    What I always say: It’s natural to have the need to beat something, kill something, yell at something, it’s of the nature of the human being. Some people have this feeling more than others, some people are stressed out to the point where this become a predominant feeling. Normally, people who play video games have their chance to discharge this, if I kill someone in COD I feel awarded and I have fun, you leave your stress at the digital enemies. But if even after playing you still need to kill something and still stressed then you have something wrong, some medicine, mental problem, psychiatric problem. I’m just stating my opinion, this is what I think, since when I’m really stressed I simply play and minutes later I’m fine, I feel calm.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. sh4dow

    @20: It’s not just in the US. The whole global economy is based on never-ending expansion. Which is why many countries give financial incentives to people for “breeding”. It helps… no, is required… to meet their profit projections.
    I just hope I won’t be alive any more when those morons finally realize that you simply can’t do that on a planet with finite resources. But… I think it’s more likely that the “problem humanity” will resolve itself before it even reaches that point anyway. Unfortunately.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Diingo

    Before movies, games & music – humans were contributing to violence.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. a7md1990

    If they believe it so much, why do they keep buying them those +18 games?

    #25 2 years ago
  26. SinAscendant

    I find this pretty suspect.

    In the first place, they state their margin of error to be +-1.7%. That would require a sample size of nearly 6000 people, not 1050. 1050 gives an approximately 4% margin of error.

    Also, I’m not sure where the 75% number came from, as the study itself says “45% believe it is a major problem and 44% believe it is a minor problem), which adds up to 89% anyway.

    Then there is the fact that they skewed the study by showing the violent video game advert early on in the study, which of course will change the answers given after they’ve viewed it.

    And of course there are things such as “Does the current system of movie and video game ratings allow parents to make informed decisions about content” in which 32% answered no or unsure, which signifies a lack of understanding and comprehension among almost a third of the study group.

    Then you run into other kinds of sampling bias, such as the people who think studies on violent video games are ridiculous and refuse to take them, or people with unlisted numbers (who are generally going to be just slightly more technologically adept than the others, I would think), or other categories with similar situations.

    Basically, there’s no way to know if these answers were skewed; and in any case the introduction of an extremely violent video game ad, and the wording of the question, skew peoples’ perceptions and cause them to be more likely to answer in the negative. You also have to factor in the fact that they are talking to a real person (I assume, I could be wrong on that one) which also makes them more likely to choose the route that would be seen as ‘right’ by the other person.

    #26 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Sony Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida is a playable character in Super Time Force Ultra, and today, Capy Games has provided a couple images of the man himself in the game. Yoshida was announced as a playable character in the game during Sony’s PlayStation Experience event back in December 2014. The PS4 and Vita version will […]

  • The wait is almost over – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has gone gold

    CD Projekt RED has announced the news we’ve all been waiting to hear: The Witcher 3 has gone gold. This means Geralt’s latest, and possibly last, adventure has been sent to the factory to be pressed into lovely gaming discs. “We worked so damn hard over the past three years to bring you this game,” […]

  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a “couple weeks out from beta,” new trailer

    Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is just a “couple of weeks out from beta,” according to development studio The Chinese Room, and a release date will be announced “shortly.” To give you an idea of how development has been coming along since it was announced at gamescom 2013, the team has released a new trailer […]

  • GTA 5 on PC looks incredible, but I can’t recommend it to console players

    As much as Matt Martin loves GTA 5, he can’t recommend upgrading from console to PC just for a slick editing suite and even prettier graphics. “This is the third time in as many years that I’ve bought GTA 5.” I have a Grand Theft Auto 5 obsession, as I’m sure you know if you’ve […]

  • The Forest engine updated to Unity 5, major graphical and gameplay improvements made

    The Forest’s latest patch added substantial improvements to the game. The Forest version 0.16 is now live on Steam with plenty of new additions. The game has been ported over to Unity engine version 5. The plant and skin shaders have been replaced or rewritten. Many other visual tweaks have been made, such as model […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront banner leaks from Star Wars Convention

    EA has been setting up the Battlefront booth at Star Wars Celebration, and one leaked picture shows what could be the game’s main art. Someone on Reddit posted a picture of the game banner at EA’s booth. Here it is: Lots of things happening here. There’s a Star Destroyer in the distance, TIE Fighters and […]

  • Get GTA 5 working with Oculus Rift using this tool

    There’s a way you can play GTA 5 in VR if you own an Oculus Rift Dev Kit and have a bit of cash to spare. VorpX, the go-to program for adding VR support to games has received an update recently to support GTA 5. This is far from perfect, as it only translates the […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 15 team revealed

    This week’s Team of the Week is now available for anyone to challenge in FIFA Ultimate Team. The team members get selected each week based on their performance during the weekend matches. You can fire up FIFA Ultimate Team on any platform and challenge this squad. You’ll also find some Team of the Week items […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will let you stealth all encounters, including bosses

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will bring back one of the original game’s major features. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is considered by many to be a great game and worthy of bearing the franchise name. One of its grating issues though was its boss fights. You only had one way to fight them: be confrontational. The […]

  • Project Cars PC specs and supported wheels announced

    The release date of Project Cars is inching ever closer and more details have been revealed to answer all your burning questions. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios has revealed the full list of supported steering wheels on all platforms, as well as the minimum and recommended PC specs. Minimum specs CPU – 2.66 GHz […]

  • GTA 5 gets custom FOV mod on PC

    Those not satisfied with GTA 5′s built-in field of view slider can use a new mod to push the number even further. The PC versions of GTA 5 – just like its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts – lets you switch between third and first-person view in shooting and driving. The game has an FOV […]

  • Win! GTA 5 on PC!

    Want to win a Steam key for Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC? Just enter here. GTA 5 released on PC this week and is going down a storm. We like it a lot, which is why we’re giving away a Steam code for Rockstar’s latest. All you need to do is enter your email […]

  • GTA 5 topples Skyrim’s record for highest concurrent players on Steam

    Not factoring in Valve games, GTA 5 is the new king of concurrent player numbers on Steam. GTA 5 is very popular on PC, even more popular than games like Skyrim in its heyday. The number of concurrent players for GTA 5 has peaked today at 301,246. This makes it the only non-Valve game to […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: what does a modern fighting game look like?

    Mortal Kombat continues to evolve as NetherRealm adds RPG systems and daily challenges to a solid fighting game, says Sherif Saed. “Mortal Kombat X takes many cues from games like Destiny, Call of Duty, and GTA Online with hourly, daily and weekly events.” For as many of its familiar facets, Mortal Kombat X has enough […]

  • J-Stars Victory VS+ coming west in June – new trailer

    J-Stars Victory VS+ will make the jump (see what I did there) to the west after all. J-Stars Victory VS+ is the western title for the fighting game which stars characters from a variety of Shonen Jump-published manga. Bandai Namco has announced the fighter will release in Europe on June 26 and in the Americas […]

  • Codemasters F1 license good through 2016

    Codemasters has at least one more F1 game in it. F1 2015 isn’t out yet, so Codemasters is naturally not talking about what it might get up to in the future. We do know what it can get up to, though; Codemasters’ Steven Embling told Videogamer has the option to continue the series. “We have […]

  • Project Cars has pretty deep graphics options on consoles

    Project Cars offers players a wide variety of ways to customise their graphic settings on PS4 and Xbox One. Project Cars is a graphics showcase and all early indications suggest it’s going to be one of the best-looking games out there. Slightly Mad’s commitment to graphics seems to go deeper than making things pretty, though: […]

  • Super Smash Bros. patch nerfs Diddy Kong – report

    Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U is great but Diddy Kong is a beast and must be stopped. The latest Super Smash Bros. 3Ds and Wii U patch seems to have nerfed Diddy Kong, a character so over-powered that serious tournament players generate controversy by choosing to use him. Nintendo doesn’t publish patch notes, […]

  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer shuttered

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer 2K Australia has been closed down. Kotaku broke the news, and also had word from an anonymous source, who said that all staff have been let go. 2K responded to our request for comment with the following statement: We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process […]

  • Samorost 3 trailer shows Amanita still in fine form

    Samorost 3 looks as delicately beautiful as its siblings. Samarost 3 developer Amanita Design has a reputation for gorgeous, slightly surreal world building. This new trailer for its latest adventure looks just as if not more lovely than the previous Samarost games and Botanicula. Samarost 3 is coming to Mac and PC later this year, […]

  • Amnesia dev’s new project SOMA now in beta

    SOMA is nearly here and I am torn between excitement and horrified dread. SOMA is the latest horror project from Frictional, the team behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent. We’re pretty excited to see what Frictional comes up with next, and we won’t have too long to wait, apparently; the developer has announced that SOMA is […]

  • Steam Guard mobile authenticator now in beta testing

    Steam is now testing its latest security measure. Steam helps you protect your account by offering two-factor authentication, a solution so beautifully elegant and effective that it’s astounding every gaming network doesn’t do the same (looking at you, Sony). Valve’s version is called Steam Guard, and it works via email. This isn’t always super convenient, […]

  • Godzilla battles Mothra in new trailer

    Godzilla lets you stomp around cities and battle classic kaiju. I’m in. Godzilla is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 in early July, but we haven’t seen a great deal of it since its December reveal. The new trailer below gives you an idea of just what Natsume has done with one of the biggest […]

  • Tales of Zestiria to launch this year – new trailer

    Tales of Zestiria continues Bandai Namco’s delightful new habit of bringing the popular JRPG series to the west before the shine wears off. Tales of Zestiria is coming west in northern autumn, the publisher has announced. That’s not a bad turnaround, given it first hit Japan in January, and localisation of text-heavy titles is expensive […]

  • Project Cars release date locked down, new trailer released

    Project Cars finally has a release date. Project Cars will release on May 8, Bandai Namco UK has announced. We haven’t yet had an update from Namco Bandai’s other regional offices, but its probably safe to bet the racer will release around the same time in the Americas, Europe and ANZ region. We can now […]

  • Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains trailer shows combat, online multiplayer

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains has plenty to offer fans of the anime. Previously known as Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, the Spike Chunsoft action game is coming west thanks to Atlus. Gematsu reports it’s due in both Europe and North America in May, via the 3DS eShop. The trailer below […]

  • Bloodborne stamina recovery rate affected by equip weight

    Bloodborne players have unearthed an important gameplay detail not mentioned in the game’s menus or manual. In Bloodborne, players need to manage their stamina carefully for best results. A far more aggressively-tuned affair than past Souls games, Bloodborne does away with equip weight limits, and items have no listed weight details. As far as players […]

  • Street Fighter’s Ryu, Fire Emblem’s Roy spotted in Super Smash Bros. patch – rumour

    Street Fighter’s Ryu is rumoured for future Super Smash bros DLC following datamining of the latest patch. Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U were updated recently, and hacker shinyquagsire23 claims to have found some interesting files while poking around in the 3DS patch data. As detailed on Reddit, the audio files included a new […]

  • Suikoden 3 PEGI rating suggests PS2 Classic re-release

    Suikoden. Suikoden 2. And now: Suikoden 3. Suikoden 3 has been rated by PEGI for PlayStation 3, presumably ahead of an upcoming re-release. Gematsu turned up the rating, and although we have no further information at this time, it’s not much a leap to assume the RPG will turn up as a PS2 Classic on […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront gameplay reveal to be streamed live, new Instagram tease

    The Star Wars Battlefront gameplay reveal will be live-streamed during a panel hosted by EA as part of the Star Wars Celebration festivities this Friday. This is according to an announcement from Verizon and Disney courtesy of MP1ST. The main stream for the event kicks off at 10am PDT/1pm EDT on Thursday, April 16. It […]

  • GameStop to launch retro game and console trade-in experiment

    GameStop wants to get into the retro game and console business, providing it’s a worthwhile endeavor. To test the possibility, it will soon allow customers in Birmingham, Alabama and New York City to trade-in classic consoles and games in-store. Speaking with IGN, a spokesperson for the company said the initiative will kick off on April […]

  • Battlefield Hardline’s first patch addresses five priority issues requested by the community

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch is in the works, and today, Visceral Games has added Punkbuster and Nvidia DirectX driver fixes to the list of issues to be addressed. Miscellaneous fixes for “the most frequent crashes” will be included in the patch, as well as the following “top five priority” issues voiced by the community. Punkbuster […]

  • GTA 5 user videos: Franklin’s exploits, a traffic jam tickle our funny bone

    Since GTA 5 was released on PC this week, the amount of videos being created with the new editing tools are releasing at a quick rate. Below, are three in particular I found amusing. The first one is from James McVinnie, originally posted on Reddit, showing what occurs after he happens upon vehicles in a […]

  • Invisible Inc. is coming to PS4 and has left Steam Early Access

    Invisible Inc., from Don’t Starve developers Klei Entertainment, has been announced for PlayStation 4 and the game has also a release date on PC. The game has now left Steam Early Access and will arrive on PC May 12. Per a post from studio founder Jamie Cheng on the PS Blog, the game will contain […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Ascendance DLC dated for PC and PlayStation

    The Ascendance DLC pack for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare now has a release date for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4. It contains four new maps, the OHM 2-in-1 directed energy light machine gun, the OHM Werewolf custom variant, and the new Exo Grapple ability and playlist. The Infection episode of the exo Zombies saga […]

  • Killing Floor 2 PC specs and Digital Deluxe Edition contents announced by Tripwire

    A Digital Deluxe Edition for Killing Floor 2 along with PC specs for the title have been announced, along with the new of a Steam Early Access launch later this month. According to Tripwire Interactive, the Digital Deluxe Edition will run you $39.99/£26.99/€36.99 starting on April 21 on Steam. This edition contains the following additions […]

  • Content in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood tips its hat to Return to Castle Wolfenstein

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, the standalone prequel to last year’s Wolfenstein: The New Order, will contain a few nods to the franchise classic Return to Castle Wolfenstein, according to the developers. According to developer MachineGames, the setting works “well with the pulp B-movie thing we’re going for,” and created a prequel instead of DLC for […]

  • Bloodborne is the latest to receive the Honest Game Trailers treatment

    Smosh Games has released another entry in its Honest Game Trailers series, and this time, it’s poking Bloodborne. According to the trailer, the game is “more disturbing” than the scene in South Park: The Stick of Truth where you are “crushed by your own Dad’s balls.” It also has more “stupid top hats than a […]