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

Friday, 11th 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.



  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)

    #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


    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:

    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.