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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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    The method one Redditor possibly used to leak some details from Destiny’s House of Wolves was the same one he used to predict the inventory of Xur: Agent of the Nine. Last week, Reddit user Megamanexe4 leaked a few pieces of House of Wolves expansion content. The leaks included strikes, new Crucible mode, and a […]

  • Mortal Kombat X is coming to iOS… as a card-battler

    Mortal Kombat X will be releasing on mobile devices in some form, just not the one you except. Mortal Kombat X is coming to Android and iOS devices as an extension of the main game. It will launch in April alongside the console versions. The mobile game will be part card collecting and part fighting […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain announcement coming this Wednesday

    Kojima Productions will unveil something about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain this Wednesday. Metal Gear Solid fans should standby for a Phantom Pain-related announcement on Wednesday, March 4. According to developer Kojima Productions’ Twitter, there’s going to be an announcement at 2pm GMT on Wednesday. The developer posted the following image. The image […]

  • Reader survey: time to let us get to know you better!

    We’d really appreciate it if you could fill in this survey about the websites you read and the games you buy. It massively helps! You can fill out the survey right here and obviously all the information you supply is confidential. It helps us build a better picture of the people who read our site […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium: here’s everything you get for $50

    Battlefield Hardline’s Premium membership will give players access to 4 new features, early access to expansion packs and more. EA detailed the offer today – it costs $50 in total (£40 in the UK) and gives players a whole bundle of new gear and content. Check it all out in handy list form below: Masks […]

  • Hayter’s gonna hate: the voice of Solid Snake wouldn’t answer my Metal Gear question

    Voice actor and Hollywood writer David Hayter discusses the differences between movies and games. And politely declines my leading question. “It might be fun to do a crazy, over-the-top film version of Saint’s Row.” Yeah, that headline is a bit cheap but you’re reading the work of a man who once asked the maker of […]

  • Xbox One bundle gets £100 price cut in UK

    Microsoft has knocked up to £100 off Xbox One bundles in the UK. The Xbox One with Kinect Assassin’s Creed bundle is now £100 cheaper and comes with a free £20 voucher to be spent on the official Microsoft online store. Over on the Xbox online store there’s a £70 price cut on the white […]

  • Pokemon Shuffle downloaded 1m times, free stuff given out to celebrate

    Free-to-play 3DS title Pokemon Shuffle has been downloaded over 1 million times. As a reward for playing the match-3 puzzle game Nintendo has gifted players a Complexity -1 item for free. The item reduces the difficulty of a level, according to Eurogamer. By all accounts Pokemon Shuffle is a cynical game with poorly implemented microtransactions. […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power sure is pretty

    FrozenByte Games has revealed Trine 3, due for release in 2015 And what better way to reveal a new side-scrolling adventure than with a very pretty trailer full of gameplay? The latest in a series that has already sold 7 million copies is earmarked for PC and “other” formats. Trine 2 released on PS3, PS3, […]

  • Dying Light takes UK number one

    A month since it was released on digital platforms, Dying Light’s physical release has topped the UK charts. Techland and Warner’s zombie survival game has proven to be one of the big hits of the year so far. It was released on digital formats a month ago but has only just been released on good-old […]

  • GTA 5: that’s some seriously accurate grenade throwing

    Think you can take down a jet plane with a grenade throw? This guy can. In fact, he can do it twice. This is in a variation on the player-created deathmatch “Stunters Versus Snipers” which seem to be all the rage in GTA Online at the moment. One team has a sniper rifle (and grenades) […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: Mother Base turns pink in the morning sun

    The Phantom Pain looks nice even when Kojima just takes a quick pic with his phone. Look at that beauty. We get nice reflection in pink at the first gray of dawn. pic.twitter.com/aERTBoZT9z — HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) March 2, 2015 The game doesn’t have a release date yet, which makes us a bit nervous for it […]

  • Dying Light: Underpant Gnomes and 9 other secrets you missed

    Dying Light still has legs – maybe because it’s crammed full of secret things to discover. Ten of those have been highlighted by TerraMantis’ latest YouTube video, including reference to the Underpant Gnomes, guitar lessons, farting zombies and well, we don’t want to spoil it for you. Even if you think you’ve seen everything in […]

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Raid Mode dance gestures are deadly

    Why blind ‘em with science when you could kill ‘em with dance moves? revelations raid When I say Resident Evil: Revelations 2‘s Raid Mode dance gestures are deadly, I’m not being figurative. If you finish the first chapter of Revelations 2 you can unlock Gina for use in Raid Mode. All characters can use gestures […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition mod enables male Blackwall romance, terrific joke

    “Male Inquisitors can now scale the wall,” says a clever Redditor. A new Dragon Age: Inquisition mod removes Blackwall’s romantic restrictions, allowing male Inquisitors to chat up the fuzzy-faced warrior. Blackwall doesn’t have any race preferences, so you’re good to go there. Dragon Age: Inquisition romance mods are pretty common by now, and to be […]

  • Destiny: it is possible to solo the Weekly Heroic

    Destiny players willing to faff about with their system clock can solo the Weekly Nightfall if they prefer. The Weekly Heroic is one of Destiny‘s toughest challenges. Responding to player feedback Bungie implemented matchmaking for the Weekly Heroic, but there are players who genuinely prefer to go it alone. There’s now no legitimate way to […]

  • Clayfighter remaster on the way, says Interplay

    A Clayfighter remake is inbound, apparently. Interplay has announced a Clayfighter remaster, combining the content of all past games into one package. Features include: Characters such as Bad Mr. Frosty, Blue Suede Goo, Earthworm Jim, Hoppy, Boogerman, Tiny – and more with over 20 characters total Over 20 familiar environments from the series to duke […]

  • The quickest way to climb in Dying Light

    Dying Light players! Are you sick of picking your way carefully up the sides of tall towers? Have I got a trick for you. The parkour system in Dying Light is okay, but climbing anywhere especially high can be a bit tedious. Enter Jesse Lester, who took a look at the tools available and worked […]

  • Bungie “always” looking at Exotic changes for Destiny updates

    Destiny developer Bungie won’t stop tinkering with Exotic weapons. In Destiny, Exotic weapons are supposed to be the best of the best – and to feel unique. Guns like Ice Breaker and Gjallahorn definitely hit the mark there (although less so when everyone has one), but unfortunately, there are a few that just don’t strike […]

  • Is Uncharted 4′s first trailer a tribute to Crash Bandicoot?

    Uncharted 4′s first proper trailer bears some remarkable similarities to the opening moments of a much earlier Naughty Dog game. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has more in common with Crash Bandicoot than you might think. It’s Naughty Dog’s first game on a new console, yes – but if you compare Uncharted 4′s E3 2014 […]

  • Sonic console games will continue, says Iizuka

    Sonic Team leader Takashi Iizuka has said there are no plans to stop making Sonic games. Sonic hasn’t retired from the ranks just yet. “Please rest assured, I personally have no plans to stop making Sonic games for home consoles,” Iizuka told 4Gamer [Japanese]. The comment arose after the site asked if Sonic would become […]

  • Stealth Inc. 2 coming to PSN, apparently

    Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones will soon be available on PlayStation platforms, if a trophy list is to be believed. Stealth Inc. 2 initially launched as a Wii U exclusive, disappointing fans of Curve Studios’ tough action game. We’ve heard nothing to contradict this, but Exophase, a generally reliable source, has dug up […]

  • Runescape developer has an “undisclosed MMO” in the works

    Runescape developer Jagex is working on something new. According to Jagex’s careers page, the developer has a new, unannounced game in the works. Its advertisement for a lead programmer makes explicit mention of an “undisclosed MMO”. The ad mentions the new title is in “the preliminary stages of redefining the cross platform MMORPG genre” and […]

  • Destiny PvP rewards system to be addressed

    Destiny developer Bungie has said it will change the way Crucible rewards work. Destiny players are always complaining about the perfidy of RNGesus, but there’s one area where it particularly hurts: the Crucible. PvP players often receive nothing at all for excellent performances, and sometimes Guardians receive the best drops merely for logging in as […]

  • Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 in the works for 3DS

    Azure Striker Gunvolt is getting a sequel. Azure Striker Gunvolt developer Inti Creates has confirmed that the sidescroller has been popular enough to warrant a second instalment. The sequel will also be released on 3DS, the team said on Facebook. Very little information is available at present, unfortunately. “As time goes on we will have […]

  • Life is Strange Episode 2 not delayed, says developer

    Life is Strange developer Dontnod Entertainment has said the second episode is on track for release this month. I guess it would know. Life is Strange Episode 2 has been expected on March 13, but late last week Square Enix told Destructoid it had been delayed. Dontnod has since denied this report, describing it as […]

  • First SteamVR game reveal is Job Simulator

    Job Simulator is the first game to be announced specifically for SteamVR, Valve’s virtual reality tech. Shoot Many Robots and Aaaaa! For the Awesome! developer Owlchemy Labs is the first team to put its hand up and say it’s worked with SteamVR. In a blog post, the studio unveiled Job Simulator, which will be playable […]

  • HTC, Valve partner for Vive VR headset

    The first SteamVR announce is a headset a manufactured by HTC, the Taiwanese mobile company revealed over the weekend. Valve told us last week it planned to unveil virtual reality hardware at GDC, calling it “SteamVR” at the time. Now HTC has pre-empted Valve by revealing Vive, a headset developed thanks to a collaboration between […]

  • Watch the Evolve Chappie Challenge tomorrow on Twitch

    Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2K and Turtle Rock Studios have announced a tournament being hosted by ESL, which will see Evolve players take on newest movie robot, Chappie. The ESL has teamed up with Twitch for the live 4 on 1 competitive event, and you can watch as it all unfolds tomorrow, March 1 at 3pm […]

  • If you’re attending PAX East, stop and have a look at Necropolis

    We haven’t heard much on Harebrained Schemes’ latest since it was announced in November, but today, the team has seen fit to release some interesting gifs of its a new project, Necropolis. Necropolis is a third-person action rogue-like with procedurally generated which can be “re-rolled mid-playthrough” and is headed to Linux, Mac and PC sometime […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online really is lovely, as these screenshots prove

    More Dragon’s Dogma Online screenshots have been released, and this batch is just as lovely as the last gallery we posted. Since this game will likely never leave Japan, the images are a bit of a salt rub for fans of the IP, but hopefully another entry in the series will be released at some […]

  • Action-RPG Death’s Gambit has a classic-Castlevania feel to it

    How would you like to become an agent of Death and rid the world of immortals? Then Death’s Gambit may just be the game for you. Announced by LA-based studio White Rabbit, the action-RPG with platforming elements tasks players with fighting gigantic enemies on an alien, medieval planet. Players will also encounter formidable beasts, knights, […]

  • Modder adds offline co-op into Resident Evil: Revelations 2

    PC users lamenting the lack of local, offline co-op in Resident Evil: Revelations 2 will be pleased to know a modder has remedied the omission. The mod, created by FluffyQuack, adds offline co-op mode to Episode 1 but the only caveat is players will need to use gamepads instead of mouse and keyboard (via Gamespot). […]

  • Number of Steam accounts with Dota 2 installed hits over 42 million

    Dota 2 has seen its installation rate jump 85% year-over-year, resulting in the MOBA now having close to 43 million installations worldwide. The figures were published via a report from video game research and consulting firm EEDAR, which studied Steam accounts daily to better understand the service’s player behavior and title performance. According to statistics […]

  • Nintendo issuing Eon Ticket codes for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

    Nintendo is handing out an Eon Ticket to Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire owners which will allow them to visit the Southern Island. Once a player arrives, depending on which version of the game they own, Pokemon Latios and Latias are able to be caught. The Eon Ticket was originally issued via StreetPass, but […]

  • Here’s a couple The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshots to brighten your day

    Two images for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have surfaced on the game’s Facebook page. Grabbed by Gamekyo, the images show Gerlat and Vesemir chatting with a fellow, and the other shows Geralt riding up to some ruins where some people have been hanged. CD Projekt Red will make an appearance at PAX East next […]

  • Hyrule Warriors Boss Pack DLC contains unlockable character – potential spoilers

    While you already know the next DLC for Hyrule Warriors will allow you to play as the gigantic beast Ganon, there’s a rather humorous unlockable character contained in it as well. Potential spoilers follow below. When the DLC arrived in Japan February 26, YouTuber moccos-tan IsedelicaAs posted a video of the unlockable character, which is […]

  • Star Trek Online players gather on Vulcan to pay respects to Leonard Nimoy

    Star Trek Online players paid tribute to Leonard Nimoy yesterday by gathering around a fountain on Vulcan, the home planet of Spock in the Star Trek series. According to a post by barnacle999 on reddit, when he logged into the MMO “there were around 20 full instances and several partial,” culminating in around 1000 players […]