Poll suggests 58% of Americans blame violent games for violent acts

Tuesday, 26th February 2013 10:11 GMT By Dave Cook

Survey group Harris Interactive has conducted a poll that suggests 58% of adult Americans believe there is a correlation between teenage violence and violent videogames.

VentureBeat reports that the poll found that three in five adult Americans – equating to 58% – blame violence in games for acts of teenage violence.

The survey was completed by just 2,278 American adults.

38% of participants said they had no knowledge of the ESRB’s age-rating system for games, while 66% of households with child gamers said that they use ESRB ratings when informing their game purchases.

That said, only 14% of people surveyed said they actually understood the ESRB ratings, and that 18% said they fully understood them.

47% of people consulted said that they are’t confident in the ESRB’s ability to stop children from playing adult-rated games, while 33% of people consulted said that they let their kids play any games they like. Instead, the majority of participants said they felt more assured by TV and movie ratings.

Harris Poll president Mike de Vere said of the findings, “The findings underscore the lack of awareness Americans have about the video game rating system, as well as the confusion in the market.

“They also factor into a larger discussion playing out across our country and on a political stage around how violent games impact our youth, with President Obama recently announcing his desire to look into ways to fund research examining the impact of violent video games on children.”

What’s your take? Is a larger test sample needed? Is there a link between violence and games? The debate trundles on.

Thanks Joystiq.



  1. DeVitowned

    99% of Americans are stupid fucking sheep. Why couldn’t I have been born Canadian? Or Dutch…

    #1 2 years ago
  2. CyberMarco

    ^ Or Greek, hahahaha! :P

    #2 2 years ago
  3. GwynbleiddiuM

    That 58% are exactly what is wrong with America.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. The Auracle

    Why are more studies needed when there are already multiple studies citing the same conclusion: violent video games do increase aggression but there is no link between someone taking that aggression out on – for example – a school full of children.

    The FBI – by the words of their own ex-director – has said that they do not see violent video games as the source the extreme violent ideology but rather something that they will use to justify said ideology that was already there. In other words: video game can be just as culpable as a film, a book, or the next [insert controversial artist] album.

    I can see where people are coming from saying: “Well, what’s the harm in looking again?” There isn’t any… but when you’ve got funding with political strings attached, it’s not going to end well. The fact remains that there are people who enjoy all forms of violent media that know for a fact what they are viewing/playing/listening to/reading is a work of fiction and re-enacting what they have seen/heard/read/played then blaming it on said work of fiction is not justifiable.

    It’s high time people took responsibility for their own actions. The end.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Gnosis

    Yeah and during the 18th centry ppl thought that reading books everyday would lead to an addiction and destroy their brains. After the invention of the telephone some smartasses claimed that ppl will never leave their houses ever ever again and will stop visiting their friends. There’s a clear pattern of “OMFG!!111 IT’S NEW AND WE’RE TOO STOOPID TO UNDERSTAND IT!!!11 IT’S DANGEROUS!!!” here. Of course it’s hard to predict how it will affect our medium of gaming, but judging by the experience… the others did pretty well *shrug*

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Samoan Spider

    @4 Couldn’t have said it better. More studies won’t help clear this culture that has festered in most of the western world. That someone else is always to blame.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Kabby

    The ESRB system is shit.

    1) Most Americans not too bright when it comes to media and technology.
    2) Using a system that uses arbitrary letters to indicate ratings is bad.

    Combine these two issues and you have a problem.

    The ESRB should move to a BBFC/PEGI number system that denotes the age rating directly on the box. A huge ’16′ is far more descriptive than a jaunty angled ‘T’.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. _LarZen_

    So many uneducated people…it’s just sad.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Digital Bamboo

    Wow…these numbers…WOW.

    Less than 20% understand the ESRB ratings? Seriously? All that is required to understand them is knowing what the word “Everyone” and “Teen” mean, the rest is explained by numbers (10+ , 17+) There’s even little descriptions of specific game content beside the rating. If you have kids, you literally only need to know the meaning of two ratings–Teen & Mature–both self-explanitory, as Adults only is basically never used.

    “47% of people consulted said that they are’t confident in the ESRB’s ability to stop children from playing adult-rated games” Well no fucking shit. I guess 47% of parents consulted expect their kids to raise themselves.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHRGG!!!??!??!@@ No more, I can’t take it.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Fin

    Why not move to an age-based system (like BBFC/PEGI)? It’d solve the problem of people not understanding the current ratings.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Samoan Spider

    @10 I don’t think it will change that much. People would understand it, but then it’ll be the poor parenting part that shines. I was queuing in CeX the other day (I know, I’m a sinner) and I watched as a kid of maybe 8-10 ran up to his mum at the counter, handed her Black Ops 2 and said ‘Can I have this aswell?’ and the mum added it to the pile of boxes in her hand. So the problem is not the information, its the people that just aren’t used to saying NO to their kids.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. musicflow69

    Those 58% are the type of people who bash stuff which they do not understand. Do you guys remember What happened when the new Batman movie came out? The exact same thing. Every time I ever went to the store to buy a game. Even when I buy Cd’s and dvd’s they asked me my age at the registers. Trust me the big M then the Mature 17+ is easy enough to see. I know for a fact games do not cause Violence. If anything it decreases it. If games was the cause you would see millions of more out breaks then you do now. Some kids are just not raised correctly. I bet most people who do crazy violent things. Was not raised correctly. Maybe they was even abused or bullied at school. Maybe even on drugs.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. roadkill

    @3 Well said Sir! :)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Vice

    Why are americans so stuuuuuuuupiiiiiid zomfg >.<

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Telepathic.Geometry

    Well, in fairness, it’s probably more a question of “Why does America have such a fucked up news network?”

    #15 2 years ago
  16. ALEX427

    nooooo!!!the shepleeEE strike back TWO. PEGI 16.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Christopher Jack

    It’s societies fault for violence. Media such as video games are just a scapegoat used by the ignorant in an attempt to shroud the real issues because living in blissful ignorance is easier until you’re the victim.

    Even though I wasn’t around back then, I could bet the exact same bullshit was applied to music (& I could bet that it was by the exact same rednecked, backwards thinking demographic).

    I don’t think that guns are the problem but they are needlessly deadly tools that make the issue all the more dangerous by that extension, certainly contribute to it.

    #17 2 years ago

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