Survey Says Parents Feel Video Game Violence Contributes to Real World Violence

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News Posted: Fri, Jan 11 2013 11:28 AM
Give it some time and when Grand Theft Auto V is released this Spring, underage gamers who somehow manage to get their hands on the title will be stuffing people in trunks in real life, right? You know that's nonsense, and I know that's nonsense, but there's a general consensus among parents that violent video games are leading to real-world violence.

It's an argument we've heard a million times before, one that ignores the horrible things people have done to one another throughout history, from the rarely mentioned Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, to the twisted medieval torture devices that were invented long before the Xbox 360, or even the Atari 2600, for that matter. Lest I go off on a tangent here, let me back it up and present some findings of a survey commissioned by SurveyUSA and conducted by Common Sense Media and the Center for America Progress.

Atari 2600

Out of 1,050 parents of children up to the age of 18, some 89 percent indicated that nationwide violence in today's video games is a problem. Three quarters of the respondents admitted it was difficult to shield children from violence, presumably in the real-world (the survey wasn't clear on that part).

One thing I found particularly interesting is that after being shown advertisements for Hitman: Absolution and the movie Gangster Squad, 84 percent of parents said the game's ad was inappropriate to show on TV during times that children might be viewing, compared to 63 percent who felt the same way about the movie. That's not a large enough sample of ads (or parents) to draw any kind of meaningful conclusion, but I find myself intrigued about the disparity between those who take exception to violent movies versus violent video games.

Grand Theft Auto V

To be fair, video games weren't the only thing parents feel leads to real-world violence. The vast majority -- 93 percent -- pointed to lack of supervision as a major contributing factor, followed by bullying (92 percent) and on down the list to violent toys (64 percent).

There's lots to digest in the survey. Grab your PDF reader, give it a once-over, and then sound off in the comments section below. Specifically, let us know what you think about violent video games as it pertains to real-world violence.
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lipe123 replied on Fri, Jan 11 2013 12:44 PM

100% of me believe that violent kids is a result of bad parenting where parent have yelling matches at each other instead of acting like adults are supposed to.

Just look at the attitude of the kids on any kind of game online today, most disrespectful bunch of brats I've ever seen in my life. Why are their parents not present to give them a good whack to the head when they swear like sailors and spew loads of garbage at the other gamers online.

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RWilliams replied on Fri, Jan 11 2013 1:48 PM

I wish I could give you multiple thumbs-up. This is absolutely true. I live in an apartment that happens to have a ton of families, and all I hear from a lot of them is screaming and fighting. And you know what? A lot of those kids ARE brats. Instead of actually being a good parent, I guess it's easier to back-down and just blame something else.

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I blame Space Invaders, where your only goal was to slaughter aliens.

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KOwen replied on Fri, Jan 11 2013 3:07 PM

Breaking news, people who don't understand or participate in a medium think it's dangerous. Why does personal responsibility always take a back seat? If violence in the media is a problem then you are saying there is a problem with human nature, because violence is fascinating and exciting to us and it sells in the millions. At least we aren't throwing people to the lions and having live gladiatorial games anymore, right? "Movies [and other entertainment mediums] don't make psychos, they just make psychos more creative" - Scream

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"Why does personal responsibility always take a back seat?"

Because media idiots and politicians chose to put it there. Whenever a child goes hungry to school or whenever he or she bullies or acts violently towards others we are told this is a social problem; something that society (meaning government) needs to put right. You've heard it literally 100s of times over the decades and of course the problem never does get fixed, *ever*. It offers an easy way out for bad parents, a rationalization for the lack of contribution to the well-being of their own children. These are the sort of parents who wouldn't dare to partake in a little introspection for fear of reawakening a conscience, or with too much fat between the ears to know what introspection is, and, let's be honest, are the sort of parents who are quite happy to finance themselves and their children with taxpayer lolly. The rest are Chardonnay bubble-heads parroting popular myths.

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Jan 11 2013 5:57 PM

Considering the percentage of Americans that don't believe in evolution, and that 25% of people polled had a strong opinion on the "Panetta-Burns plan", this is not unexpected.

I don't care how many violent video-games you have played, you're probably not going to shoot any place up unless you have other untreated mental issues and easy access to guns. One part of my solution would be to make the parents equally responsible for any crimes committed by a child living under their roof - that would encourage them to be better parents. People need to make sure they get their kids help when they need it, and don't leave their guns accessible to minors.

And, if I'm crazy and video games do turn kids into violent shooters, then why aren't there like 20 school shootings every day? The percentage of school shootings is still statistically insignificant when compared to the total number of kids playing Black Ops. We had shootings at schools before there even were video games - the current number of shootings is probably more correlated with population and class size than it is with anything else.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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