Majority of Americans believe video games increase violence

By on November 17, 2010, 4:08 PM
According to a new survey, most Americans believe violent video games make people more violent in reality. Rasmussen Reports asked 1,000 US adults a series of heavily debated questions about violent games and discovered that 54% of the participants blame such titles for increased violence in society. The results also showed that 69% of those polled are either "somewhat concerned" or "very concerned" about the level of violence in today's games.

Meanwhile, 65% believe states should have the power to prohibit the distribution of violent titles to minors -- something that the Supreme Court is currently debating. Conversely, only 5% of respondents think the government should be chiefly responsible for regulating the amount of sex and violence children are exposed to in video games, while 71% say it's the duty of parents -- though that last tidbit varies between those with and without kids.


Parents are more likely to claim responsibility, whereas those without children say it's up to the game industry to make safe games. It's also interesting that adults with children are less worried about violent games than those without, and unsurprisingly, the study found that the older you are, the more likely you are to be concerned about game violence. We imagine most of you are bloodthirsty hipsters, but what's your take on the state of violent games?




User Comments: 55

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KG363 KG363 said:

Has anyone seen Penn & Teller's BS on Video games and violence? Find a way to watch it now.

PaulWuzHere PaulWuzHere said:

It's the parents responsibility to know what their children are doing and what they are exposed to. Should people blame pharmaceutical companies if their kids are abusing drugs? No

Wake up America. Turn off the T.V. sometimes and talk to your family and see whats going on. Little Johnny probably shouldn't be playing L4D2 at age 10.

KG363 KG363 said:

paulwuzhere said:

Little Johnny probably shouldn't be playing L4D2 at age 10.

Nothing wrong with that. I was playing moral combat as early as I can remember. Games don't make you violent. In fact, school violence is down 50% since the mid 1990's which is attributed to the rise in violent video games

pgbsamurai said:

A friend of mine brought up a good point. Think of all of the stories of video games leading an individual to violence. Now think of all of the individuals that have participated in sports riots in the past year....

Which do you think causes more violence?

No one talks about banning sports though, do they?

Guest said:

54% is hardly most, if it was an election it would be a recount there is so little difference

and 1000 people is not really even a survey, what areas did this cover?

Kel

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Fair enough guest, the title has been adjusted to "Majority of.."

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I'm a parent with two children and my 6 year old daughter plays quite a lot of video games on all the major platforms including the PC. I control what games she gets to play and I make sure she's not exposed to anything too violent. As for the violent content that she has seen I spend plenty of time going over fantasy and reality. As a matter of fact, even with her cartoons I spend plenty of time making sure she understands the difference - so she doesn't go bash someone in the head with something because she saw it happen on Sponge Bob. It's completely up to the parents to control what influences their children. If there are external things that you have no control over their exposure to then it's up to the parent to explain why these things are not appropriate behavior in a civilized population.

And for what it's worth I play plenty of violent games - just not around my kids.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

So I'm curious as to how many of these parents who believe this have actually sat down and played a game themselves. I'm sure most are just sheep being told this is "evil" by their local politician and/or religious leader.

It's all in the parenting, folks. Has nothing to do with a game.

Guest said:

I'm really sick of hearing about how much "parents" are concerned about violent video games. If they're really afraid that their kid is so easily swayed by media (not just games) into committing real acts of violence, talking to their kid about what kind of video games they're allowed to play isn't what they should be worried about. This is a matter of censorship, and censoring is hardly ever the answer to problems. We need to educate children, not shelter them and sweep things under a rug, so while they grow up they're ready to take the world head on. The focus should not be on video games just because it seems like an easy answer. In the end, it's up to the parents how they want to raise their children, not the government. This, and many other issues, are meant to stay inside the home.

Eddo22 said:

Did they hand pick them too? I've been playing shooters and fighting games since I was young and to be honest, hurting people is something I absolutely hate to do.

Ahmed90 Ahmed90 said:

why its always video games what about hmm:

- Movies ?

- TV Series ?

- Everyday NEWS ? war here war there bomb there 20 killed etcetc...

- Sport ? WWE and stuff like that ?

- Cartoons ? even in cartoons there is some cartoons with violence and evil stuff ...

Guest said:

There are movies out there that are violent as hell (SAW for example)

And there are love movies our there

Drama, Action, Mystery, Horror, PORN

Yes porn is legal and there is TONS of it out there

There's is nonstop sex or sexual themes in commercials and tv shows.

You choose what you want to be exposed to.

Do you want to go to church, or go to a strip club? Both legal. Both you can choose from.

THere are different genres of video games too.

As an adult, we can choose what we want.

As for children, you control what they play just like you control what they watch.

The question is, do we hand over this control to the government or the parents?

DOn't let government take away your freedoms.

We are already restricted in so many ways, including having to pay crazy taxes on all sorts of things.

The capitalist, military-industrial complex would love to take over your lives and control you.

Cause it would make the rich elite even richer!

They are looking for excuses.

In fact, creating excuses from thin air.

Lying

Just so they have an excuse to invade your home and privacies just like they invade innocent countries that really have no WMD's, just precious oil they can steal. Or opium..

PaulWuzHere PaulWuzHere said:

It's the parents responsibility to know what their children are doing and what they are exposed to. Should people blame pharmaceutical companies if their kids are abusing drugs? No

Wake up America. Turn off the T.V. sometimes and talk to your family and see whats going on. Little Johnny probably shouldn't be playing L4D2 at age 10.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

69%...I wonder if these Americans are also part of these demographics?...

20% of American's think the Sun revolves around the Earth.

68% of American's believe in Angels.

52% of American's believe Jesus speaks to them, while 70% believe Satan is real, 47% think the New Testament is older than the Old Testament (probably due to Jesus trolling the 52% he speaks to) and 20% believe in alien abductions while 25% of American's don't believe in the theory of evolution...probably because they know we're descended from aliens!

KG363 KG363 said:

Here's a link to the Penn & Teller BS

There's bad language so if it bugs you don't watch

And you have to press play twice. The first time will just open an ad.

http://www.megavideo.com/?v=1R2Y7O0V

TeamworkGuy2 said:

It is the parents duty.

With that out of the way, I want to say that some video games are far more violent than real life. The vast majority of people will never see in real life the kinds of acts committed in L4D2, SAW, Dead Rising, Assassin's Creed, or Gears of War.

Why would we expose ourselves or young people to these kinds of acts? Soldiers who come home from war are often extremely shaken up and mentally injured by what they saw and did, why are we doing the same thing to ourselves?..

Johny47 said:

Matthew said:

Fair enough guest, the title has been adjusted to "Majority of.."

And was this poll for gamers only? because ALOT(majority =P) of non gamers will blame violent video games or films because they're not gamers and that's just it.

I've been playing violent games and watching violent films since a really young age(ever since I saw my mam and dad watching the first Terminator on VHS hahaha =D) but I don't think I'm a violent person(I could be haha) but I believe it's the discipline.

If parents say what mine did to me, for example, you can watch these films as long as you don't repeat any of it(bad language mainly) if I did I would get seriously grounded.

And that should lead onto another topic about the parents being the most responsible for buying/letting their kids play violent games.

Finally... I'm not American I'm Cymraeg/Welsh but everyone has different beliefs =)

Zecias said:

im skeptical to trust any statistics without actually seeing the process they go through to get to the conclusion. there are so many ways the survey could be biased and 1000 isn't even close to enough people. u need a sample size of 15,000 to make variation minimal.

video games really only make kids 13 and under violent because they are more easily influenced(even then, most kids aren't going to try and play GTA in real life).

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Doom, Wolfenstein, and Duke Nukem have made me a ruthless Nazi Killer who eats demons on the side while chewing bubble gum, and I'm all out of gum.

Xero07 said:

maybe rather then asking random adults they should poll prisoners convicted of a violent crime. Not as easy but might be more meaningful as far as how many have a strong history of violent gaming. Of course in either case there are plenty examples of people playing violent games that don't ever exibit violent action.

Superpeter Superpeter said:

Bottom line: Maturity is your ability to choose your responses (responsibility) regardless and in light of any stimuli. It's a part of growing. This is a silly discussion, although as a discussion, I can understand. I can't believe our scarce tax dollars are being spent on this.

Acespaces Acespaces said:

I strongly agree and was gonna type the same thing but you saved me the time.

negroplasty negroplasty said:

what about the 50% or more of the US population that suffer from undiagnosed mental retardation ?

Nima304 said:

It's both the game industry's responsibility to make safe games, and the parent's responsibility to know what games to buy and not buy for their children.

ruben1992 said:

As with all new mediums videos games will come under scrutiny. Obviously young kids should not be playing violent games nor watching violent movies, thats what classifications are for.

Guest said:

"Nothing wrong with that. I was playing moral combat as early as I can remember."

Moral Combat! That was the BEST Christian video game ever!! ;)

treetops treetops said:

Meh people used to see public execution and torture including people being boiled alive.

Regenweald said:

Damaged goods is damaged goods and bad parenting is bad parenting, before videogames and rap, what was their excuse again ?

Eddo22 said:

dividebyzero said:

69%...I wonder if these Americans are also part of these demographics?...

20% of American's think the Sun revolves around the Earth.

68% of American's believe in Angels.

52% of American's believe Jesus speaks to them, while 70% believe Satan is real, 47% think the New Testament is older than the Old Testament (probably due to Jesus trolling the 52% he speaks to) and 20% believe in alien abductions while 25% of American's don't believe in the theory of evolution...probably because they know we're descended from aliens!

I find your post offensive.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Then Eddo, if I were you- and thankfully I'm not-I would hit the "report bad post" icon if you believe your world view is being undermined .....maybe you'll get lucky and find that the local sheriff in town is a Primative Baptist alien abductee with a belief system grounded in geocentrism....In which case I guess I can look forward to being frog-marched to the nearest "re-education camp"

Jibberish18 said:

A majority of Americans are morons. The same majority probably let there kids watch WWF on TV which in my honest opinion is 100x worse than a video game can actually be. Not to mention all the films out there. Please. I played plenty of games when I was a kid and I wasn't any more violent because of it. Guess what? Just because I High Spin Kicked someones head clean off the shoulders in Mortal Kombat didn't mean I thought or even wanted to do it in real life......Jackasses.

bam13 said:

Majority of people few hundread years ago believed that Earth is flat...and still... :P

Guest said:

I am not an American. I am South African, where it was recently revealed that we have the third highest rate of violent crime in the world. Most of the violence is perpetuated by a poverty stricken majority who have never even heard of an Xbox or PC. Videos games do not cause or increase violence. Ignorance, lack of consequence and a poor governance do.

ikesmasher said:

games effect people differently.

If johnny plays LFD2 at age 10, he might understand that its just a game and no example should be taken from it. If joe at age 10 plays it, he might like it too much and run around with weapons for the rest of their life.

Up until they become teens, parents should know what their kids are playing. once they are teens, it doesnt really matter.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

It's always easy to blame something you don't understand. I'm betting a good number of those surveyed have never played a computer game in their lives. Reminds me of that recent flap on internet about the use of the "T" word in MOH multiplayer.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hardly an in depth survey 1000 people....Maybe 100,000 would be a tad better

Goto an amish community and ask 1000 people if electricity is a good and needed commodity..The result would be "Majority of americans believe electricity not needed".

Guest said:

I think violence of any kind affects how people feel, in a negative way. It's not just video games, though the amount of violent based video games has increased. What you surround yourself with, sets up the patterns of your life. Watching and playing violent video games may not make you more violent in itself however it may mean you accept violence more in the world. If you want to live in a more peaceful world start surrounding yourself with peaceful things. What you produce shall be returned to you.

Renrew Renrew said:

In this latch key kid society, I for one am not surprised, that the same parents that think school is a baby sitting service, are claiming that games promote violence in their children.

As has been said here many times, parenting, or the lack thereof cannot be replaced or improved by stupid laws.

ddg4005 ddg4005 said:

dividebyzero said:

69%...I wonder if these Americans are also part of these demographics?...

20% of American's think the Sun revolves around the Earth.

68% of American's believe in Angels.

52% of American's believe Jesus speaks to them, while 70% believe Satan is real, 47% think the New Testament is older than the Old Testament (probably due to Jesus trolling the 52% he speaks to) and 20% believe in alien abductions while 25% of American's don't believe in the theory of evolution...probably because they know we're descended from aliens!

Dont' forget about the 44 percent of Americans who don't know our sun is a star.

Zilpha Zilpha said:

I actually wish some of these violent world leaders would pick up an xbox controller and settle their disputes over a few rounds of Halo or whatever. Some of the most violent countries in the world have never even seen the kind of technology we throw away daily.

For as long as there have been humans, there has been violence and war.

Zilpha Zilpha said:

Maybe it's forums that increase violence.

/grin

Kayden Kayden said:

Seriously? I don't think so and neither do many of the ppl I know either. It's stupid to blame a personal problem on a game or on something they don't understand, just like D&D back in the 80's. Get a clue and realize ppl have issues not because of game but because other PPL are *** h****.

Guest said:

1st.

Lack of or no education increases violence.. NOT video games.

2nd

And a 1,000 people is far from Majority of Americans.

3rd.

What ***** studied adults to come to this pointless conclusion? You have to study the source, not a bunch of over protective, bible thumping, narrow minded, conservatives.

I read this site every day for news and information. But this a second article in the last two days that has been a good waist of time to majority of people. Since it lacks no purpose of any sort, it lacks of factual and useful date to be remotely interesting.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Maybe it's forums that increase violence.

/grin

Ha. This would have been LOL-worthy yesterday Zilpha...but unfortunately ********** have been ******* by ********, and now the your comment has lost its ******* ******

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Of course it does.. but what doesnt?!

Movies. Other people. School. Bullying. I dont know!

I'm pretty sure that most of the real f*cked up people killed little animals as children, or abusive parents, a lack of, whatever, or some other sick stuff that I wont mention on Techspot, not playing violent video games.

I shoot people all day long in MW2 but you dont see me running around knifing people in the back and shooting an AK at everyone.

ZipZpZowie said:

paulwuzhere said:

It's the parents responsibility to know what their children are doing and what they are exposed to. Should people blame pharmaceutical companies if their kids are abusing drugs? No

Wake up America. Turn off the T.V. sometimes and talk to your family and see whats going on. Little Johnny probably shouldn't be playing L4D2 at age 10.

I totally agree. Parents need to stop letting the TV and video game be a babysitter, start doing their job, and teach their children right and wrong.

DSparil said:

99.99% of video games are violent - but that's a good thing.

It's a way to exorcise one's inner urges for violence without hurting people.

These pro-active clowns aren't using common sense and simply using second hand information from some TV guy.

Haven't they heard that television causes retardation? They should ban it... I guess not because these "Majority of Americans" can't survive without their dose of the ***** Box.

gingerbill said:

Do we have to read these type of stupid articles on techspot ? , surely these stories are for the tabliod trash newspapers . They asked a 1000 people! , hahaha , this survey can say whatever the person who asked wanted it to say , its a worthless survey that doesnt deserve any coverage or debate.

Guest said:

How about the fact that by the time the kid is raised to gaming age by his dope smoking, coke snorting, Meth-head parents, they're so screwed up that playing Mario Kart could set off some of them. How about the fact kids being violent is probably from a lack of responsible parenting in the early stages of a kids life? Stop blaming video games. You, the parent are the ones that let him plant his or her *** in the chair looking at the computer 24/7. Great babysitter, right? Well Mr. Mom, you're now paying the price.

Guest said:

This same story has been around in one form or another since videogames first appeared: The corruption of our youth. Before that it was drugs and rock and roll; before that, comic books, and so on. The link is tenuous at best. If someone is going to act out, they will. All they need is a trigger, and because videogames are difficult for many adults to understand they are an easy target to pin the blame on rather than the more complex reasons of preexisting conditions, lack of proper parenting, societal pressures and causes, etc.

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