Parents Worry More About Games Than Booze, Porn

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Parents Worry More About Games Than Booze, Porn

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Here's an interesting tidbit: Two polls conducted by What They Play have found that parents are more concerned about their kids' exposure to videogames than to booze and porn.

More than 1600 people who responded to a poll asking what parents would be most concerned about their children taking part in during a sleepover, 19 percent of whom listed playing Grand Theft Auto as their greatest concern, compared to watching pornography, which came in at 16 percent, and drinking beer, which received 14 percent. In fact, videogames were second only to the Evil Weed; smoking marijuana clocked in as the greatest concern among 49 percent of parents surveyed.

A second poll determined that parents were far more apprehensive about the depiction of sex in videogames than of violence. Covering 1266 participants, the survey found that a man and a woman having sex was cited as the most offensive videogame content by 37 percent of respondents, followed by two men kissing, counted as the worst possible thing their kids could ever see by 27 percent of parents. A "graphically severed head" earned "Most Offensive" status from only 25 percent of parents, while nine percent said multiple uses of the F-bomb in videogames generated the greatest offense.

"Although these findings seem surprising at first, they hint at fears parents have about videogames," said Grand Theft Childhood co-author Cheryl K. Olson. "To some parents, videogames are full of unknowable dangers. While researching for Grand Theft Childhood, parents we spoke with in focus groups often bemoaned the fact that they didn't know how to use game controls - and felt unequipped to supervise or limit videogame play. Of course, parents don't want their children drinking alcohol, but that's a more familiar risk."

"These poll results demonstrate that parents are as apprehensive about their children's media diets as they are about traditional social issues such as alcohol, drugs, violence and sex," added John Davison, president of What They Play parent company What They Like, Inc.

Findings like these, particularly in the light of ongoing efforts by the ESRB and other agencies to educate parents about videogames, are both disappointing and demoralizing because it would appear that parents are more inclined to simply throw their hands in the air (like they just don't care) and either give up entirely or leave the whole thing to external supervision and control (ie., government legislation) than to take the time to equip themselves to "supervise or limit videogame play." If familiarity is a mitigating factor in parental concern over their kids' behavior, and yet parents stubbornly refuse to acquaint themselves with videogames, what is the industry to do?

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I love it. It's now a fact that simulated porn and alcohol concerns parents more than real porn and alcohol.

I haven't laughed that hard in a while. Thank you.

so if kids get got watching porn the can just say at least its not video game porn and get out of it... go parents

I hope their aren't any kids reading this right now. Otherwise they just learned that there's an 86% chance their parents aren't concerned about them drinking beer.

Seriously though, this is great an all, but what it demonstrates is irrational response to the unknown. <20% of Americans have used pot, most use(d) it in their teens to 20s, and half of all pot users drop the habit once they leave that age range (I'm not making this up, it was in TIME). Yet half of the surveyed parents are worried about it. Likewise, I feel this is an irrational response to gaming. Especially because it's "Grand Theft Auto." I'm sure if you slid "Condemned" in place of that, it would've been last on the list. We hear of the famous horrors: Pot is a popular drug, therefore we are afraid of it's use (by the way, can I interest you in some totally legal cough syrup? You'll be Robi-tripping in no time). Likewise, Jack Thompson has succeeded in terrorizing the American Mother to the point where she fears GTAs influence on her children far more than Playboy's or Budweiser's. Which is a shame, because nothing goes better with a round of GTA like a nice, cold bottle of not Budweiser.

I'm just dissapointed in humanity, once again. It is times like these that I wish... actually, I don;t know what I wish. Eh, either way, this, once again, concludes that the best thing to do is to just wait. Make sure no stupid leislation is passed, and then wait. Eventually, most of us gamers will be parents, and we'll know what our kids can and can't play, 'cause we're gamers too! It's already happening, but, unfortunately, not fast enough.

This is terrible.

...why am I laughing?

Hooray for parenting.

You know, that thing that people used to do? Instead of relying on the media to tell you what to be afraid of?

haha, thats very...unusual,most likely true. My mum has never let me play GTA im 14, but if i was caught on porn.. she would most likely say something like "well your a boy"

America. On the fast track of rasing its children to failtown.

Wow, I can not believe that two men kissing would be somehow more offensive then a severed head.

Actually, sadly I can believe that.

Something disturbs me about people getting together to watch porn. I'd rather they play videogames.

Seems logical enough.

People (especially parents) often fear what they don't understand. Explaining them why you game, what the game is and how a game (doesn't) affect you goes a long way.

Tv tropes has a page devoted to this phenomena!

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NewMediaAreEvil

This is absolutely hilarious. Reading stuff like this, it's love/hate...on the one hand, it's funny that they think that. On the other hand, it's frightening because you know you'd never be able to convince them that they're wrong.

Headline:
Parents Worry More About Games Than Booze, Porn

Correct Headline:
Bad Parents Worry More About Games Than Booze, Porn

This is ridiculous.

hehe, my dad just lent me gta4 after he finished playing it, awesomeness to the power of kewl, this article really makes me appreciate the fact that he hasnt tried to ban me from "my internetting and that videogaming" on the offchance that it'll turn me into the next ed gein

This is so pathetic.

This is so true with my parents... It's rather annoying, actually.

I think I've seen this reported here before.

Shocking, but not surprising.

This is both hilarious and frightening...
I'd expect parents to be afraid of real dangers, things like using drugs (not just marijuana), smoking, having unprotected sex, being violent or victim or violence. Instead, parents are afraid of video games and porn...

And then it becomes pathetic. People having sex, people kissing... those things being judged as offensive... more than someone getting killed in an atrocely violent way...

Those parents seems to be more old five-feet-tall kids than actual adults. "Sex ? huh, that's durty" "Vidéo games ? Something we don't understand... Huh, that's frightening !"
If only people like that are having children, then I'm afraid to say that mankind isn't going to get anywhere soon...

allright, seing other people having sex is not something that is necessary appropriate for a child or a teenager. But there's basically nothing wrong with that kind of sight. That's just a fact that is part of life. Whereas violence... that just shows to children something that they should never do. Something that should be banned in every advanced civilisation.
People are more afraid to have their children see something necessary to the survival of the species, than something dangerous and useless. Where is the logic in that ?

I'am not saying that violence should be banned in video games, but I think that love and sex should not be seen as bad as they are.
Beyond that, when you're used to video games, and can see beyond the pixels, you don't see the violence, in multiplayer games for exemple, as what it looks like, but more as what is means. It just become a representation for the act of beating your opponent (by being smarter, faster, etc...), nothing more. Just like when you "kill" the king when playing chess, you don't regard this as violence. Just as victory in a game.

This is pretty funny. So, because parents can't use the controls, it prevents them from doing research on the games the kids buy, asking retailers or looking at the ratings on the boxes? That makes sense.

Instead of Grand Theft Childhood being a book, what about Grand Theft Parenthood. It'll be a book about how videogames stole all the blame from parents when it comes to their kids doing something twisted or demented. A chapter can be called "How Videogames Freed Me of All Blame!". Another could be "I Have No Fucking Clue What I'm Talking About, But I'll Continue To Pile On The Gaming Industry Because 'Rock & Roll Made Me Do It' Is No Longer The Chick Excuse". I think the closing comments could be something along the lines of "I know that I've ignored my children, letting videogames and television raise them while never telling them that it's all make believe and they shouldn't repeat it in real life. I know that, instead of denying my fat child something and hearing them cry, I just fed them what they wanted and bought them the games they wanted; I don't feel I'm at fault. Videogames: thank you. No matter what my kids do, I have you to pass the blame on to."

I'm not having kids because I'm terrified of becoming stupid by being a parent. Of course, if I had kids, I'd be owning my kids in the most violent games I could find. =) I grew up on them and I turned out okay.

so porn is good now?

L.B. Jeffries:
so porn is good now?

When wasnt it?

scarbunny:

L.B. Jeffries:
so porn is good now?

When wasnt it?

70's and 80's people used to blame it for all kinds of ridiculous crap. Um...and the Victorian Era was pretty weird about it too.

I still say we should wait a few years until all of US are the parents. That should solve all our problems. Maybe.

Bout time someone said it. Here's a real newsflash for you: you don't have to PLAY videogames in order to monitor them in the hands of your child.

Holiday Shopping Tip #69:
If the title of a game shares its name with a major felony (Grand Theft Auto for the thick), it likely isn't a good title for that impressionable 12 year old you shat out.

Its really not that difficult if parents weren't often 10x lazier than their children.

Now I'm glad my parents don't care so much.

I wonder how these polls will change when the gamer generation grows up and has kids

so porn is good now ?

That's not what I wrote. From what I've heard and read (I'm far from a fan of that kind of media), a lot of porn films are huge piles of violent crap. But porn by itself is by no means as bad as a lot of people pretend it is. The representation of sex is by no means "bad" by itself. It's just something that "innocent" children shouldn't look at, but that's just as true for violence.
The problem is that people are still more shocked by the fact that there could be sex in a video game than by the fact that it is violent.

And if parents are too lazy to learn anything about the content of the games they buy or to ask questions, there's still the ESRB or PEGI classification. They are sometimes not appropriate (For exemple, PEGI for Half Life 2 is 18+ whereas it is 16+ for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.), but they give at least a good idea of who is supposed to play the game...

I wouldn't call these results demoralizing, but rather disgusting. How in the hell can anyone justify being more concerned about gaming than a substance that kills brain cells and causes liver damage? They'd rather their kids be alcoholics than gamers? In-freakin-sane.

Sometimes I have a hard time tolerating the entire human race.

I'd like to say I'm surprised.

...buuuut...

How in the hell can anyone justify being more concerned about gaming than a substance that kills brain cells and causes liver damage?

Yes, that's frightening. Parents seems more concerned by the fact that they kids could be having fun than by the fact that they could hurt themselves or get hurt.
As if having fun was bad, in some way...

Royas:
I wouldn't call these results demoralizing, but rather disgusting. How in the hell can anyone justify being more concerned about gaming than a substance that kills brain cells and causes liver damage? They'd rather their kids be alcoholics than gamers? In-freakin-sane.

Sometimes I have a hard time tolerating the entire human race.

That's not quite what's being said. Its right at the end of the article. Parents aren't more concerned about videogames affecting their child. They're more concerned about not knowing how to DEAL with videogames affecting their child. Alcohol has been around as long as living memory has existed and so have its associated problems, and therefore, this generation of parents is much more well equipped to deal with the problems.

I agree that the results are disgusting, but I disagree on why. Its disgusting because it shows that parents are lazy. They're more concerned about video games because they don't know how to handle them. Problem is, its not that they don't know how to handle them that disgusts me, its that they're unwilling to learn.

Perhaps the most relevant bit is "parents we spoke with ... bemoaned the fact that they didn't know how to use game controls ... Of course, parents don't want their children drinking alcohol, but that's a more familiar risk"

Thats a good point. Most parents have been drunk and watched porn, but can't play the game and can't see what's in the game. Unlike a film, where you can fast forward or whatever. I suppose the fear is the character swearing whilst being drunk and killing someone in a sex club... which i think I've actually nearly managed to do in GTA4 so... heh.

Although those results are interesting, I'm not sure if we can take the results of a poll about parent's views on games at face value when it comes from a site called What They Play. I've been there, and it's actually not a bad site for informing parents about games, but it occurs to me that the parents who aren't concerned about video games or who play games themselves, aren't going to be answering polls on What They play, so I doubt it's representative of parents across the whole population.

Still, it is an interesting study, I' like to see what the results would have been from a less bias sample.

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