Survey Finds Most Americans Believe Games Cause Violence

| 15 Nov 2010 14:57

A new survey has found that in spite of statistical evidence to the contrary, the majority of Americans believe that violent videogames cause more violence in society.

A survey of 1000 adults across the U.S. has found that 54 percent of adults believe that violent videogames are a cause of increased violence in the real world. 69 percent of respondents say they are either "somewhat concerned" or "very concerned" about the levels of violence in videogames, while 65 percent said they believe states should have the right to prohibit the rental and sale of violent videogames to minors.

At the same time, however, only five percent of respondents said the government should be "chiefly responsible for limiting the amount of sex and violence children are exposed to in videogames," compared to the vast majority of 71 percent who believe it's the job of parents. Interestingly, adults with children living in the home are more likely to say that monitoring game content is a parental job, while those without children are more likely to lay the responsibility at the feet of the game industry. Also noteworthy is the fact that adults with children are less concern about the levels of violence in videogames than those without, while somewhat less surprisingly, older adults are generally more concerned with videogame violence than younger adults.

The belief that videogames lead to real-life violence flies in the face of statistics which show that violent crime in the U.S. has dropped off significantly since peaking in the early 90s, a period of time that corresponds with the rise of mainstream videogaming. In other words, it's pretty hard to argue rationally that videogames cause violence since two decades of evidence points to precisely the opposite. But why let things like facts get in the way of a good opinion?

Source: Rasmussen Reports

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