Study: 58 percent of US adults blame games for violent behavior

Harris Poll finds nearly three in five American adults believe games contribute to violent tendencies in teenagers; 38 percent know nothing about ESRB.

by

A new Harris Poll survey has found that 58 percent of adult Americans believe video games are a contributing factor to violent behavior in teenagers. Venturebeat obtained the survey, which interviewed 2,278 adults in the United States.

In addition, 38 percent of survey respondents said they were unaware of the ratings service provided by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. On top of this, 33 percent of adults surveyed said they allow their children to play whatever they want.

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

The Harris Poll study also found that 47 percent do not have faith in the ESRB ratings to keep mature-rated games away from children. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they were confident that the ratings system can achieve this, which is lower than the confidence rating for movie (49 percent) and TV (39 percent) ratings systems.

Former Federal Bureau of Investigation profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole said recently that violent video games do not cause violence. Parents Television Council president Tim Winter agreed that video games do not--by themselves--cause violence. However, he argued the topic is especially important to address today, when media has become a 24/7 activity for children.

President Obama recently announced a $500 million, 23-point plan that directs the Centers for Disease Control to conduct further research into the relationship between virtual violence and real-world violence. Separately, Utah representative Jim Matheson has introduced a bill to Congress that would make Entertainment Software Rating Board ratings legally enforceable.

Discussion

555 comments
Grenadeh
Grenadeh

E.G 58% of US adults are mentally retarded immature assholes, because no adult blames an inanimate piece of plastic for their failure or societies failure to raise mentally healthy future generations.

super_voltron
super_voltron

Funnny how they never said a word about that military game the US ARMY PUT OUT...yeah the us army made a violent army game..i wonder why...

Oh lets just ignor the rating system some more. why not get rid of cigarets and beer they kill people all the time (and theres no grey area)

but wait they have warning labels on cigarets (saracastic tone) oh that has helped sooooo much.

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

Honestly I'm so tired of public opinion on everything.  There are many changes to government we could demand that would only be made if millions of people demanded them, such as campaign finance reform and voting reforms.  These changes would save our nation but no one cares about it because people don't think they're responsible.  We need a third party, reforms to both houses of representation, and a way to challenge Supreme Court rulings other than future Supreme Court rulings.  Perhaps re-institute the banking regulations that Bill Clinton removed when he removed Glass-Steagall.  The masses like easy answers.  There is a ton of stuff people do that we continue to do simply because it's tradition.  We are opportunists who look to be offended or pained in order to sue.

Regarding violence people think about Newtown as though it were happening on a weekly basis.  Those types of crimes are incredibly uncommon compared to gang violence, which is motivated by poverty and a score of other issues.  Chicago has more murders than almot anywhere because of gangs.  Secondly, no one likes admitting the correlation between birth control and crime reduction because unwanted children in single parent homes make up the majority group of criminals.  Thirdly, these gang crimes are committed by ILLEGAL guns, not LEGAL ones.  Since they're criminals, why will they pay attention to laws???

Here we are again, however, the masses see two seemingly relatable things and say to themselves, I'm smart (for some reason) and I'm capable of making decisions.  There's hundreds of millions of people worldwide who play video games, that number is higher among a certain demographic.  If a 20 year old does or doesn't commit a crime, odds are he plays video games just by virtue of being 20 years old.

GeorgeSyll
GeorgeSyll

Violent video games do not cause violence. Then what games do cause violence? Online games.

 Haven't you noticed that online games can make you really angry even if it's not in your character? Hasn't someone or something made you really really mad while playing an online game?

 Quite a few people have injured themselves or others because they got mad at some silly troll or because someone in the party didnt do what he should have done, or because their account got hacked. Hell some have even killed others or commited suicide because someone hacked them or scammed them.

 Online gaming has become and addiction for millions,you and old, and every addiction has it's known effects. Especialy now with the increase in F2P online games,even more play them.

 Now conbine this with what's happening in the country, and every other country generaly. Just picture it for a second.Many already frustrated and angry people,playing video games that make them even more angry....

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

US already violent in nature, not my games fault.

theperm
theperm

Starving people in this country all kinds of economic problems and O-Bummer is blowing 500 million on a study that will be inconclusive and lead to nothing but waste and more debt... so glad this country keeps electing d-bags.

L_ninyo07
L_ninyo07

Fact: 58% of US adults who blame video games for violent behavior don't play videogames. period.


flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

"The Harris Poll study also found that 47 percent do not have faith in the ESRB ratings to keep mature-rated games away from children."

 That's kind of not their job. That would be the responsibility of the parents. They should be damn thankful that the ESRB helps make that responsibility as easy as looking at a classification label.

BreezyCreezy
BreezyCreezy

58% of US adults also have IQs under 100. F***in 'Mericans.

SlowMotionKarma
SlowMotionKarma

I like how it goes from "58% of adults think GAMES are to blame for violent behavior" to "have no idea what ESRB is and also let their kids play whatever they want" to "ESRB doesn't do enough to keep mature games out of their kid's hands."

I'm sorry, WHO is responsible for your children? The ESRB? The government? No, idiot. YOU. You are responsible for your children. Get of your ass and do some flipping parenting!

I never was allowed to play M rated games when I was a kid. Guess why? My parents didn't let me. They made an effort to learn about video games, the (then new) ESRB rating system and even checked out any game I wanted to get. Sure I was upset at the time, but they were my parents. That was their job.

The problem with kids nowadays is their lack of proper parenting. There has always and WILL ALWAYS be nuts that commit terrible tragedies. There really, sadly, isn't anything you can do to prevent it completely. Some people just snap. Despite that, it is still INCREDIBLY important for a child to have proper parenting while growing up. If a parent chooses not to get involved with their child's life, they are the only one that is to blame. Not the games industry. Not the movie or television industries. Not the raps.

quantumtheo
quantumtheo

Yeah, and how many Americans thought Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11???? Or how many Americans STILL think Obama is a Muslim/??? 

Polls are WORTHLESS, and this just proves it.  I've seen enough interviews with pollsters to know that they design the polls with leading or loaded questions to get the responses they want.  

Also, who glorifies violence more than the military??? That's an argument you never hear, and never will hear!  This scape goating needs to stop, politicians will blame whoever they have to so they don't have to cut funding to the military....

And parents will blame whoever they have to to justify their bad parenting! There, I said it!  We act like all parents are infallible magical beings.  You made a kid... it doesn't take a rocket scientist to do that.  And now, with the level of arrested development this country is in, we basically have kids raising kids.  And who wants to scape goat out of blame more than kids????

On the other hand, to be honest and to play devils advocate, I'm sick of ultra-violent games. I stopped playing Max Payne 3 about 1/ 3 the  way through b/c I just didn't like it.  I loved the first two MPs... but that last one was WAY over the top with the violence.  There is a point where graphics will get to be too good and turn ppl off.  I hit that point with MP3..... Do I think those games make ppl more violent, NO. Not at all.  Do I think that games that focus on violence are inherently good games, no, not at all.  There are plenty of unexplored things to do in video games.

That's why I thank God, Bhudda, Krishna and every other god in the book for games like Kerbal Space Program. :)  Or being able to turn Skyrim into a holodeck with mods, to just be a place I want to go hang out in and walk around, enjoying the scenery. :)

CaptainGamespot
CaptainGamespot

these results are so very, very sad. these people are just gullible to media.

DownHill911
DownHill911

58 percent of US adults are/were not gamers.

If they were and said that, they are mentally weak people.

jhcho2
jhcho2

What people believe in doesn't mean squat

moodyfoo
moodyfoo

I think these so called politicians and well all ignorant people really should watch a little movie called creepshow 2 (or at least after the credits). there's an interresting text dating from the 40's that debate the violence in media and clearly shows that this is nothing new and that ignorent people ALWAYS look for a scapegoat, mostly to make them look like they know what they are talking about to their also ignorant followers. 

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

Interview 2,278 people in a nation of a population number in the hundreds of MILLIONS and think you've got a representative answer? Bull. Massive pile of steaming bull.

Besides, anyone who watches Doug Stanhope knows that a vast majority of people who respond to these "polls" should actually be ticking the box that says "I have no ****ing idea on the matter".

con47
con47

58% of my country are idiots then. Also 500 million dollars obama? Do we really need to borrow more money from china!

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

58 percent of US adults blame games for violent behavior, yet more than half of US adults play video games...

How about this? 58 percent of US adults are ignorant sheep that only watch TV and never red a book of think for themselves. From which between 1% and 8% are hipocritical or Schizophrenic

Oh wait, that actually applies for half the planet

You see Harris Pool? I can take "official" data too and bias it to create first class pure bullshit!

"In addition, 38 percent of survey respondents said they were unaware of the ratings service provided by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. On top of this, 33 percent of adults surveyed said they allow their children to play whatever they want"

In addition: games are to blame for irresponsible and lazy parenting? that is a good one. lol

max-hit
max-hit

58% of US adults can s**k it.

xand3rro
xand3rro

And how many of those "us adults" play videogames ? aw heck why do i even bother commenting on this. Every gamer knows whats what....

tightwad34
tightwad34

So 40% of the population is stupid? No shit. It's funny this came up again because me and me mom were having a talk about this just earlier today. She did come up with a good point. She said if someone was on the brink or couldn't really decipher the difference between reality and fiction then there's always the possibility that violence in games and movies could contribute to them going over the edge. As much as I want to disagree, it's not out of the question given the perfect storm. It's not the cause at all, just maybe a very small contributing factor for those who are already on the brink.

racerxgundam
racerxgundam

500 million dollars to basically tell us what we already know.....guns killed those kids.

BaraoRicks
BaraoRicks

That is why there are a lot of politicians bashing video games these days. They want votes from these 58% clueless adults. They don't really want to solve the violence problem. That is a more complicated issue. They just want votes and now is the time to win free publicity.

berserker66666
berserker66666

That's 58% retarded "Adult" people mind you. You need to check your article Eddie Makuch before posting it.

msfan1289
msfan1289

38 percent know nothing about ESRB. there you have it folks

cdog21
cdog21

The poll also shows that 58% of US adults are, or would make, terrible parents. 38% of those parents are clueless as to what they buy for their kids and 33% JUST DON'T GIVE A ****!

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

thats the problem....they don't know what they are talking about, not aware of the esrb, and not involved with their children....HELLO

Deltahulk
Deltahulk

58% of the blamers should be pointing the finger at poor parenting. Delegating moral education to the public school system yields the same results as leaving regular education to the schools. Eventually parents need to grow up and assume some responsibility for raising their kids.  

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@downloadthefile There is a third party, the constitution party, i.e libertarians, but all you fake Americans are too busy wrapped up in the two-party system facade sold to you by your owners that you don't realize there is a party which stands for the constitution, and it's the only party you should be supporting.

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@flammable_zeus Not even kind of, it's not the job of ESRB ratings at all! Lazy parenting seems more and more rife...

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@tightwad34 That's certainly true, I think. And for those people, it'd be great if we all lived in a more understanding and supportive society where such things could be recognised and dealt with, appropriately and swiftly. But games and movies have nothing to do with that.

Besides, humans have been immensely violent for centuries upon centuries. One could argue that we're relatively passive in our societies these days, despite all these violent video games and movies.

gdmellott
gdmellott

@CP2077 Perhaps there needs to be a way to relate to and discuss the 'virtual costs' portraited in the game.  So there is some psychological support for the need in reality to healthily walk away from the game's violence as reality's natural ways lean us to seeking.  Perhaps someday such an avenue of interaction may help someone needing to find a more valid relationship with the extreme behaviors that can occur with a more positive policing and relating for peace attitude that this world can use more of at times.  Individual will find a way to do what they hold in their heart, by hook or by crook if necessary.  That is the real battlefield for man.

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@CP2077 YES! SO MUCH YES! Make the stupid morons lobbying against video games sit down and watch this.

CP2077
CP2077

@Venatorcruiser but we don't have the same problems were anyone can get there hand on a assault rifle. or a gun for that matter, its much better when the mentally ill don't have access to fire arms. 

not that it makes it ok for 58% of population to be so stupid 

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@RichEverett You have any other base to prove me wrong appart from pointing how a no-native English speaker makes mistakes?

tightwad34
tightwad34

@Shanks_D_Chop You pretty much just summed up why I think there can never truly be world peace. Even if humans didn't exist, there would still be other species fighting it out.

gdmellott
gdmellott

@CP2077 The Hebrew word for 'mature' means to extend.  The intensional seeking of violence over seeking to stop it is immature at heart.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@Zloth2 @jsmoke03 Which is way worse than they could ever find ANYTHING that even rometely suggests violance due to video games *rolls eyes* people need to wake up and smell the grenade aftermath.

gdmellott
gdmellott

@CP2077Given the nature of the human heart, it is not unwise to extend this to its fullest realms as even our very words such as truth and right are inherently attributes that only God can fully express.  Ones sensitive and wisely effective will note the soonest just how impossible it is to serve the responsibilities they find upon them without the help of such a One being in it all.