75% Of Parents Think Violent Video Games Contribute To Actual Violence

75% Of Parents Think Violent Video Games Contribute To Actual Violence

Sure, there have been no scientific studies that connect violent video games to violence, but why let nonsense like science reflect the way you think?

In a new survey released by Common Sense Media, a whopping 75 per cent of polled parents say they think violent video games contribute to violence. Just ’cause. 1050 people were surveyed, and 89 per cent of them say violence in video games is a problem. (45 per cent say it’s a major problem; 44 per cent say it’s a minor problem.)

Remember, there have been no scientific studies that connect violent video games to violence. There have been studies that connect violent video games to aggression (more on that in the near future), but there is absolutely zero evidence, according to leading researchers in this field, that links violent video games to violent crime in any way.

So why do parents think that video games contribute to violence? I dunno. Gut feeling?


  • are these parents buying these video games? are these children actually children and not 15+ year old teenagers (aware that different countries have different ages)

    are these parents also unhappy with violence in television and cinema?

  • Personally, i do believe that video games do have a connection to violence in younger kids (Im talking… say… 15 and younger?) but the questions isnt “Does it” but “How Much”.
    Playing call of duty wont make you go and shoot a classroom of 8 year olds, but it might make a person more aggressive – at least, that is, until said “Person” is mature enough to understand the vast separation that exists between playing a video game and real life.

      • It was just a guesstimate, really. I’ve read (And i know most people have) that children during puberty are several times more impressionable than they would be otherwise. This is quite well known, AFAIK.
        It can, of course, vary from person to person, but i just felt that 15 was a good base number.

    • I’m 15 and while i might get angry playing a game occasionally (like any other person), very rarely would I stay aggressive for longer than twenty minutes after not playing, and even if I do get aggressive, I’m not angry enough to ever want to hit someone or hurt anyone/thing.

      • Yes, and i think most people do; even if you were older than 15, people can get frustrated and angry for short periods of time.
        That said, it can depend of person to person, with factors such as environment or time.

        Heres a short scenario; if, for example, a 14 year old kid is getting destroyed in Your personal violent game of choice (I hate pointing fingers; choose any game, really) and dear old mommy comes in and sais something along the lines of “It looks like you arent having any fun, why not turn the console off?”
        How many times must a parent say that? I know mine have said it to me before.
        But then this kid keeps dying, and getting more and more fustrated, until this ends up in a argument with dear mother, until one of them does screaming into their bedroom.
        Ive seen this done before; my little brother has done it, my older brother has done it, hell, IVE done it.
        But if this happens every single day for months and years… it might have a great effect of a persons mind. Throw a live weapon into the mix, as is so common in america…

        Of course, this is all depending on quite a few things, but video games can be put to blame here.
        Its just a matter of how MUCH the game is to blame that is the question for me.

        • Same when I read a book and the author sucks. I throw the book and I am in a bad move for 10 min. Or when I saw the new Spider Man movie and I walked out of it and when the usher didn’t give me back my money I punched him. That’s the movies fault right? Or is that my fault/parents fault because I cant control my emotions. 😉 Or better yet, I should get medicated up to the point where I don’t feel like most people do because parents don’t teach their kids how to deal with complex emotions…

  • Majority of people who don’t care either way wouldn’t even want to take part in the survey. Unless a survey is absolutely forced, it will be biased to one person or another.

  • So 75% of parents are wrong. There is no scientific evidence at all that can link media violence to real world violence. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that there are immense benefits to playing games like CoD…

  • 75% of parents who buy their children video games are looking for an easy substitute to real parenting; they then complain that the child doesn’t stop playing video games and blames all their antisocial behavior on the government, schools, society, neighbors and video games.

  • Sure, there have been no scientific studies that connect violent video games to violence, but why let nonsense like science reflect the way you think?

    In a country where 46% of people believe in creationism, essentially rejecting evolution, can you be surprised no one there gives a shit there is a lack of scientific evidence linking video game violence and actual violence?

    • Plus: a recent survey show that 25% of americans think that teachers might have to carry a gun to prevent school shooting… WTF

    • I’ll agree with you in so much as violence in media of all forms is fairly wide spread and would deffinatly be contributing to (or reflecting) an societal acceptance of violent overall. That said, my common sense tells me that violence in media results in a lot less violence than say binge drinking, for example.

      Now I’m going to go play Kirby’s Adventure on the Wii – goodnight.

  • To be fair, many parents don’t play games, and when you consider that the media always points a finger at games being the main reason for violence, it’s not surprising that that’s kinda’… rubbed off on them. If all someone hears and reads about something is that it causes violence, then they’d often assume that, yeah, it causes violence.

  • if they believe so, then don’t buy them those games, the age for them are 15 years and above, not 5 or 10 years old.

  • Actually, Scientific studies linking the two do exist 😉

    I firmly believe that the real (small behavior issues, not sandy-esqe) problem comes from parents seeing video games as “kids toys” and not adhering to ratings etc..

  • You say, without reference, that videogames are linked to aggression. I understand that you may be referring to studies that show violent imagery (video game or not) can lead to increased activity in the amygdala and decreased activity in the prefrontal lobe. Increased emotion, decreased inhibition, leading to aggression.

    Most would consider aggression as linked to violence, or at the very least that higher levels of aggression would lead to a greater propensity for violence, particularly sudden violence.

    By inference, one could easily see how a parent could join the dots and say that if a video game contributes to aggression, it may resultantly contribute to violence, particularly when such violence is not defined by the survey.

    The query in the survey was with respect to contribution, not cause. There are a raft of other factors that parents have seen as contributing to violence.

    A better line of argument, or indeed discussion, would have been how do we as gamers change this perception, rather than the “just ’cause” you have offered. I don’t necessarily disagree with your conclusion (though I believe this issue as a whole is a bit more grey than black and white) but how you got there reads as a pontifical rant.

    Gamers need to respond in more articulate and constructive manner to surveys of this kind, particularly when they are writing for a popular worldwide gaming blog…

  • Why do you need a study to prove what’s blatantly obvious?

    I have kids and I limit their access to violent media. Because if that’s all they see, it’s going to come out in their behaviour and attitudes. Kids are like little sponges that way.

    I think it would be a very irresponsible parent who was totally fine with their kid watching stuff that’s designed for adults.

  • I totally agree that violent video games may actually contribute to violence by way of desensitizing people. However, I don’t think that it necessarily makes the subject more violent as a whole, it just makes them see violence as a more valid option. What I think is much more problematic for younger gamers are the types of games they play. Note that most of the games are “Personal Glory” type games, COD and such.

    Why is this a problem? Such a person who becomes more interested in personal glory will care less for helping their fellow gamer and in the real world, person. I’d actually like to see a study for this, young gamers raised on games where teamwork is the key (victory without cohesive teamwork automatically causes failure), and those raised on COD type games. I’d wager that the team players would turn out to be better people despite the violence in their games.

  • 75% of American parents. American parents aren’t particularly informed thanks to the blanket white noise from the American media landscape and American political system

  • All this started with an FOX News, “news” story…. FOX – single handedly trolling the entire globe, time and time again. Gota hand it to them. They always get their intended response & outcome…

  • That site, Common Sense Media, is well known to be a site for the typical conservative soccer mum types who put more weight in old wives tales than science. Ya know the kind, they pad up their entire house to make it “child safe” and take little Tommy to the ER every time he gets the sniffles.

    What they really mean is 75% of their readership is composed of morons who have no interest in facts. They do not represent adults as a whole, but they like to make you think that so they call push their little agendas.

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