Harris Interactive, an America-based marketing research firm, have released the first results from a recent poll which shows that 58% of American adults believe that violent games have a direct link to violent behaviour in teenagers.
2,278 Americans were surveyed, with 33% of them saying they allow their children to play anything they want, and 38% having no knowledge of the ESRB ratings system for games.
In essence, you can draw the conclusion that an element of parents believe that violent games have some detrimental effect on their children, but don’t do anything to ensure that their children are playing age appropriate games.
For anyone who has experienced games retail, it is probably unsurprising that a proportion of parents allow their children to play anything they like. There is still a prevalent viewpoint that gaming is a childish pastime, and therefore any games are appropriate for any age group, despite ESRB or BBFC certification.
The survey was run independently, and follows on from Barack Obama’s decision to study the effects of violent games in response to the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Sadly the continued promotion of links between gaming and real-world violence, by both European and American media, has seemingly now contributed to a quantifiable perception that that is indeed the case.
The full findings of the poll are to be released tomorrow.