Harris Survey: 58% Of Adults Believe There’s A Link Between Violent Games And Violent Behaviour

Is it just American parents?

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.

Source: Venturebeat.


  1. Yet these same adults still believe that it is their right to carry a gun, and that these guns are in actual fact NOT the reason for gun violence.

    This world annoys me sometimes.

    • Only sometimes?

    • Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Guns protect people from people with smaller guns… ;-)

  2. The other 42% plays games and know that it isn’t true.

  3. @ kjkg guns are just the weapons, the constant choice of having a gun and the ability to use it immediately hardly constitutes for the massacres that have happened recently. I can see your point of view, but there is something more to it, not that I claiming to know what it is. (If that makes sense o.0)

    This survey could well be the politically correct majority of adult society rather than some meaningful ‘people who actually think independently and be rational about’. I mean who the hell sums up this kind of issue in a survey question. Dicks.

    • I don’t disagree. But to pigeon hole it to games is unfair and unjust. Movies, games, bad parenting. There is, as you said, a bigger issue than games. However, guns are what links them.

      I’m not saying I disagree with guns, it’s that the US seem to turn a blind eye to the fact that without guns, these crimes would change. Every country in the world has horrible people. Limiting the damage these evil people can do is surely the best and most affective deterrent. Because let us be honest here, there is no cure for the madness that goes on.

      • Just wanted to say, I have nothing to do with the madness that goes on. Well, most of it.

  4. They wouldn’t happen to be the same people who believe that carrying an object that was designed for killing doesn’t lead to gun violence are they? If so, then i’m not even going to facepalm due to how stupid that it.

    Violent games doesn’t lead to violent behaviour. Dark Souls does lead to violent behaviour but that’s usually to a wall or a pillow or a nieghbour’s cat. :P

    Wonder if the daily rags over here will use it as an excuse to blame videogames for something, before showing their readers a pair of tits.

  5. To – sadly – quote a politician: Education, education, education. For parents.

  6. The number of people getting killed by guns is much higher in the US than in countries with restrictive gun control. I am sure this is the main problem, not the games.

    Remember:”Guns for show, knives for pro.”

  7. I reckon there is likely to be link between violence and video games, however it is very small and really only affects people with a predisposition for violence.

  8. So, from a sample size exceeding 250 million (best guess of adult polulation of the US) they really expect a sample of 2278 to be worthwhile? Was it even worth bothering with?

  9. I saw yesterday that a former FBI profiler had said there was no link found between violent behaviour and games. Sadly that doesn’t make for a good headline for the tabloids etc…

  10. To be fair, the two things in life that make me mad are cold callers and online gaming.

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