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Survey: 54% of US believes games cause violence

But 29% of Rasmussen respondents are unconcerned

A new phone survey apparently indicates the majority of Americans believe that violent video games result in a more violent society.

The study, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research on behalf of Rasmussen Reports showed that 54 per cent of respondents answered 'yes' to the question of 'do violent video games lead to more violence in our society?'

32 per cent believed that there was no direct correlation, with the remaining 14 per cent uncertain.

The number of positive respondents is completely unchanged since the company last ran the survey in April, but the percentage of Americans who see no connection is up from 27 per cent. Elsewhere in the survey, 69 per cent of Americans answered that they were either very or somewhat concerned about violence in video games, with 29 per cent 'not concerned' and 13 per cent 'not at all concerned'. It's unknown what accounts for the extra 11 per cent.

Perhaps somewhat predictably, on average, older respondents exhibited higher levels of concern than younger, but people without children were also more concerned than those who lived with their children.

65 per cent of respondents believe that states should have the power to prevent games of a violent nature being retailed to minors, but only 5 per cent believe that marshalling children's exposure to inappropriate material is the responsibility of the government - with an overwhelming 71 per cent felt it was the job of parents. A further 21 per cent attributed responsibility to game developers.

The study was conducted by automated phone calls to 1000 individuals. Answers were weighted in order to address imbalances in the methodology which resulted in more answers given by older people, females and those in rural areas.

Full results can be found on the Rasmussen website.

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Latest comments (6)

Nicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief8 years ago
You might like to see my chart showing the correlation (not causation) between rising video game sales and declining violent crime in the US?
http://www.gamesbrief.com/2010/08/if-vid...
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Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments8 years ago
"people without children were also more concerned than those without"

I assume one of those should be "with"?
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game8 years ago
The survey takers claim 54% of Americans believe something to be true, but the survey was taken by speaking to 1000 people, there are over 300 million people in America, and you are automatically discounting the large percentage of people who hang up on people phoning up to take surveys.

"You can prove anything with statistics, 14% of people know that."
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Show all comments (6)
Alex Loffstadt Community Manager, Outso Ltd8 years ago
Statistics are all about context and without seeing some detail on the actual questions asked etc. it's all much of a muchness.

For now games are likely to continue to take a kicking until the new entertainment medium turns up.
This has all been gone through with novels, comic books, rock n roll, heavy metal etc. etc. but with a steady stream of articles appearing in the mainstream press supporting the industry it looks like attitudes are changing.

I also take some heart from this bit:

65 per cent of respondents believe that states should have the power to prevent games of a violent nature being retailed to minors, but only 5 per cent believe that marshalling children's exposure to inappropriate material is the responsibility of the government - with an overwhelming 71 per cent felt it was the job of parents. A further 21 per cent attributed responsibility to game developers.
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Green Bean Gaming AntiCheat Organization 8 years ago
people believe whatever they want, but only the truth matters and gaming probably lowers the incidence of violence.
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Alex Loffstadt Community Manager, Outso Ltd8 years ago
@Green Coming out with the line "only truth matters" and then "gaming probably lowers the incidence of violence"? Little paradox there. :)

But the opinion isn't without precedent both scientific and anecdotal.

There's the Gadget Show experiment from earlier in the year but also the report for the study from the American Psychological Association. :D
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