A new independent study by market research firm Phoenix Marketing International suggests that stories in the news media affect consumers' choices when it comes to purchasing videogames.
When questioned by researchers, more than one-third of respondents agreed with the statement: "Recent news stories about videogames will make me reconsider the types of videogames I purchase for myself or others."
In addition, more than three-quarters of households owning at least one games console agreed that "The Entertainment Software Rating Board is doing a good job and that it is ultimately the parents' responsibility to control what their children play."
The news will give the ESRB a much-needed boost - the board recently came under fire from critics such as Senator Hillary Clinton and attorney Jack Thompson over the GTA: San Andreas 'Hot Coffee' scandal.
On the issue of whether or not videogames are instructive, more than half of those questioned agreed with the statement that "videogames should be taken for what they are; entertainment, not so-called 'training tools.'"
More than two-thirds of respondents agreed that videogames are "not just for kids" and that "adults have the right to play sometimes offensive games." However, gamers were significantly more likely than non-gamers to agree with this statement.
"Individuals of all ages play video games because they have fun doing so otherwise there would be no video game industry," commented Whiplash Games president Pano Xinos.
"The content of each video game reflects the target audience and therefore some measure of responsibility must be accepted by both consumers (including parents) as well as the retail and video game industry."