Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More than Alcohol, Smut & Violence

August 11, 2008 -

Just-released survey data from parenal advisory website What They Play maintains that parents worry more about their kids' exposure to video games than alcohol, violence and pornography.

From WTP's press release:

Nearly 3,000 respondents in two separate What They Play polls concluded that drinking beer and watching pornography were less objectionable activities for children than playing certain video games. Further, viewing violence was more acceptable than seeing content involving sex and sexuality within games.

WTP president John Davison commented:

These poll results demonstrate that parents are as apprehensive about their children’s media diets as they are about traditional social issues such as alcohol, drugs, violence and sex. When it comes to video games, parents should know that What They Play is a resource that helps demystify one of the most popular – and challenging – forms of entertainment their kids are into.

Dr. Cherly Olson, co-author of Grand Theft Childhood, is also quoted in the press release:

Although these findings seem surprising at first, they hint at fears parents have about video games. To some parents, video games are full of unknowable dangers. While researching for Grand Theft Childhood, parents we spoke with in focus groups often bemoaned the fact that they didn’t know how to use game controls - and felt unequipped to supervise or limit video game play. Of course, parents don’t want their children drinking alcohol, but that’s a more familiar risk.

According to WTP's data, here's what parents found most offensive in video games:

  • a man and woman having sex (37%)
  • two men kissing (27%)
  • a graphically severed head (25%)
  • multiple use of the F-word (9%).

Parents apparently worry about what their kids are playing on sleepovers, too:

The second poll... queried parents on what they’d be most concerned about their 17-year-old child indulging in while at a sleepover. More than 1,600 respondents revealed they’re more apprehensive about their child smoking marijuana (49%) and playing the video game Grand Theft Auto (19%), than watching pornography (16%) and drinking beer (14%).

GP: If accurate, the data poses some interesting challenges for the video game industry, starting with building parental confidence in game content as well as the means by which mature-themed games are kept away from younger players.


Comments

Bogus survey & interpretations.

The original survey said that the numbers of 19/16/14% for gta,drinking and porn were percentages of the 51% who didn't give pot-smoking as a their first concern.  That's means the percentages of the population queried were 9%, 8% and 7%.  I question who they tapped for this study -- 49% have their strongest concern that their kids might try cannabis?  That's listed as a cause of death with the CDC *zero* times (vs. drinking's 100,000/year with the largest group being teenagers and younger adults).  I doubt my parents ever even heard of GTA...I really wonder what group of people they "polled"...some Republican parents group?

 

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

COME FUCKING ON!

Seriously, did the parents stop when they came to "playing gta" and think "must be an anti-videogame survey, I'll tell em what they want to hear and maybe they'll give me a lollipop"?

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

*facepalm*

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Not really surprising. After all sex and violence in games is one of the media's favorite topics these days.

Thats why I don't watch the news, because you don't get any real information anymore.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

So parents would rather have their kids drink illegally, risk dying from alcohol poisoning/becoming an alcoholi and potentionally end up with lung caner from smoking, rather than controlling some pixels on a TV screen?

 

LOL only in America.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

I get more violent thoughts from watching the news than from playing games.

I mean the shit they put on TV nowadays,and all the different ways they tell you how these people get killed,it's usually far more than I see in any video game.

 

Morons.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

So Zippy, does that make you know who a one man clan? Cool!

Your soul is a tasty refreshing treat to ones such as I

chick chick chick chick chickeeeeen lay a little egg for meeeeee!

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

'Kin 'ell.

When I was 8 my Mum showed me how to play HER ZX Spectrum 128K.

Soon all the people who don't understand the merits and differences of video gaming as a medium will be dead.

 

Honestly, God-fearing flag-waving Americans are a depressing example of blissful, harmful and celebrated ignorance.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

the history channel calls it clannish mentaility, not the KKK klan  but slightly introverted small groupings of human populations that are very tight knit and dismissive of outsiders.

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)

 


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Wow. This makes me want to kick people's doors in and kiss my boyfriend in front of their kids.

 

Okay, I was being totally immature, but whatever, I just needed to get that out.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

That first one about a man and women having sex? Wouldn't that be in an R18 game anyway? A RATED 18 GAME? A GAME FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE 18 YEARS OLD OR OLDER?! If parents have a problem with those games then I have one thing to say...

STOP BLOODY BUYING IT FOR YOUR DAMN KIDS!

-- Joshua Smellie

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Well not in the U.S, here that game either gets Ao and the retail/console ban or it gets rated M which is for 17+.

Although if an M rated games does have a man and a women having sex it won't be on camera (see Grand Theft Auto and God of War).

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Alas in the U.S. it would be AO rated which, since most retailers are idiots, will not sell, even though they will sell unrated and NC-17 movies. (saw Showgirls at Wally-world and it just struck me as funny)

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

There was a decapitation in American Mcgee's Alice, but the person who was killed was a freaking chess peice, hardly realistic.

Whether the survey is an accurate representation of American parents' opinions, it's still sad as heck. Fox news has really done a number on our common sense.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

For the graphically severed head, I'm guessing one of the Manhunts, or maybe Postal. Unless it was a hypothetical of what could be in certain games.

The video game industry should really launch a campaign to enlighten parents about how games are not harmful, in spite of what the media says. Even saying there are efforts to keep kids from buying these games in the first place actually serves as a de facto admission that they can harm kids. Instead, they should say that their fears about violent content are unfounded, while still encouraging parents to decide for themselves.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

"The video game industry should really launch a campaign to enlighten parents about how games are not harmful, in spite of what the media says."

Well I think they should try to get the word out that they don't cause people to commit crimes but other than that launching a media campaign seems like a bad idea.

We've been saying repeatedly that these games are designed for adults and if the game industry starts walking around saying they're harmless then it may be seen as trying to get parents to buy these adult games for their kids (kind of indirectly marketing them to children). Now it might be true in most cases that gamers have been saying they were designed for adults instead of the designers but how many people out there will make that distinction?

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Getting drunk and watching porn, wholesome family fun for Tuesday nights.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

"According to WTP's data, here's what parents found most offensive in video games:"

  • a man and woman having sex (37%)
  • two men kissing (27%)
  • a graphically severed head (25%)
  • multiple use of the F-word (9%).

A man and a woman having sex - Mass Effect?

Two men kissiing - Bully?

A graphically severed head - What game is this?

Multiple uses of the F-word - What? Fat? Fart? Fark? Oh..THAT word. Yes. Fuck is a word in some videogames. It is also a word  used in quite a few movies and in music...but you'd all rather them watch and listen tho those than to play a videogame. Besides, if you follow the ESRB's GUIDELINES! You won't see anything on that list making its way onto a game that's rates E-T. You still have to be the parent and see what they are getting..or are you too lazy?!

 - Warren Lewis

 

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

They're parents not super heros, come on, it isnt like they had to be enough of adults to commit an adult act to have a kid, they had a stork magicly bring one to them like every other parent in the world.  The government is responsible for these kids, not the people who are suppose to feed them because that is already a hard task to commit to.

/sarcasm

 

these parents need a swift kick to the head, maybe 2 for some of them...

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

There are several games where heads are severed but it isn't very graphic.

Than there is Fallout 3 coming in a few months... One of its main selling points is the graphically severed everything including heads...

 

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

"A graphically severed head - What game is this?"

I don't know but I'd honestly be surprised if there weren't any games that featured a graphically severed head.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

only thing i can think of right off hand is RE4 if the guy with the chainsaw gets ya.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

It should probably be noted that this poll is from a site designed for parents to become more informed about video games.  It would only make sense that people taking the poll are more inclined to worry about the effects of video games on their children.  I doubt that this sample of the population accurately represents the general population.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

I agree, interesting as those poll results are, I’m not sure we can take statistics about parents views of video games from a site called ‘What They Play’ at face value.  

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Gay men kissing is still more offensive than a severed head.

These are strange times that we live in.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

No, just a strange country.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

These polls are a bit confusing to me.

Do they ask parents what they'd realistically be concerned about (i.e. 51% of parents didn't select pot because they don't think their kids would be interested in smoking) or what?

Also these parents are concerned they're 17 year old will look at porn?

Really in my opinion if a 17 year old wanted to look at porn then I wouldn't see much of a problem with it.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

 At 17 they've already seen porn. They just haven't seen transvestite beastiality porn yet.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

At 17, there's gotta be something wrong with you if you HAVEN'T seen transvestite beastiality porn yet.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Judging by how bad spam is.. it's only a matter of time.

---- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians. http://www.goteamretard.com

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Why does every government seen to hate video games???

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Well at least I finally know why this country is going down the drain, oh its alright kid, drink some beer and watch all the hardcore german porn you want but don't play those evil vidja games or smoke pot...

Hmm if it is such a concern than maybe we should make vidja games out to be as dangerous as pot and put a prison sentences for owning/having games or game paraphenelia...

So a poster of a game can get you behind bars....

This is how the media drives people crazy.... scare the hell out of parents and then convince politicians to 'protect' their children...

A friend of mine just got probation for ZIP LOCK BAGS in which they found residue of SANDWITCHES, but after spending god knows how much time and money searching his apartment and car I guess they had to justify it so the used the paraphenelia laws to bust him on empty plastic bags and NOTHING ELSE...

At this point I am starting to fear that games may be in for a similar treatment in the near future...

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Thats BS man, the way this country demonizes smoking and applaudes binge drinking confuses me. Its practically the same vice, and in my personal opinion drinking is worse.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Drinking is worse...  The only reason tabacco isnt illegal is because it was main stream when the country started...  If a place is doing serious research that isnt botched for one reason or another, pot is less dangerious than smoking cigs.

We all know that drinking is worse than either, but more hardcore drugs like meth are worse than that.

This country is bassackwords...  Nudity is made to be a huge deal, though teens dress like whores even...

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Empty plastic bags count as drug paraphanilia?

Please tell me your friend has a good lawyer.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Yes the plastic bag thing freaked me out as well... aparantly they are illegal if the cops are looking for drugs, otherwise they are legal...

He had a court apointed hack...

but even if it was a good lawyer, drug cases are almost always found in favor of the cops...

I believe the cops spent more money on his case then his apartment is worth... They got SWAT and a no nock warrant...and after finding NOTHING (the guy doesn't even drink) they had to justify the bust somehow...

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Now I want to see how many people would be offended by yuri.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Bill and Bobby watching 2 real people having sex on video is better than Billy and Bobby playing a game where 2 cartoon people have sex?

I find it funny how people rate 2 men kissing as 2% more dissatisfying than a head on a pike.  Bet that makes some homosexuals feel really attractive!

I find it so weird we live in a world where people are more concerned about a GAME and not drinking and porn.

I also find it ammusing how the fear of pot makes a near 50% of the worry.  Granted the legalities are pretty bad, but it is weird that it has been decriminalized where I am from yet other places have such a fear of it.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

So basically, they don't care if their kid gets HIV, but God forbid they smoke a doobie and play GTA? This just illustrates why I don't trust the parents of other children.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

If I had kids, I would let them play GTA IV before watching any of the Saw movies (as an example).  Those are far worse than anything contained in GTA.  (This is not to say that I'd allow my kids to play GTA IV, either -- I wouldn't.)

 

 

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

My parents would have been like, um... none of the above?  Pot isnt as harmful as cigs, beer is common and as long as the child is raised right they know not to drive afterwords, who cares about porn (how about sex?  my parents still wouldnt care and would just say, just use condoms, we dont want you having a mistake like we did, haha), and games is just a freakin joke.  Games I can see how stupid people would need to treat it like beer, but anyone who would pass the survival of the fittest idea in society wouldn't have a problem.

I cant remember who posted earlier about, if the US got attacked to the point we would all have to fend for ourselves, all of the people on medicare and stuff would die first...  but that is extremely true, and I support survival of the fittest.

Now being around physically abusive people, use of hard core drugs (meth and so on),  and things that would be life threatening or psychologically damaging, that is what parents need to worry about, because as long as they are raising their kids right, they dont have to worry about the rest of it.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

This doesn't surprise me at all.  I'm sure this survey was taken from the same generation who couldn't figure out how to set the time on their VCR.

-Loudspeaker
"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Ey now, I never could get those damn things to quit blinking

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

It's kinda ad that some parents would rather c their kids drinking beer and watching porn than playing violent video games

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Dangit - I should've totally watched more smut when I was a kid! What was I thinking?

"Even if it was online gaming that somehow inspired him to kill his parents, he must have realised at some point that they wouldn't drop any good loot." - GP member, Doomsong

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Watch the Penn and Teller Bullsh*t show on Numbers.. you can find it on Youtube

Pollsters can manipulate the polls to show anything they want.. so if the pollsters already have a thing for videogames then they'll make the numbers reflect that...

Like Penn and Teller say Numbers are BULLSH*T!

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

"Numbers aren't bullshit, bullshit is bullshit."

That's what they said, not that numbers themselves are bullshit.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

So, Jack, by your logic it's reasonable to fear virtual violence coming into your home more than to fear alcohol or drugs, which have a much higher chance of bringing REAL violence into their homes? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you? Mentally, I mean.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

I cannot believe this. I can't believe parents are more worried about video games than drinking/smoking for their kids. But I think it's because they've never played videogames, so they have no idea what's in them or how bad they are, besides what the media has been saying. And of course, the media is not helping, and it never does. It just makes parents believe that games are the worst thing imaginable for their child. Because you know, watching a murder in a game, is far worse than watching one in real life...

This is still ridiculous though. So things like weed and beer, that pose REAL health threats that can seriously damage your child and possibly ruin their life, are not as bad as a video game? Oh please. I also find it weird that violence is lower than sexuality. I mean, sex may be subjective for your kid, but at least it's encouraging something positive. What does violence enourage? At least gays aren't at the top of the parent's worry list for video games. They get treated just as bad as Communists did back in the 50s. It's like America just can't stop hating people for who they are and has to find a new target every decade. And they literally do.

Re: Survey: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Video Games More

Ignorance is bliss.....I have family members that wont vote for Obama because hes black but they always vote dim, but they don't get the fact hes "whiter" than half the white people in the areas....oy vay......

 

oh god 4 more years of the republican reich....if the country survives another 4 more years the people will be running to the PC nazis on the left ><

 

ack sorry rant mode ><

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)

 


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Andrew EisenHave gamers ever tried to ban a product? Can you be more specific? I'm not clear what you're getting at.07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Mattsworknamethey should have expected some kind of blow back. But I didn't participate in that specific action07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MattsworknameAndrew Youd have to ask others about that, I actualyl didn't have much beef with them till last year, so I can't speak to there history. I simply feel that gamesutra chose politics over gaming and chose to make enimies of it's prime audiance. For that,07/28/2015 - 8:40pm
Andrew EisenI'm still not clear on how Gamasutra was lacking in accountability or what it was lacking in accountability for.07/28/2015 - 8:38pm
MattsworknameAndrew: You and I agree on most of that. I don't diagree that there should ahve been other actions taken. Now, I do want to point something out, casue Im not sure if it's happened. Have gamers ever tried to have a product banned?07/28/2015 - 8:37pm
Mattsworknameimproperly. Neither is good, but one is on the edge of censorship to me, while the other is demanding some level of accountability from public media provider. but thats just my view point07/28/2015 - 8:36pm
MattsworknameEZK: You can treat it as bullying or what not, As I've pointed out, I didn't like either practice, I made that clear. But I do hold some different between trying to pull a product from the shelves, and calling out a media outlet that you feel has acted07/28/2015 - 8:35pm
E. Zachary KnightMatt, So you feel confident enough to make the call that petitioning target to remove GTAV is "bullying and threatening" but not confident enough to make the call on Intel/Gamasutra. Finding it hard to take your gripes seriously.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAs for gamers holding media sites accountable? If you mean, how to respond to opinion pieces you disagree with, yes, there are tons of more appropriate means.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAgain, no one likes being lumped in with the bad apples. Gamers or feminists so lets all strive not to do that, yes? Could the petitioners gone about it a better way? Yes, it could have been more factual in its petition, for starters.07/28/2015 - 8:25pm
 

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