According to a Harris Poll survey, 58 percent of US adults think that video games contribute to violent behavior of kids, 38 percent admitted their ignorance about the Electronic Software Rating Board (ESRB) system, and 33 percent said they allow their children to play whatever they like.
The debate, whether violent video games cause real world violence or not, is not new. There are strong voices on both sides of the table and many studies and statistical analyses to support both cases. For the public opinion, though, it seems the game industry is guilty. Or the public is very confused about the whole game/violence debate. At least, that’s what this new poll indicates.
The survey interviewed 2278 adult Americans and three in five of them blamed video games. On the other hand, 38 percent of the adults surveyed had no idea how to read the ESRB ratings and another 47 percent confessed they wouldn’t trust the ESRB ratings to keep mature-rated games away from children. Which is understandable, since one third of the Americans interviewed paid no attention to what their kids play.
The survey didn’t aspire to prove or disprove the correlation between games and violence. What it did was to show the confusion and ignorance of the public about the whole matter. As Mike de Vere, president of Harris Poll, said: “The findings underscore the lack of awareness Americans have about the video game rating system, as well as the confusion in the market. They also factor into a larger discussion playing out across our country and on a political stage around how violent games impact our youth…”