Survey: 75% of parents think games contribute to violence

Seventy-five percent of parents with kids under age 18 at home believe violence in video games contributes to violence in the United States, according to a survey sponsored by Common Sense Media and the Center for American Progress. The poll sampled 1,050 U.S. parents in early January, with 77 percent saying that violence in TV and movies similarly contributes.

Forty-five percent of parents surveyed called violence in games a major problem, though 68 percent said the current system of ratings for games and movies allows parents to make informed decisions about violent content. The survey also included several questions about whether ads for violent games and movies are appropriate to show when children may be watching, with 84 percent finding an unnamed trailer for Hitman: Absolution inappropriate in that context.

"Parents are clearly concerned about how violence in media may be impacting their children," Common Sense Media founder and CEO James Steyer said in a press release. "Our culture of violence seems to have made it the new normal that parents who take their kids to a movie theater or gather to watch a football game are at risk of exposing them to inappropriate content that is marketing video games or films rated for more mature audiences."

Common Sense Media has strongly spoken out on the issue of kids playing violent games in the past. It was one of several sponsors of the 2005 California bill to ban sales of violent games to minors, which was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011 on grounds of violating free speech protections.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.