US parents blame games for violence as much as guns

Written by David Hing

January 14, 2013 // 9:59 a.m.

Tags: #games #guns #study #us #violence

Seventy seven percent of US parents believe violent media including video games are equally to blame for real-world violence as guns, according to parent watchdog organisation Common Sense Media.

The survey of 1,050 parents with children 18 and under found that the majority believed the media industry had the power to change America's culture of violence but that the gun industry should also play its part in addressing the issue.

In addition, 88% of parents quite reasonably stated they wanted ads for violent games, films and TV shows to be kept away from airing during programs viewed by large audiences of children and 91% wanted cinemas to not run trailers for films that were a higher age rating than the film being shown.

'Parents are clearly concerned about how violence in media may be impacting their children,' said Common Sense Media chief executive James Steyer. '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.'

Although the blame was levelled at violent media, 75% of parents were equally concerned that easy access to guns was contributing to violence in the US.

In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook where a gunman opened fire and killed 20 children and six teachers, National Rival Association vice-president Wayne LaPierre outrageously laid the blame at the feet of the video game industry, calling it out as a 'shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people' and citing titles like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Splatterhouse and Mortal Kombat as the problem as opposed to commenting on any issues with gun control and the widespread availability of firearms in the country.

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