AfterDawn: Tech news

Research suggests parents ignore game age ratings

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 22 Jun 2005 23:50 User comments (8)

Research suggests parents ignore game age ratings Just one day after we reported that a U.S. Senator was calling for a boycott of the game 25 to Life and other violent titles, the controversy over violent video games continues. Research in the UK shows that parents are ignoring the age warnings on video games. Many people believe that violent games could influence a child and that the games shouldn't be played by them. For this reason, they have an "age rating" in the UK that is similar to the age rating on movies.
A violent game, such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas which is a best seller and has been the receiver of much criticism for its content has an 18+ rating, which simply means the game is unsuitable for anybody below that age. However, most parents don't believe that games could possible badly influence their children. "Most parents think their child is mature enough so that these games will not influence them," Modulum researcher Jurgen Freund told a games conference.

Last year, parents of a 14-year-old blamed the game Manhunt for his death. After an investigation, police dismissed the claim but since then the debate over the influence games have on minors has arisen again. "Parents perceive age ratings as a guide but not as a definite prohibition," said Freund. "Some may have not liked the content but they did not prohibit the game." Parents seem more concerned about how many hours their children spend playing games than the actual content of the games.

One thing believed to be a problem at the centre of this debate is that a lot of parents feel disconnected from the gaming world. A parent who has little or no interest in gaming would not understand any influence that would possibly come from a game. There is no doubt that the games industry is feeling discomfort dealing with this debate. "It raises more questions than answers," commented Nintendo's UK boss David Yarnton. "We need to look at solutions and as an industry we are quite united on this."

BBC News

Previous Next  

8 user comments

123.6.2005 4:45

anyone dumb enough to do something violent/stupid just because of a game needs to die....some people just shouldn't breed.

223.6.2005 6:54

if you are dumb enough to blame a video game on any violent act you or your child did, you should be sentenced 25 to life.

323.6.2005 13:39

This issue is also big in australia. My perspective is not really on the parents although they have a big part of the responibility. The person selling it over the counter should check the manditiory age of the person for their I.D. like they do for the movies. Here in australia they have done it. but also the shop person should have at their own discression that will the adult play it or will supervise the game play or is it just gonna b left to the childs immature understanding.

423.6.2005 16:24

Didn't you know you can blame songs as well. Now there has been violence over the release of a couple movies I know of. They are just as stupid though. -Del

524.6.2005 5:11

I just hope kids or anyone does it because of a game...

624.6.2005 8:38

I think that you can get influenced all you want its really up to the person to make desisions about what they are gonna do.

724.6.2005 10:03

Am I wrong or are a bunch of kids cartoons far more violent than video games? -DEl

825.6.2005 6:07

Tempest in a teapont. As a gamer and a parent I would saygame ratings are useful and just as legitimate as rating films. I don't give a rat's a$$ what a few nuts suing over manhunt think say. But I do know with kids five, ten and 14-years-old I fid the ratings between a sponge bob game and grand theft relevent. I am a firm beleiver in parental resposnbility, and am more interested in how much time the kids spend with a game and how much interaction it provides, or more to the point, thinking, it mandates. But the fact is the ratings are a useful tool.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive