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Majority of Adults See Violent Video Games Influencing Teenagers

Gears of War 2

A recent Harris Poll shows that 58 percent of U.S. adults believe video games can influence violent behavior in teenagers. The poll surveyed 2,278 adults, and 38 percent of the participants had no idea on how the Electronic Software Ratings Board (ESRB) rated the games.

Although a majority of the adults believe there is a link between violent video games and teens, 33 percent let their kids play whatever games they want. “The findings underscore the lack of awareness Americans have about the video game rating system, as well as the confusion in the market, said Harris Poll president Mike de Vere in a statement. “They also factor into a larger discussion playing out across our country and on a political stage around how violent games impact our youth, with President Obama recently announcing his desire to look into ways to fund research examining the impact of violent video games on children.”

The Harris Poll also discovered that 47 percent of the respondents are not confident with the ESRB rating’s chances of keeping mature titles from children. Even though some respondents did not fully comprehend the rating system, 66 percent of households use the ESRB age guidelines when purchasing games for their children.

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