Common Sense Media claims that 72 percent of adults are in favor of California’s attempt to legislate the sale of violent videogames to minors because the industry isn’t doing enough to protect children from inappropriate content.
The videogame industry enjoys a higher rate of age-rating compliance than any other entertainment medium in the world. The ESRB not only provides comprehensive ratings for virtually every videogame on the market but also makes significant efforts to keep parents educated and informed about how the ratings work and why they’re important. Game consoles even feature parental locks to help ensure that parents have the final say about what their kids play. But opinions often have little to do with facts, as evidenced by poll numbers released by Common Sense Media indicating that three-quarters of parents believe the game industry isn’t doing enough to protect their children.
A survey of 2100 adults from across the U.S. found that 72 percent were in support of California’s attempt to ban the sale of “ultraviolent” videogames to minors, the group said. 65 percent of parents claimed they’re worried about the impact of such games on their children while 75 percent gave the videogame industry’s efforts to protect children a “negative” rating.
“The results of this poll clearly show that not only do the effects of ultraviolent or sexually violent games weigh heavily on the minds of parents, but also that parents feel the videogame industry is not doing enough to protect kids from accessing these games,” said Common Sense Media founder and CEO James Steyer.
To support its position that videogames are a festering cesspit of gratuitous violence and misogyny, Common Sense Media has posted a montage of outtakes from videogames like GTA: San Andreas, Postal 2, 50 Cent: Bulletproof and Manhunt, broken down into categories like Violence Against Women, Violence Against Law Enforcement and Racial Stereotypes. The group describes the video as “footage of the type of videogame violence under discussion in this case.”
The Supreme Court of the United States is scheduled to hear arguments on California’s proposed ban on the sale of violent videogames to minors on November 2. “The Supreme Court’s decision is going to have a huge impact on families and kids across the country,” Steyer continued. “What we’ve learned from this poll is that parents want to be the ones who decide which games their kids play, not the videogame industry.”
UPDATE: Common Sense Media provided us with a breakdown of the poll’s methodology and narrative summary, and thus we pass it on to you. Commissioned by CSM and conducted by Zogby International, the online survey collected the opinions of 2100 adults, with “slight weights” added to region, party, age, race, gender and education “to more accurately reflect the population.” The margin of error is +/- 2.2 percentage points and the questions are as follows:
1. Would you support or oppose a law that prohibits minors from purchasing videogames that depict killing, maiming or sexually assaulting an image of a human being? (Support: Adults 72 percent, parents 72 percent; Oppose: Adults 22 percent, parents 24 percent)
2. How concerned are you about the impact of ultra-violent videogames on your child? (Very/Somewhat Concerned: Adults 61 percent, parents 65 percent; Somewhat Unconcerned/Not at all concerned: Adults 28 percent, parents 31 percent)
3. How would you rate the videogame industry when it comes to protecting kids from accessing violent videogames? (Excellent/Good: Adults 12 percent, parents 13 percent; Fair/poor: Adults 76 percent, parents 75 percent)