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Majority Of Americans See Connection Between Video Games And Violent Behavior In Teens

In addition:

  • The majority agree that there is no difference between playing a violent video game and watching a violent movie (56%);

Whose Problem Is It?

When asked about the regulation of video games, nearly three-fourths (73%) strongly agree, and 9 in 10 (90%) either somewhat or strongly agree, that parents should be the chief regulators when it comes to what video games children are allowed to play. 

While parents are clearly seen as the primary party that should be charged with this type of oversight, there are mixed feelings on the role other parties should play:
  • More than half (56%) agree that the government should not interfere when it comes to who can and cannot buy video games, but 47% agree that there should be government regulations on violent video games to ensure limited access to them.
  • Additionally, roughly half of Americans (52%) agree that industry self-regulation, including ratings and retailer enforcement, is the best way to regulate which video games children are allowed to play.
  • Women are more likely than men to agree that parents should be the chief regulators (92%-87%) and that there is a link between playing violent games and teens exhibiting violent behavior (62%-53%), while men are more likely to strongly agree that the government should not interfere when it comes to who can and can not buy video games (33%-24%).

For more information, or to view the full findings and data tables, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.


This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between January 17 and 22, 2013 among 2,278 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

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