Nearly three in five of 2,278 adult Americans who responded to a recent Harris Poll survey believe that video games have a violent effect in teens. That's the fact. GamesBeat, which originally reported on the findings, instead went a bit 'Daily Mail' and implied that 58 per cent of all adult Americans felt the same.Opening its piece with
, "many adults believe the country has a violent video game problem," GamesBeat reports that "nearly three in five adult Americans (58 percent) believe that video games contribute to violent behaviors in teenagers." Of course, anyone skimming the article would likely skip the minor detail that Harris Poll "interviewed 2,278 U.S. adults."
1,321 people (which is roughly 58 per cent of 2,278) in a population of 313,914,040 United States citizens doesn't really count for "many," in our book. Maybe it's just us, though.
Back to the good, clean statistics. 38 per cent of the 2,278 people polled replied that they knew nothing about the Electronic Software Rating Board (ESRB) game rating system, and 33 per cent of those respondents claimed that they let their kids play whatever games they like.
"While more than a third [of 2,278 people] donít understand the rating system, 66 percent of households with game-playing children [polled] use the ESRBís age guidelines to help make purchasing decisions," GamesBeat reports (clarifications ours).
"Only 14 percent of [2,278] Americans claimed to fully understand said guidelines while 18 percent [of those polled] said they understood a lot of it." The report also claims that nearly half (of the entire US population, apparently) aren't confident that the ESRB ratings are effective enough.
Bizarrely, GamesBeat notes, "Of course, that concern doesnít actually correlate with reality." Probably because 47 per cent of 2,278 isn't a particularly large number, relatively speaking.
What the survey does show, if anything else, is that there is still a pocket of consumers that are unaware of the ESRB's role in the games industry, or are dismissive of it. As small are the number is against the larger US population, education to parents and consumers alike should still be of critical importance to the industry.