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Parents Should Be Most Responsible For Keeping Violent Games From Kids, Says Poll

The majority of respondents to a new nationwide U.S. Gallup survey feel parents should be most responsible for determining whether kids can rent or buy violent video games.
The majority of respondents to a new nationwide U.S. Gallup survey feel parents should be most responsible for determining whether kids can rent or buy violent video games. The results come as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments from the video game industry and the State of California, which hopes to pass a bill restricting the sale of games deemed "excessively violent" to minors. Eighty-six percent of the respondents said that parents should have a "great deal" of responsibility in keeping violent games out of minors' hands -- the highest result of the question. Four percent said parents should have no responsibility. Forty-three percent of those surveyed said video game manufacturers and retailers should have a "great deal" of the responsibility, and less than 20 percent said they should have no responsibility. Twenty-eight percent said that the government should have a great deal of the responsibility, and 26 percent said it should have none at all. But even though most respondents said that parents should be most responsible for controlling vjideo game content available to kids, 68 percent of respondents still said the government should be able to prevent sales or rentals of violent video games to kids under 18. Thirty-one percent said the government should not be able to prevent sales and rental of such games, and 2 percent were undecided. "In recent decades, adults concerned about the impact of comic books, popular music and movies on children have pressed for government control of content, but voluntary industry codes and parental monitoring largely have worked," said Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center. "Mom and Dad are still in the best position to keep inappropriate content out of the hands of kids." The survey is based on phone interviews of over 1,033 adults aged 18 and up in the U.S., from October 29-30. The game industry expressed cautious optimism that the Supreme Court would side with game makers, following the arguments Tuesday morning. Gamasutra also has on-the-scene analysis and highlights from the proceedings.

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