Survey: two thirds of people would allow the gov’t to ban violent video games

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Parents should be responsible for determining whether children can buy or rent violent video games, says a new survey by Gallup. The U.S. Supreme court is hearing arguments today over a 2005 California law that prohibited the sale of violent games to anyone under the age of 18. Though the law never took effect, it has been bouncing around the courts for five years. Gallup surveyed a random sample of 1,033 adults living in the United States on Oct. 29-30, asking how much responsibility parents, video game makers, the government, and retailers should have in regulating violent games.

Parents:

  • 86 percent said parents should have a “great deal” of the responsibility.
  • 4 percent said parents should have no responsibility.

Video game publishers and developers:

  • 43 percent said video game makers should have a “great deal” of the responsibility.
  • 20 percent said video game makers should have no responsibility.

Government:

  • 28 percent said government should have a “great deal” of the responsibility.
  • 26 percent said government should have no responsibility.

“The survey results show a clear majority of Americans see parents having the most responsibility for deciding whether violent video games ought to be purchased or rented by children, but a smaller majority also approve a government ban,” said Gene Policinski, vice president and executive director of the first Amendment Center.

However, even though 86 percent believe parents should be responsible for their children, 68 percent would allow the government to prevent sales or rentals of violent games to kids under 18. Only 31 percent said the government should not have this right. What do you think? Is it right for the government to regulate the video game industry? If so, should it begin regulating the film and music industries as well?

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