Three-quarters of parents in the US believe that playing videogames "contributes" to violent behaviour, according to a survey published by Common Sense Media. That's the same proportion of people who think that easy access to guns can be an influential factor, apparently.
1050 people were interviewed across 50 states during the survey, each with a child of under 18 years living at home. Movies and TV also took a drubbing, with 77 per cent of respondents crying foul. 93, 92 and 86 per cent also think that a lack of parental supervision, bullying and exposure to crime in daily life respectively have a notable impact.
A bill calling for a study of the influence of violent videogames on children was recently introduced to the US Senate by senator Jay Rockefeller, three days after a school shooting in Connecticut which has been variously attributed to the disturbing effects of playing Dynasty Wars, Call of Duty and Mass Effect. The bill failed to find a following, but according to Polygon, Rockefeller plans to reintroduce it during this month's Senate session.
"At times like this, we need to take a comprehensive look at all the ways we can keep our kids safe," he declared while the bill was under discussion in December. "I have long expressed concern about the impact of the violent content our kids see and interact with every day."
US vice-president Joe Biden is to meet with representatives of the games industry to discuss solutions to the nation's culture of violence. In a letter to Biden (cheers, CNET), the International Game Developers Association's Daniel Greenberg "[welcomed] more evidence-based research into the effects of our work to add to the large body of existing scientific literature that clearly shows no causal link between video game violence and real violence."
"Instead of simply trying to find negative effects, we ask that any new research explore the benefits of violent video games, too," he added.