Public opinion regarding the role of government in regulating violent content in video games

Date
2010-05
Authors
Wolf, Helen
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University of Delaware
Abstract
The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees free speech except in extreme cases. While video games are correctly labeled as speech, numerous psychological studies suggest that playing these games leads to an increase in addictive and aggressive behaviors. Because of this, experts are divided as to whether or not video games should be legally censored. My research seeks to determine the attitudes of the general public regarding whether legal restrictions on game content are advisable. This project involves a survey of 350 adult gamers who responded to questions about violent content and video game ratings. Through this survey, I will analyze the attitudes of gamers towards violence in video games and whether or not they believe that the effects of video games can trigger violence in real life. This study will also analyze various options for state and federal legislators to increase the restrictions on retail sales of violent video games to minors through the use of the video game rating system. Finally, I conclude that it is not the government‘s role to restrict the access of minors to video games. It is the parents‘ job to monitor their children‘s gaming habits.
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