Common Sense Media Polls Finds Fear of Violence Running High

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
Common Sense Media Polls Finds Fear of Violence Running High

Media watchdog group Common Sense Media says parents believe that violent videogames are as much of a contributing factor to real-life violence as easy access to guns.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, the Common Sense Media group, perhaps best known to gamers for its enthusiastic support [] for California's failed effort to legislate the sale of violent videogames to minors, commissioned a study into what parents believe are contributing factors to violence in the U.S. Unsurprisingly, a full three-quarters of the 1050 respondents said that violent videogames contribute to real world violence, putting them neck-and-neck with easy access to guns; what is a bit surprising is that both videogames and guns rank lower than just about everything else on the list.

The highest-rated contributing factor to real-world violence, cited by 93 percent of the survey respondents, is a lack of parental supervision, followed by bullying, which was cited by 92 percent. Real-life crime was listed by 86 percent of parents, followed by violence in television and movies, which came in at 77 percent. The only contributing factor ranked lower than games and guns were "violent toys," which were listed by 64 percent of respondents.

Also interesting is that after seeing video of both, 84 percent of parents said that an advertisement for the M-rated game Hitman: Absolution "is inappropriate to show on TV at a time when children are watching," while only 63 percent said the same thing about the R-rated movie Gangster Squad. 88 percent of respondents said they wanted television networks and the videogame industry to adopt policies similar to those that prevent ads for alcohol being aired "during programs viewed by large numbers of children."

In a letter [] to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Common Sense Media Founder and CEO James P. Steyer called for a "voluntary moratorium" on ads for violent games and movies when children are likely to be watching, more prominent displays of ratings for games, movies and television and a restriction on preview trailers in theaters that would limit them to the same rating as the movie being shown. But he also made a rather baffling allusion to a connection between the gun and videogame industries, writing, "Common Sense Media recommends that the FTC require the gun industry to explicitly and transparently reveal all product placements and other marketing practices and tie-ins with the videogame industry."

The full results of the latest Common Sense Media market research study are available at [].



Jan 4, 2010
United States
This is getting out of hand. It's mind boggling how so many people can be so wrong.


Elite Member
Jan 16, 2010
Ok, parental supervision, bullying, fair enough. But games as much as actually having guns? What?

I can understand people being concerned about what kids are being brought up with, especially if parents/whoever aren't around to teach them right from wrong, fantasy from reality (and this is a major problem with every form of media and more or less every problem, so many people are eager to believe thwta they see on TV), but there's things other than games that have a much greater impact, surely.


New member
Dec 25, 2008
The top 3: Bad parenting, bullies and real-life crime. It's not perfect, but it's progress.


Hingle McCringleberry
Dec 4, 2012
Fiction literature is the source of all degenerate behavior. I take that back, it's actually Jazz music. No wait, it's really moving pictures. Oops, I mean comic books. Did I say comics? I meant violent TV shows... wait... uhh Rap music? Maybe not. Hrmm... I guess I can say definitively, I has to be video games. I'm sure about it this time, I have a good feeling. Yeah, video games are certainly to blame for all degenerate behavior...


New member
Jul 9, 2012
Wait, video game product placement of guns? If it's not either Generic Rocket Launchers Inc. or Bolt Action Snipers Co. I don't think they're getting their money's worth. I don't think I could name a specific brand of gun I've used in any games I've played.


Overly Proud New Yorker
Dec 18, 2008
... more prominent displays of ratings for games, movies and television and a restriction on preview trailers in theaters that would limit them to the same rating as the movie being shown.
Uhh... they pretty much already do that Mr. Dipshit Letter Writer. For most video game commercials, when it starts, there's a big ass ESRB rating with a loud voice over declaring "Rated _ for _", and typically the rating will be present throughout the commercial in the corner.

Movie trailers already act the way you want them to. You go to the theater to watch some Disney movie, you're going to see trailers for kids movies. You go see some PG-13 action flick, you're going to see trailers for similar films. Go see a horror film, you're going to see horror trailers. It's a whole "if you want to watch this flick, than may we interest you in these flicks?" thing. In other words, BASIC MARKETING 101!!! You are not going to see any motherfucking R rated film advertisements during a fuckin' kids' show, or movie, or ANYTHING, because there's no market for it!!


New member
Feb 5, 2012
If only it was easy to change people's minds, but alas we live in a world where it is not. It is equally disheartening to know that many of those that hold such outdated and ignorant views on the video game industry are the ones in the position to actually do something about it. I often wondered if maybe some kind of video game protection movement could be effective in somehow spreading the idea that video games don't cause violence, but considering we still live in a world were many of the older generations still view games as something only children play, such a movement wouldn't be taken seriously in the slightest.

I really hope this dies off soon, otherwise if it keeps going, I don't see any viable way gamers could protect their hobby other than relying on the companies that make them and their bucket loads of money...which hopefully will be enough.


New member
May 22, 2009
Andy Chalk said:
But he also made a rather baffling allusion to a connection between the gun and videogame industries, writing, "Common Sense Media recommends that the FTC require the gun industry to explicitly and transparently reveal all product placements and other marketing practices and tie-ins with the videogame industry."
This is easily the most important part of this story. This guy literally thinks there is a conspiracy going on between the gun industry and the video game industry.


What this
Jun 14, 2012
Yet another ignorant group starts blaming things they shouldn't without reason...

And us gamers are in an unfortunate position ourselves, with our image being quite skewed from multiple angles.

Captcha- "Whole Shebang"

I guess you're with me, captcha?


New member
Mar 22, 2011
I understand the fear of Zombies is at an all time high. We better take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from Zombies; even though they're at historically low levels.


Gone Gonzo
Jun 16, 2008
I really don't like this group because they're idiotically working against themselves. Their website alone has a section where they've assigned their own unofficial ratings to video games, which are determined by users, and then practically hide the actual ESRB rating for the game at the very bottom of the page. Yet they want to stand around and ***** about how the rating system for games is confusing, it's not and going about making up your own that parents won't see in stores isn't helping the situation.

Also what's this nonsense about promotional gun tie-ins? Don't most game companies make up their own near-miss copyright infringement guns to avoid having to pay royalties to makers of said guns? Me thinks these numbskulls need to adjust the tightness of their tinfoil hats.

The Artificially Prolonged

Random Semi-Frequent Poster
Jul 15, 2008
Hmm parents fear fake violence in wake of high profile real life violence? You don't say.

Just because parents believe something does not mean that it is true. Of course this response was likely to come from parents given the recent events and given the fact that parents have a tendency to react emotionally rather than logically when it comes to their children's safety.

To be fair they are pointing out bullying and lack of supervision as well, but really? Games are right up there with access to real guns, but toy guns are the lowest on the list?


Sight, Sound, and Mind
Nov 24, 2008
Huh, well the majority of people still think that violent games makes people violent in real life, but a surprising large minority doesn't see it that way. Assuming that the vast majority of people are ignorant, this is a major statistical victory for video games!

Actually I don't see what would be bad about not showing 'violent', i.e. mostly M rated games, during more kid friendly movies and TV blocks. These games shouldn't be marked to kids, they are rated M for a reason.

All tie-ins between guns and video games? You mean that one time where a website for a game linked to an actual gun makers website and almost immediately they were blasted for it and took it down? Yeah I think your big list of all gun tie-ins in the history of video games would be about half a page long, at best.


New member
Aug 22, 2009
Oh, I'm sorry, did these blame game playing assholes think I gave a shit?

Well, I don't. I don't give a shit. I'm beyond giving a shit now. Go ahead you stupid fucks. Have your guns. Refuse to believe that people can have mental problems all by their fucking selves. See how well that works. Just remember that if you go down this road, blame everything that you don't understand to feel like you did something to prevent this sort of thing, the next time it happens, you've officially lost your right to ***** about it.

Fuck these guys. They don't want to listen to a rational argument, I'm finished coming up with one.

Hero in a half shell

It's not easy being green
Dec 30, 2009
Wait a minute,

They performed research into violent behaviour that pinpointed Lack of Supervision and Bullying as the most likely things to contribute to violence, so to combat this they recommend reducing advertisements of videogames?!?

Where are the letters to Joe Biden asking for more to be done to encourage parental supervision, more focus on successful anti-bullying methods, less glorification of real life crime, censorship of TV and movie violence to children, and ways to restrict a childs access to guns, all of which this report highlighted as larger problems than videogames

This is what happens when you conduct research with a predetermined motive. It discovered 5 problems larger than videogames, but ignores them to focus on their own prejudiced crusade.

Not that I would call it a very scientific report, based solely on parental conjecture and perceived values. An equally scientific report could be done by holding a seance with deceased school shooters asking them why they did it.


New member
Apr 10, 2011

I'm not going to take any company called Common Sense Media very seriously.

The very fact that they feel the need to call themselves that shows that they're clearly lacking it. If you ever need to point out that you have common sense then you're obviously lacking it.

It's called common sense for a reason, you're supposed to have it, that's normal.

This is the equivalent of calling yourself "Totally Not Deceiving You Media", with the slogan "We never lie! For real! We promise!".


Swamp Weather Balloon Gas
Apr 11, 2011
Wow all these misdirected posts. Maybe if the article had started with the top three, then worked their way down the list, instead of putting the sensational information on the top and squeezing the rest into the middle right after most people stop reading and start writing angry posts?

But I guess I really shouldn't be telling yall how to do your jobs since it's just about the hits amirite