games are now a prime form of entertainment among Americas youth. An estimated 70
percent of children ages 2 to 18 have access to video games at home, with a third playing
games in their bedrooms, according to recent surveys. Here are some facts about them
gleaned from a recent study:
- Boys aged 8 18 surveyed in this
research spent 40 minutes a day playing computer or video games. The number of violent
interactions in a 10-minute play period ranged from 2 to 124.
- Boys who play Teen or Mature-rated
games for a minimum of 40 minutes a day may witness over 180 incidents of aggression per
day, or 5,400 incidents per month.
- In 98 percent of the games surveyed,
aggression went unpunished. In fact, in more than half the video games the
perpetrators were rewarded for their aggressive actions.
- The basic prototype for aggression in
Mature-rated video games involves human perpetrators who engage in repeated acts of
justified violence involving weapons.
- 78 percent of all violent interactions
in the first ten minutes of game play featured lethal violence.
- In almost a quarter of the violent
interaction in mature games, players perceived themselves as stalkers.
- 78 percent of the violent action was
shown up close.
- Almost half of all violent video game
segments featured humor.
- Only 10 percent of all video game
perpetrators possessed good or prosocial qualities.
Smith, S.L., Lachlan, K.A., & Tamborini, R. (2003). Popular
Video Games: Quantifying the Presentation of Violence and its Context. Journal of
Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 47 (1).