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67% Say States Should Be Able to Prohibit Sale of Violent Video Games to Children

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court last week overturned a California law that made it illegal to rent or sell violent video games to children, but Americans strongly favor such laws.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that two-out-of-three American Adults (67%) believe states should be allowed to prohibit the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. Just 28% disagree. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

While strongly supporting laws prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children, Americans feel more strongly than ever that parents are more responsible than the government for limiting the amount of sex and violence children are exposed to in those games – by a 79% to four percent (4%) margin. Fifteen percent (15%) think the video game makers are more responsible.

Thirty-nine percent (39%) say those game makers should be held liable in court, however, if it can be shown that their games led to someone committing a violent act. But that’s down from 44% in April of last year. Slightly more (45%) now feel the video game makers should not be liable in such cases. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided.

These latest findings are largely unchanged from a survey last November.

But 65% of all Americans are at least somewhat concerned about the level of violence in many video games today, including 45% who are Very Concerned. Thirty-three percent (33%) are not very or not at all concerned.

Fifty-five percent (55%) believe violent video games lead to more violence in our society. Thirty percent (30%) don’t think that’s true, but another 16% are not sure.

Overall concern about the level of violence in many video games is down from 74% in April 2010, but belief that these games lead to more societal violence is unchanged. 

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The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on June 29-30, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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