Parents’ videogame concerns

"Parents are more concerned about their children’s exposure to video games than alcohol, violence and pornography," according to in-site polls at WhatTheyPlay.com. The site gathered responses from "nearly 3,000 respondents in two separate polls," its press release said. One of the polls asked parents "what they’d be most concerned about their 17-year-old child indulging in while at a sleepover." They said they'd be more concerned about "their child smoking marijuana (49%) and playing the video game Grand Theft Auto (19%) than [about] watching pornography (16%) and drinking beer (14%). In this case unfamiliarity breeds contempt: The site's press release offers some perspective on this from Cheryl Olsson, author of Grand Theft Childhood, as saying that "To some parents, video games are full of unknowable dangers. While researching for Grand Theft Childhood, parents we spoke with in focus groups often bemoaned the fact that they didn’t know how to use game controls – and felt unequipped to supervise or limit video game play. Of course, parents don’t want their children drinking alcohol, but that’s a more familiar risk." Here's coverage in the Los Angeles Times and a commentary on the study in Red Herring.


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