Sunday, August 24, 2008

Parent's Worst Fear isn't Sex or Drinking

A new survey claims the worst parents fear for their kids is not underage drinking or sexual content.
An informal poll conducted by What They Play, a sort of Rotten Tomatoes site for video games, recently pointed to parents' areas of concern in video game content. The fist poll, conducted on April 4-10 this year, asked participants to select from a list of choices which item would they find most offensive in a video game. The responses were: a man and woman having sex (37%); two men kissing (27%); a graphically severed head (25%); and multiple use of the F-word (9%). This survey had 1,266 participants.
The site's second poll, which took place in the first week of August, asked more than 1,600 parents what they would be most concerned about their 17-year old child doing at a sleepover: smoking marijuana (49%), playing the video game Grand Theft Auto (19%), watching pornography (16%) and drinking beer (14%).
While these findings do not represent any widespread departure from the notion that violence in video games is the source of violent behavior in their players, it does illustrate the controversy still associated with sex in games. Were it not for the 2005 controversy surrounding the "Hot Coffee" scene in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the game's violence may never have attained the level of discussion it has.
Interestingly, in game, drug use was not listed as a concern for parents, despite being their primary real-life concern, and despite the recent controversy over Fallout 3 in Australia, for its inclusion of morphine as a health recovery item. The game by Bethesda will reportedly be released there, but only after all references to the drug have been removed. (Tim Conneally/ BetaNews/ Photo:

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