A Gallup survey conducted over the weekend finds that while Americans believe the greatest responsibility for keeping violent games out of children's hands lies with parents, they aren't opposed to the government stepping in to help.
With oral arguments in the Supreme Court hearing over the California video game law that would outlaw selling violent video games to minors having been heard this morning, the nonpartisan First Amendment Center publishes the results of a survey that strikes at the heart of the matter: Who is responsible for keeping violent games from children?
The survey, conducted by Gallup on October 29 and 30, asked 1,033 adults how much responsibility they felt parents, the video game industry, and the government should have for deciding whether violent video games be rented or purchased by children.
Of the 1,033, 86 percent said that parents should have a "great deal" of responsibility, the single largest response out of any of the three groups. Only four percent said parents should have no responsibility at all.
Next on the responsibility ladder came the video game manufacturers and retail outlets, which 43 percent of those polled felt should have a "great deal" of responsibility, with less than 20 percent responding no responsibility.
the government came in last responsibility0wise, with 28 percent saying the government should have great responsibility, and 26 percent saying none.
While those polled indicated the government shouldn't have very much responsibility to determine whether or not children can purchase violent games, an overwhelming 68 percent felt that the government should be able to prevent sales or rentals of violent games to children under 18, in support of the California violent video game law, currently being contested in the Supreme Court.
Thirty-one percent said the government should not have that ability, and two percent were undecided on the issue.
"In recent decades, adults concerned about the impact of comic books, popular music and movies on children have pressed for government control of content, but voluntary industry codes and parental monitoring largely have worked," said Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center. "Mom and Dad are still in the best position to keep inappropriate content out of the hands of kids."
How would you have answered the poll?