... is terrible parents. Most M video games are designed for adults. I know it's common knowledge that "only kids play video games," but that's completely wrong. The average age of video game players is 37. (Cannot hyperlink PDFs: http://www.theesa.com/...) 72% of Americans households play video games, including 29% of individuals over the age of 50. If you do NOT play video games, you are clearly in the minority. That's all ESA demographic data released for investors, and considering that their purview is knowing which audience to target with advertising, I'm pretty sure they know what they're talking about.
Adults play video games, we just don't talk about it. And considering what happened to Colleen Lachowicz, I wonder why? Colleen is a Kossack by the way (and she won that race, despite the Maine Republican Party being complete cocks.)
Only about 5% of games are rated "Mature" every year. Those 5% of games only account for about 10-15% of games sales in any given year. And these are only numbers from games that are rated. Companies like Pop-Cap games sell millions of games that aren't counted, because they aren't rated, and they aren't under the purview of the ESA. So there's a lot of data missing from their numbers. If included, that data would make M rated games an even smaller portion of games produced and consumed by Americans. The most violent of these games I've been able to find is a game called Plants vs. Zombies, a game for a number of platforms including, PC, Ipad, Macs, and most phones. It's incredibly cartoonish and involves plants defending a home from waves of non-scary zombies with peas, pumpkins, and the odd corn cob.
So violent video games are a tiny minority of the video games out there. The majority of games are rated E-for-everyone, and are really, really tame.
A lot of people are concerned about the blood-and-gore games, and that's understandable. People have been asking for a "ban" on children purchasing games designed for adults. And I would agree with imposing such a ban, if it didn't already exist based on store policies.
Children cannot purchase or rent M-for-mature games in the United States. Only a legal adult can purchase those games. While some stores will allow 17 year-olds to purchase the games, because mature is 17 and older (NC-17, essentially) many store policies require an actual 18-year-old adult to purchase these games. You often see mortified 16 and 17 year olds with mothers in tow in game stores. I actually sometimes wander into video games stores just to watch the people because it's hilarious to watch a beet-red 17 year old bringing his mother with him to buy Call of Duty Black Ops, or some other shoot-em-up.
These games get into the hands of small children when terrible parents aren't paying attention to the media their children consume. They're rated M-For-Mature, a 17 and older ONLY rating. "Rated M for Mature, 17+" is stamped right on the box, it is said out loud in the advertisements, and plastered all over the websites. There's even an age-limit gateway to enter the websites in question, where you have to put in your birthday. These games aren't hiding the violence in them. The violence in them is stamped right on the box. When I was growing up, such games were banned in my home, even when I was 17, because my younger brother was 12, and wasn't ready for mature games yet. I was allowed to have T-Rated games, but only for my computer.
Another excellent diary on this same subject deals with Adam Lanza's favorite video game. The completely bloodless "Dynasty Warriors."
So when someone in the NRA says "Guns aren't the problem, VIDEO GAMES ARE THE PROBLEM," ask them why the majority of Americans haven't committed mass murder yet. 72% is such a clear majority of Americans that it could get a bill passed in the senate.
This is a correlation, not a causation.
And I'll also point out that violent video games are enjoyed the world round. South Korea has a video game addiction problem, and I'm not aware of any violent shootings in South Korea. This exists in many Asian countries, including china. When one Kossack asked if people in Asia played video games five hours a day like some American children do, there was a rude but informative response.
People in Asia play videogames until they die. And I don't mean from old age, there are videogame addicts in asia who play videogames to death. Some die after 72-hours. Some die after a 2-week marathon. It happens all the time, and it's a huge social problem that thankfully, we don't seem to have in anywhere near the severity that Asian nations do. And their games are just as fantastically violent as ours.
You cannot make the case that video games lead to spates of horrific violence, if those spates of horrific violence only happen in one of the places where video games are played obsessively. It may suit the sensibilities of the NRA and the pearl clutching moral guardians, but there are absolutely no facts to back up this argument, whatsoever. Now there are social problems with video games and gaming culture, such as the portrayal of women, and video game addiction, but there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that video games cause violence.
If you've heard any talking points on this, or any "Facts" being dropped by NRA bobbleheads about how video games are Satan incarnate, drop them here. There are a LOT of Gamers on Dailykos, and either I or one of them will be happy to refute this horrific little lie that distracts from our real issues: the deadly combination of inexpensive and readily available weapons of war and a national epidemic of untreated mental illness.