A recent Common Sense Media study revealed that 89% parents in the US have issues with the level of violence in games. 84% specifically has a problem with a ‘Hitman: Absolution’ ad used. The report was released on Jan. 11, 2013.
In addition to this, 75% of parents said they had difficult shielding their children from the displays of violence. Indeed, the ‘Hitman: Absolution’ ad, which is easily viewable on Youtube and other websites, is quite graphic.
As Eddie Makuch writes for Gamespot: ‘One question asked if parents thought violence in video games could lead to violence in the real world, to which 75 percent responded saying yes, with 17 percent saying no, and 8 percent saying they were not sure.’
Another question concerned whether parents thought violence in contemporary games was a problem: ‘ said it was a major problem, 44 percent said a minor problem, 8 percent said not a problem at all, and 2 percent were not sure.’
Other parts of the study include 60% of parents saying they closely watched what their children played, watched for movies, or listened to for music. Also, most parents confirmed that they have faith in the ratings boards—including the ESRB (games) and MPAA (films)—and that with the current system parents are capable of making informed decisions on what is appropriate for their children.
Common Sense Media and the Center for American Progress commissioned the study, selecting 1,050 people at random, all parents with children under the age of 18. The study was performed on January 4 and 5, 2013. All participants were asked the questions identically.
In other violence-in-the-media news, vice-President Joe Biden will be meeting with representatives in Washington DC to examine the effects that violence in the media has on influencing youths and how it has an influence on mass shootings. Such awareness was reawakened in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre on December 14, 2012, when 26 people—20 of whom were children under the age of 10—were killed by a lone gunman armed with an AR weapon and handguns.
For more information, check out Eddie Makuch’s article on Gamespot. And also, as an interesting side-note, here is an article written by IGN's Casey Lynch, showing the other side of video game violence. It's an article that shows that violence in video games is not the only problem, but violence in the media in general; it also makes the argument that violence, while not justified, isn't wrong to have in such forms.