Tags: Teen | Video | Games: | Bloody | Sexual | Profane

Teen Video Games: Bloody, Sexual, Profane

Tuesday, 04 April 2006 12:00 AM

Many of the video games popular among America's teens are loaded with violence, sexuality, drug use and profanity -- and much of it is hidden from parents, according to a disturbing new study from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Kimberly Thompson and her colleagues found lots of graphic violence and bloodshed in the games that was never referred to the cover labels. In fact, they found that more than 80% of M rated (mature) video games show violence, blood, sex, profanity and drug abuse well beyond warnings on the labels.

Further, the study found that M-rated games which are supposedly restricted to those 17 and older, are very frequently obtained and used by very young teens.

In all, the researchers spent approximately 42 hours of game playing and observed, 6,011 characters' deaths due to violence, occurring at an average rate of 145 character deaths per hour. The carnage included 4,268 human deaths, at an average rate of 104 deaths per hour.

In addition, the researchers found many instances where special codes obtained online can unlock hidden sexually explicit content. They urged parents be particularly wary of games that state, "Game Experience May Change During Online Play."

"Parents should recognize that popular M-rated video games contain a wide range of unlabeled content and may expose children and adolescents to messages that may negatively influence their perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors," the researchers concluded.

In an accompanying editorial, Drs. Dimitri Christakis and Frederick Zimmerman both of the University of Washington in Seattle, wrote that "most of what has been done to understand or curtail or regulate the negative effects of media on children can be viewed as failure."

The study appears in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

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Many of the video games popular among America's teens are loaded with violence, sexuality, drug use and profanity -- and much of it is hidden from parents, according to a disturbing new study from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Kimberly Thompson and her...
Teen,Video,Games:,Bloody,,Sexual,,Profane
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2006-00-04
Tuesday, 04 April 2006 12:00 AM
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