According to Survey: Parents Worry More about GTA Than Beer and Porn

It’s a well know fact that videogames are a recent favorite scapegoat for the media and politics. Videogames are the latest bad influence on today’s youth like comic books, rock and roll and so many other controversial forms of media and art that have been targeted over the years. Unfortunately, it seems these talking heads are doing their job well.

According to a recent survey by parental advisory website What They Play, parents are more worried about their kids being exposed to Grand Theft Auto than beer or pornography.

The poll, which ran August 1-6, 2008, queried parents on what they’d be most concerned about their 17-year-old child indulging in while at a sleepover. More than 1,600 respondents revealed they’re more apprehensive about their child smoking marijuana (49 percent) and playing the video game Grand Theft Auto (19 percent), than watching pornography (16 percent) and drinking beer (14 percent).

The poll is a follow up to a survey seeking to find out whether sex or violence triggers parents’ anxieties more:

The results of the initial What They Play online poll, conducted April 4-10, 2008, found that the 1,266 participants were most offended by the following in a video game: a man and woman having sex (37 percent); two men kissing (27 percent); a graphically severed head (25 percent); and multiple use of the F-word (9 percent).

No one should really be surprised at these results. It’s pretty obvious that games including adult sexual situations will earn a mature rating more often than one featuring graphic violence. While we’ve become placidly inured to gore and violence, our nation holds true to its Puritan roots remaining squeamish over sex and nudity.

The latest Question of the Day survey in progress is based on Gears of War 2 which will offer parental controls to turn off blood and foul language. Personally I don’t understand why a mature rated game should offer these features at all. The Gears of War series and many others like it were never intended for children.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

8 Comments on According to Survey: Parents Worry More about GTA Than Beer and Porn

Rollett

On August 12, 2008 at 3:44 pm

So a website about video gaming violence… does a survey about.. Video game violence or beer/porn…… and the Games become the most worryed about ? Biased much ?

Mikouen

On August 12, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Maybe parents shouldn’t give their kids GTA games in the first place, and then they obviously wouldn’t have to worry about them.

What morons they are. :???:

Shawn Sines

On August 12, 2008 at 3:54 pm

@Rollett: That is one of the largest points many people overlook on surveys and other studies – you have to recognize bias based on the funding organization – which in this case is an anti-game parental advocacy group.

lololol

On August 12, 2008 at 3:59 pm

the game says 17+ and it says about the violence and nudity so the parents cant rly complain.
kids cant buy this game by themselves, they need their parents(someone whos 17+) permission.

and im pretty sure all of use drink beer while playing gta and watch porn and jack off

Rollett

On August 12, 2008 at 4:06 pm

@Shawn: but the General Public never see’s the bias thats there.. insted they just look at the results of the survey 300 people took.

Hawkeye

On August 12, 2008 at 8:43 pm

@Rollett and Shawn: I was gonna point out the exact same thing, but I guess you guys already beat me to it.

Scandy

On August 12, 2008 at 8:54 pm

It’s not just parents either… I just finished it after 46 hours and I think the girlfriend was very close to loosing her mind… she much prefers games like Lego Indiana Jones and ones that seem cute, not ‘brutal’ like GTA4.

Sage

On August 13, 2008 at 7:49 am

And THAT is why Gears of War 2 has a content filter. For those of us with squeamish girl/boyfriends, children, or otherwise easily offended or influenced people in the house. Obviously, the violence is still a problem for kids, but the filter also cuts profanity, so they can at least be in the general area, if not glued to the screen.

I think it’s actually a pretty good compromise that allows you to play the game without clearing out the house first. I don’t really see how the violence filter makes much difference (sparks instead of blood… they must just be playing!), but it’s better than having to mute the game or play only with headphones.