Authors call on physicians and parents to engage players in discussions about media violence and its implications
A new study finds that Teen-rated video games contain significant amounts of violence and death. Led by researchers at the Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Kids Risk Project at the Harvard School of Public Health, the study appears March 12 in Medscape General Medicine (www.medgenmed.com), the first and only online, peer-reviewed primary source general medical journal that is published by Medscape.
Using a random sample of 81 video games rated T (for Teen) by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), study authors Kevin Haninger, a doctoral student at Harvard University, Seamus Ryan, a research associate, and Dr. Kimberly Thompson, co-founder and director of research for the Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston, characterized game content related to violence, blood, and weapons. They found violence in 98 percent of games, representing 36 percent of game play time, and blood depicted in 42 percent of games. Deaths from violence occurred in 77 percent of games, at an average rate of 122 deaths per hour of game play, with half of deaths involving human characters.
Mary-Ellen Shay | Children’s Hospital Boston
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