The folks at this year’s Siggraph had a panel asking the question Are violent video games really a problem?
“Mature-rated video games only account for 15 percent of games sold. Over half of the movies sold by Hollywood are R-rated. The FTC, which does annual reviews of retailers, said that 50 percent self-policed when it came to minors trying to buy M-rated games, compared to only 7 percent of retailers who restrained minors from buying R-rated DVDs. Both youth violence and crime are at a 40-year low in the U.S,” Jason Della Rocca, executive director of the International Game Developers Association, and a panelist, said in his opening remarks.
“These numbers quantitatively prove that (the idea of violence caused by video games) is hype-based and not based on any actual statistical progression toward violence. It’s not supported by real-world data. It’s more a soapbox for politicians,” Rocca said.
Most of the panelists and audience members agreed with Rocca’s assessment that video games today are simply what rock and roll and Elvis’ gyrating hips were to 1950s conservatives.
Short answer is: No. Bigger concerns should be on issues of privacy and diversity. The CNet News article is short, but worth checking out.