The debate over the effectiveness of game ratings systems continues with the findings of a new survey, which reveals more than half of parents in the UK allow children to play titles for players 18 or older.
Conducted by Childcare.co.uk, the study surveyed over 2000 parents on whether they allow their children to play games listed as inappropriate for them based on age, how much research they put into the games they purchase for their children and several other factors as compared to letting them view movies with similar ratings systems. What they found is that more than half of parents allowed their children to play games rated 18+, compared to only 18 percent who would allow their children to view a film meant for adults.
Many of the other factors they asked on saw similar results: 86 percent said they don’t follow age restrictions on video games as compared to 23 percent who don’t follow age restrictions on films, and 86 percent believed games wouldn’t have an impact on their children’s behavior or their outlook on life.
“What’s interesting is that the majority of parents follow film age ratings, but when it comes to video games they maybe aren’t as strict,” Richard Conway, founder of Childcare.co.uk, says. “It’s important to remember how impressionable children are; if they see behaviour or language in a video game or movie, they may mimic it.”
The findings come after months of a resurgence in worry over the influence of video games on players, younger audiences key among them. POTUS Donald Trump met with key members of prominent game studios, publishers, the ESA and the ESRB to discuss violence in video games in March, and the World Health Organization recently classified video game addiction as a disorder. However, other studies have found games to be beneficial on a number of fronts from creative thinking to social connectivity.