Study Finds Kids Play M-Rated Games

Posted on September 26, 2007

A study of 1,254 Pennsylvania and South Carolina 7th and 8th graders in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that 80% had played video games in the past 6 months. The study found nearly half of the 80% who were gamers played at least one M-rated game on a regular basis. This isn't unexpected since these are M-rated games the kids are playing not Adult-Only rated games.
Of 1254 participants (53% female, 47% male), only 80 reported playing no electronic games in the previous 6 months. Of 1126 children who listed frequently played game titles, almost half (48.8%) played at least one violent (mature-rated) game regularly (67.9% of boys and 29.2% of girls). One third of boys and 10.7% of girls play games nearly every day; only 1 in 20 plays often or always with a parent. Playing M-rated games is positively correlated (p < .001) with being male, frequent game play, playing with strangers over the Internet, having a game system and computer in one�s bedroom, and using games to manage anger.
So nearly half of the kids played an M-rated game regularly. M-rated games are recommended for ages 17+ because they may contain intense violence, gore, sexual content and/or strong language. It would be interesting to see similar stats of how many kids have seen an R-rated film for comparison. It seems likely that a good percentage of kids this age regularly see an R-rated movie - especially kids with access to cable or satellite television. The ESRB's rating guide can be found here.

ESRB M Rating

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