Tips on How to Deal with Media Violence

Find out how media violence impacts kids, and get tips on choosing quality, age-appropriate media.
Caroline Knorr Parenting Editor | Mom of one Categories: Violence in the Media
Parenting Editor | Mom of one

Violence. It's literally everywhere: in video games, movies, books, music videos, and cartoons, on the nightly news and the Web, and even in commercials. And it's becoming harder to avoid. Today, with the explosion of technology and 24/7 media access, the question more than ever is, what's the impact, especially on our kids?

The short answer is: We don't know. Although experts agree that no single factor can cause a nonviolent person to act aggressively, heavy exposure to violent media can be a risk factor for violent behavior. Children who are exposed to multiple risk factors -- including aggression and conflict at home -- are the most likely to behave aggressively.

Heavy exposure to violent media can lead to desensitization, too. And it may actually start with parents. A study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania found that parents who watched a lot of movies were more likely to say it was OK for younger kids to watch movies that had R-rated violence and sexual content.

The good news is that, as parents, we can make a choice to consistently expose our kids to media that reflects our own personal values and say "no" to the stuff that doesn't. The number one influence on kids' media consumption is how their parents think and act regarding media. There are so many benefits to media and technology, including the potential to teach valuable skills. Doing research about TV shows, movies, or games before your kids watch, play, and interact with them will go a long way in helping them avoid iffy stuff.

So how can you as a parent manage media violence in your kids' lives? 

Tips for parents of all kids

  • Explain consequences. What parent hasn't heard "but there's no blood" as an excuse for watching a movie or playing a video game? Explain the true consequences of violence, and point out how unrealistic it is for people to get away with violent behavior.
  • Keep an eye on the clock. Don't let kids spend too long with virtual violence. The more time they spend immersed in violent content, the greater its impact and influence.
  • Teach conflict resolution. Most kids know that hitting someone on the head isn't the way to solve a disagreement, but verbal cruelty also is violence. Teach kids how to use their words responsibly to stand up for themselves -- and others -- without throwing a punch.
  • Know your kids' media. Check out ratings, and, when there are none, find out about content. For example, content in a 1992 R-rated movie is now acceptable for a PG-13. Streaming online videos aren't rated and can showcase very brutal stuff.
  • Keep an eye on interactive media violence. There's no way to accurately measure whether there's more or less violence than in the past, but the pervasiveness of it in interactive forms, such as social media, online videos, and video games, is relatively new. 

Advice by age

  • Two- to 4-year-old kids often see cartoon violence. But keep them away from anything that shows physical aggression as a means of conflict resolution, because they'll imitate what they see.
  • For 5- to 7-year-olds, cartoon rough-and-tumble, slapstick, and fantasy violence are OK, but violence that could result in death or serious injury is too scary.
  • Eight- to 10-year-olds can handle action-hero sword fighting or gunplay so long as there's no gore.
  • For 11- to 12-year-olds, historical action -- battles, fantasy clashes, and duels -- is OK. But closeups of gore or graphic violence (alone or combined with sexual situations or racial stereotypes) aren't recommended.
  • Kids age 13 to 17 can and will see shoot-'em-ups, blow-'em-ups, high-tech violence, accidents with disfigurement or death, anger, and gang fighting. Point out that the violence portrayed hurts and causes suffering, and limit the time they're exposed to violence, especially in video games.
  • Most M-rated games aren't right for kids under 17. The kid down the street may have the latest cop-killer game, but that doesn't mean it's good for him. The ultra-violent behavior, often combined with sexual images, affects developing brains. Just because your child's friend is allowed to play violent games or watch violent movies doesn't mean they're OK for your child.


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About Caroline Knorr

As Common Sense Media's parenting editor, Caroline helps parents make sense of what’s going on in their kids' media lives. From games to cell phones to movies and more, if you're wondering "what’s the right age for…?"... Read more
How can I explain the difference between fantasy and reality to a 4-year-old?

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Comments (66)

Adult written by precarious1971

I am shocked and appalled at the graphic violence in today's movies and other media. Not only is the violence waaaaaay more explicit then when I was a kid, but it seems to glorify in a gratuitous sadism, and an attitude that "it's justified" and the victim "just got what he/she deserved". I have read several articles on the subject of violence in the media, and the consensus seems to be that movie, tv, and video game producers feel compelled to "ramp up the violence" because that is what today's teen and young adult culture seems to want. If they make the game or movie too "tame", it won't sell. I think that the root of the problem is this: that particularly in America and Europe, young people today have never experienced true violence; such as war. I am in the IT field, and I recently talked to a maker of video games. I was told that they are getting constant requests from fans to make the games "darker". "More daaarrrrkness!" is the demand. I suggest that some of these teens and young males spend some time in places like Syria, Iraq, and areas in Africa with civil conflict. Then they would have a chance to see some "real" darkness, that would soon have them curled in a ball and weeping with terror. Ok want "darkness"? Then join the army. Or maybe some foreign aid organization. Spend some time working in a refugee camp. See REAL blood and REAL amputated limbs. You'll never watch a violent movie or play a violent video game in your life again!
Teen, 13 years old written by EpiQuerty

Contrary to popular belief, playing video games does not make me a murderer. I'm thirteen, not insane, and yes, I would know if I was off my rocker, AnnieDas (her comment is right below mine at the time of this writing), because I don't feel like shooting people out of the blue. Now, this only applies to teens with much more developed brains than your average five-year-old, but video games are analogous to basically every TV show or movie your teenager has watched, Battlefield Hardline is like Cop Show: The Game. Skyrim is like Lord Of the Rings: The Game. Those don't make me a psycho killer, and neither do the games I play. As long as you keep your teenagers away from the really bad stuff (GTA, Duke Nukem, Saints Row, etc.), you should be okay.
Educator and Parent written by AnnieDas

The argument that "I'm 12 and play violent games but I'm completely sane" really doesn't work. You wouldn't know it if you weren't. How can graphic violence not affect us at any age? We're human and should, be default, be caring towards other humans. Compassion is the most important skill for us to teach.
Teen, 13 years old written by PeeblesAlicorn

I really believe that there is a certain age when kids are able to tell that just because they see something in the media, that doesn't mean it's right. I'm not saying that you should let your 5-year-old play GTA, but kids are smarter than you think. For example, I watch Black Butler, and I really like it, but I still know that a lot of things that Ciel and Sebastian do wouldn't work out nearly as well in the real world.
Parent written by jparqu1

Television/media violence is a very big issue in today's society. However, it is just as important to understand that exposure to violence as a whole can affect the behavioral mentalities of children. It is important to teach the kids that the violence they witness via television or video games is only acceptable within those contexts. Parents need to teach kids the difference between real world behaviors and those that they experience via the media. Media violence only has the intent to entertain and persuade, not to inform that an individual should not conduct themselves in the manner of any individuals that are a part of the media violence portrayal.
Educator and Parent written by ukeplayer

In order to address the effects of violence on our society, we have to stop focusing exclusively on examples of overt, physical violence in movies, videos, games, etc. Most people are not going out and shooting, stabbing or physically assaulting others! Our problem is that we don't pay enough attention to the other, less visible forms of violence with which we are inundated through the media: emotional violence, psychological violence, relational violence, and even verbal violence. These types of violence are portrayed so routinely in our media that we don't even notice it anymore! No one, in all these comments, has pointed out that our media gives us a steady stream of bad examples of how to treat others. Look at how people on tv communicate with one another; look at how politicians speak about one another, look at how our athletes behave on, and off, the field. We are surrounded by examples of hurtful name calling, shouting, ridiculing, put-downs, dehumanization, intimidation, anger, suspicion, prejudice and bigotry. Like a pollutant, it is in the air we breath, but we don't see it, so we seldom think about it. When this is the majority of what we are exposed to, day after day, year after year, how do we expect anything to change? Some people in these comments have pointed out that there was a lot of violence in the past. Yes, they are right. Which proves that very little has changed. We will never get rid of violence, but we can learn more positive ways of dealing and communicating with others, and better methods of managing conflicts so that we reduce the chance that conflicts will become overt and violent. This kind of education exists, but is fighting an uphill battle against a deluge of negative messages from the media. We need to find creative, nonviolent ways of forcing a change in what is offered to our children by these companies. There was recently a very successful campaign to eliminate sexist, anti-feminist images in Super Bowl commercials. That can be a model for further progress!
Adult written by afleni1

I believe this is an issue that more adults and parents should become aware of, especially in the world we live in today where television, the media, video games, etc. is such a big part of life for kids and adolescents. Sure, maybe it depends on the child and their environment, but I definitely think that what children watch should be monitored, especially if there is a noticeable change in their behavior. I think a major part of this is making sure that children know the difference between fantasy and reality. Knowing that what they see on TV isn't always acceptable in the real world is important for kids to realize. It's absolutely something that parents should consider and it's important that they be aware of what their children are watching.
Parent written by sahrens72

I am a parent that absolutely believes in monitoring what my children are watching on TV and what they are doing on the computer. I am currently taking an online communications course through Drury University and we are discussing this very thing in our class this week. I think that the biggest thing that stood out to me in this article was that "Heavy exposure to violent media can lead to desensitization, too" (Knorr. 2015). It's not just our children who are being desensitized but it's society as a whole, and the further along we get in generations it's scary to think about how desensitized our grandchildren will be to what is happening in the world around them. In our textbooks it points out that "...the Columbine (Colorado) killings in 1999 were linked with the killers affection for violent video games. Subsequent school shootings, both int eh US (eg., the Virginia Tech killings in 2007) and in Europe (Emsdetten, Germany, 2006 Jokela High School, Tuusula, Finland, 2007), were likewise linked to heavy use of violent games." (Ess. 2014). I'm not saying that violent video games are to blame for this behavior but by seeing and playing these kinds of games daily I feel it affects how they react in the real world when confronted with real world situations that can't be handled how things are handled in a gaming scenario. I really like the tips for parents to manage their children and I truly believe that is the key, is the parents have to be parents and not just hand them a game or a remote control and expect the TV to "babysit" their kids for them. Resource: Ess, C. (2014). Digital Media Ethics. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Teen, 14 years old written by roborvisci

This article is not really accurate. I have played COD, Battlefield, The Elder Scrolls, etc. since I was 11, and the most violent thing I have done is pinch my sister. As far as I know, that does not count as serial killer actions. I also like watching stuff like The Hobbit, Air Force 1, and Star Wars. You basically need to know your kid, tell them its ok to back out, and if they decide to play or watch, watch them while they do it. The thing I would be careful of is innuendos and the like, as they are in everything.
Adult written by Senser123

I feel that the Media Violence is impacting the kids more than ever before and that teaching your kids to distinguish fantasy violence from the real kind while they are under7 should be a start and also the media violence should be limited more than ever to the mild kind.
Educator and Parent written by FindingHope

Hey! I really enjoyed this post. I am a firm believer of protecting what my children watch. With so much violence and sexuality EVERYWHERE, our children are being abused by the media to fall into their trap and follow the way of Hollywood's influence. I would like to encourage to you check out this really great program called "The Peaceful Solution Character Education Program". I was looking for articles to help with my content and back up a movement I am involved with, and i found yours. The movement is called P.A.V.E. Every year they devote a full 24-hours to NO violent viewing... NO TV, NO VIDEO GAMES. this year it is being held on Feb 12-2015, I think, by your post above you would really enjoy this campaign. I encourage you to also check it out. ;) again thank you for this post, i hope it continues to reach parents all over.
Teen, 14 years old written by eazy__breezy

What the heck? Ive seen extremely violent films, like the hills have eyes or would you rather and played Halo, I'm not going to be a serial killer. Only little kids shouldn't be exposed to really violent media and games, the average teen is fine with it. And some little kids (10-12) are mature enough for violence too, just for the record.
Teen, 14 years old written by roborvisci

Yes, I so agree! My sister is only 11, and yet she has seen all the SW movies, and has played COD with me and my friends.
Parent written by saundersij

Minecraft = 8 = stupid. Loads of kids play that at a much younger age. This is one example, I don't agree with many of these scores. I don't think there is any connection between violence and video games at all. Romans were a blood thirsty lot and as far as I know there was no tv in those times. That being said, never ending story = 8 on this site and my kid that old freaked out when the horse died. It's all relative. I was watching Indiana jones movies at 8 and according to this site I would have to wait till I was 11. Nope, not convinced by this at all. Much more important to make sure kids live a balanced life. Spending 5 hrs a day watching cartoons is much worse than half an hour of something a bit more upbeat.
Kid, 10 years old

That makes me wonder, when I was five my favorite film was the day after tomorrow. Common sense media, on the other hand, want to destroy the the sadistic happiness that young children receive from slap-stic violence that young children watch on the Disney channel. Yes, that's right, the Disney channel, you cannot prove one way other than violence will entertain a child. As well, Common Media make it seem as if, when a kid watches a 12 rated film they will become a sociopath when they grow up, because Mum and Dad let them watch Tom and Jerry. And another thing, I am ten years old and my favorite video game is a game called Carmaggedon, a game where the aim is to run over as many pedestrians as possible (if you are interested look up the following: and when I went to buy this game, of course it's an 18, the person at the till did not ask for any parental permission, I bought that game thinking about the Common sense media website and I laughed, Yes I laughed out loud at the reason I had bought an explicit and inappropriate game without an parental permission and to this day I giggle at the reason I have done such a terrible act, as you see it! ha ha! what are you going to do about it common sense media, I have lived!
Kid, 12 years old

Violence in the media, video games, etc. don't affect everyone. It depends on whether they are mentally crazy (criminal-wise) and how the child takes it in. A ten-year-old can watch The Godfather and play Halo, but won't grow up to be a serial killer. An adult can do the same thing and can become a serial killer. Some people do get affected, whereas others do not. You cannot really blame the media for all of the violent shootings, robberies, etc. It is the fault of the person, how they interpret the media, and whether they are crazy or not. My dad spent his childhood watching horror movies and he is just fine. There has always been violence. Humans cause violence. They decide whether or not to be violent. The media just shows and reports it. So, don't blame the media. Some children may get frigtened by it. This is the real world. They are always going to hear about it especially from their peers. There is always going to be violence around us, and we just need to make sure children don't misenterpet it of get the wrong facts.
Adult written by chrijeff50

I've been hearing this controversy as far back as I can remember, and all I can say is, I'm a baby boomer (born in 1950), grew up on TV Western shoot-'em-ups, and still love Westerns and great fantasy (just rewatched "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" last night)--and I am not a violent person. I don't own any weapons (unless you count my kitchen knives) and have never committed a violent act (unless you count swearing at the bookcases I built!). I think it's the person--not what he sees--that determines whether there will be violence in his future. Some kids can just shrug it off. Some can't. The unfortunate thing is that we don't know which is which until one of them explodes and shoots 20 people in a movie theater or an elementary school.
Adult written by Senser123

I feel media violence is affecting the kids more than ever and being able to distinguish fantasy violence from the real kind starting at an early age should have a more positive impact on their lives and also the media violence should be more limited than ever to the mild kind.
Teen, 14 years old written by Michael D. Jordan

I'm sick of those people who keep complaining about violence is harming the children. People needs to realize that there were more violence going on in the past BEFORE tv, games, and movies were even invented.
Parent written by AmandaS25

Parents, educators, babysitters, etc. need to educate themselves on the affects violence has on children. Being familiar with studies has shown that children who grow up in violence and watch violence, will most likely be aggressive and participate in violence as a child, teen, and adult. This blog contains great parenting tips and easy steps to take in preventing our children from being apart of violent acts.
Teen, 14 years old written by Michael D. Jordan

No, this blog is trying to spoil the children. Violence has happened more in the past before tv, games, and movies were even invented.
Kid, 10 years old

I think this is right. I watched the matrix when I was 9 and it was scary for me. I have playedGTA and that game is crazy and it sucks. Drugs shooting
Teen, 13 years old written by 13gamer

Ok. So Im a girl and I play violent games like Call Of Duty but its not like I've ever had the urge to shoot someone in real life. You can't blame careless mean people who effect the way you feel and saying that its videogames when it could just be some careless mean stranger. I'm pretty sure, violent video games or not, you probably wanted to slap someone sometime in your life.
Educator written by raj416

Thank you - this is an excellent video and article. It amazes me that no one paid attention to the serious effects of violence back in the 1970's. Lt. Dave Grossman, in his book "On Killing" has been sounding the alarm for over a decade. If we don't do something, he says, we'll face a tidal wave of cold hearted killers. That time is around the corner. Wake up America! Combine this understanding of Violence with Sexuality and you have what is called "Eroticized Rage." And women pay the price for Eroticized Rage. As men, we need to stand up stop this tragic trend of violence in our society. My blog discusses this at - and soon to be at -
Kid, 9 years old

Well I sometimes watch ben 10 but it only has fantasy violence but deadly dozen has some blood but I am still alloud to watch it but I don't mimic what I see on tv but one time my brother watched a violent YouTube video but now he knows what to watch and we don't watch violent YouTube videos like cupcakes (cupcakes is a violent my little pony video )
Kid, 11 years old

Hey I was 5 when i played Halo and i loved it but i knew that it wasn't real and that i shouldnt imitate that in real life. Plus where am i going to get a laser blaster!
Teen, 15 years old written by NazgulDovakhiin34

Look. Violence is a bad thing. It's not the way to solve any problem. But brainwashing your kids in your image? Srsly? Taking away your child's right to play the video games they want is a violation of one of our unalienable rights, the pursuit of happiness. Take Skyrim. If your child wants to play Skyrim, let him. let him decide if he is mature enough. encourage him to tell you if he believes he can't handle it. That way the child gets his choice, and you can allow him the option of backing out. Everyone wins.
Educator written by raj416

But, Nazgul, you wouldn't let your child pursue happiness if you knew it were dangerous. I'll bet 99% of the children say they are mature enough for Skyrim. Very few children would turn it down. Few children would turn down the opportunity to drive a car, or shoot a gun, or get high. Parents are dedicated to protecting their child. I agree with you when you say, encourage him to tell you... that's open communication. Good point my friend, keep the communication open and real.
Teen, 16 years old written by Daniels Oria

Great pleasure for me to discuss this, as the case of children living in developing countries the major media we now expose to it is watching movies. Recently, I watched a movie about people fighting with swords in a sudden while I fell down with my chair because it was more fiercely than I've watched before.
Teen, 15 years old written by ASLgirl

Two words: Chaos Walking. Those books scared me! I mean, it's one of my favorite series, but gosh, it's gory. The worst thing I've ever seen was the first aid video in 5th grade about lacerations (cuts). The nurse was like, "Don't worry, it's makeup, " and all that, but it looked so real. One kid even passed out.
Kid, 10 years old

Well,a kid can play games like Driver San Francisco,Ben 10 Ultimate Alien and M games like God Of War.But,a game like MANHUNT 2;No.I know Manhunt 2 is awesome,but too VIOLENT.As for movies,I like movies like Iron Man 3,and am looking forward to see TURBO.
written by GSN Hatena

I Know Violence is bad. The Parents need to set the time by age. 2- 4 for 30 Minutes. 5- 7 for 1 &1/2 Hour. 8- 10 for 2 Hours. 11 & 12 for 2 &1/2 Hours. 13-17 2 &3/4 Hours. 18+ No More then 3 Hours of this. If this don't help what they see on the screen. Reduce the hours of Violence they see.
Kid, 12 years old

In your comment. You mention 18+. You cannot restrict an adult. In the eyes of the law, anybody 18 and over are adults. I don't think you should've mentioned it. 18+ means 18 and over. A 45 year old has to be restricted on what they see on television? Violence in the media doesn't really affect people.
Adult written by epicXmedia15

No. Incorrect. Most children are educated enough to understand what they are seeing is wrong. Yes, their time playing should be limited depending on age, but not because of violence. Back to my point. Children know what they are seeing is not acceptable. Does that mean that they are going to go out and imitate a video game? No. A video game is just that, a game! Not real life.
Parent written by Lizzly

It is very important that we let our child knows that watching those media violence are not good for them. The tips you've provided in your articles are quite impressive. I will add those tips to my kid. --------------------------
Teen, 13 years old written by asmithkv

The good news is that, as parents, we can make a choice to consistently expose our kids to media that reflects our own personal values and say "no" to the stuff that doesn't. There are so many great benefits to media and technology, including the potential to teach valuable skills.You have written good information.keep your better work here. children activities
Teen, 15 years old written by NazgulDovakhiin34

Dude. I play Halo 2 and I am perfectly sane. I didn't turn into a serial killer that murders people. Chill. A little violence is not the end of the world. There is a certain term your missing: simulation. Simply put, it's a virtual replica of something. In other words, it's not real. Your kids should understand that what you see in a video game is not something you can do IRL. If they do, that means they are mature enough to handle the kind of games older kids can play because they are mentally ahead of their age.
Kid, 10 years old

If your child wants to play Call Of Duty Black Ops or GTA IV so much,then sit with him-do not let him play the game alone.As I say,Its rated MA-15,under 15 must be accompanied by adults.I play GTA SA and GTA IV alone because I understand about the games stuff.
Parent written by taranapoe

yeah it's all true. kids might follow what they have seen in video games so it is important to have a parental guidance for them to explained what is going on in the video games and etc. palawan travel palawan tour package
Kid, 11 years old

BTW (by the way), they should be able to have ANYTHING in ADULTS ONLY VIDEOGAMES (M and AO ones), because the way I see it, adults are allowed to see whatever the heck they want.
Kid, 11 years old

I've once played GTA San Andreas; let me tell you that the graphic violence in it, is like shooting a restaurant's guy's head off, and there's lots and tons of blood in that scene. You can also beat up people (and I also once beat up a police officer bloody). You can also shoot people down bloodily, too, so beware for young kids and teenagers. While, UFC: Undisputed: 3, let your child play. Yes, there's a tiny bit of blood that goes onto the ring, players' faces are left bloody, there's no swearing though, but sometimes they stitch people's faces up and some aftermaths are impactful, so watch them first.
Teen, 14 years old written by Bionic Reviewer

I'll open up with this: When I was very little, my mom wouldn't let me anywhere near a toy gun or sword. For a few years, it worked. Then, I visted my older cousin's house, and saw his extensive toy gun collection. The no gun rule promptly flew out the window at lightning speed. I was then exposed to the world of video games, and I've been playing them ever since. I've played games ranging from Wizard101, to Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, to even inFAMOUS 2 (and, for one day at the aforementioned cousins house, spent some time going on a rampage through L.A in a GTA game). Here's the twist: I haven't felt the urge to kill, destroy, main, or otherwise injure another human being or animal. In cases like this, it's normally nature as opposed to nurture: Most of these people you hear of who do these horrible things based on games, have had something wrong with them from the beginning. Did video games exacerbate it? Possibly, yes. Are most rational beings affected by it? Not really. This doesn't mean you should let your kids play whatever, and young children playing violent games is a terrible idea. But, letting them play some games with swordplay or magic or lasers starting around age 7 probably couldn't hurt, and Wizard101 and Pirate101 are relatively safe for anyone who knows how to use a computer. Of course, as the parent you most likely are, you still hold absolute control, and what games are played should be decided by family values and parent decision. If your child wants to buy a game, do your research, and if you end up going for it, then watch them play for a while. It may help a lot.
Kid, 11 years old

I developed verbal violence, but that needs to stop in my house. Meanwhile, physical violence isn't too bad, despite my selection.
Teen, 15 years old written by Wdog-999

The way I see it, there's quite a difference between real life violence and media violence. Media violence is often overblown to the point where most people can easily tell that it's nowhere close to real life (do you really think that real people pour gallons of blood from their chest when they're stabbed). Personally, I've seen the clip of Budd Dwyer shooting himself in the head during a press conference and even I was quite shocked and even typing about it now makes me uneasy. Media violence, however, doesn't creep me out at all and is actually somewhat entertaining due to how overblown and unreasonable it is. For one, after watching "The Raven," I actually rewatched a particularly violent scene several times and I've seen my fair share of horror movies with copious amounts of blood and gore ("Saw," "Candyman," and "Child's Play 2"). And again, seeing an actual death did not entertain me and actually made me very uneasy. I'm definitely not saying that you should ever expose a child to that (honestly, no one should ever have to see a real life death), but it's important to realize that there's a very real difference between the two and while I've never been in a discussion related to it, it could make for another bullet point when distinguishing the difference between violence in real life and media. Another point: I believe that the whole ordeal of blaming video games for real life violence is just a cop-out for bad parenting. Personally, I never get into violent situations despite the high amount of violent games I play. The difference is that my parents knew to tell me the consequences of violent behavior, both on Earth and when I die and go to Heaven for God to judge whether or not I deserve to be in Heaven. Even just knowing the consequences of actions can go a long way in preventing your child from taking these actions.
Teen, 15 years old written by NazgulDovakhiin34

Finally, someone who gets what I've been trying to say. Media violence is obviously not real. It's been so blown out of proportion it's almost comical. Plus it's a simulation. At least you understand. Mayb e one day the rest of the world will.
Parent written by salimc50

I have recently done an analysis of media and violence for a Communications college course. The sad truth is that we may not have conclusive evidence of the prominent causes that violence in the media has on our nation, especially our children. I read so many articles claiming that it is video games, another that says it is Hollywood, another that says it is our lack in mental health funding--the one conclusion I came to is that discussion and awareness of the consequences and implications of violence start IN THE HOME. Making sure that children understand the difference between glamorized media violence with usually no consequential actions and real-life violence that hurts others is a major topic to talk with children about. I know that increasing technological freedom of our children, who may know how to navigate the Internet better or bypass blocked settings, is a difficult obstacle to overcome. However, taking the time to set boundaries and communicate the REASONS you are setting these boundaries can help to prevent later disconnections between media violence and the real thing.
Teen, 13 years old written by bb scout

this is stupid, i mean ratings are there for a reason people need to pay attention to that kind of stuff
Teen, 16 years old written by super_circle

this is so ridiculous. why are you making a 10 year old watch south park. i cant even explain how stupid this is
Parent written by wytworm

I like the admission that 'we don't know' then we will tell you what we want to believe and base it all on that. We do know that there is no common standard for 'values'. Not sure how a monolithic one size fits all approach works. It is also not required to expose your kids to ANY media. That is a parenting choice. Quite possibly a bad and irresponsible one.
Adult written by TimTheTVGuy

I like some shows with violence,such as Happy Tree Friends and The Simpsons.I'm a Christan (because I read the Bible and go to church) and I find those two shows really funny.Just because I like HTF and The Simpsons dosen't make me an athiest.I know some Christans who like HTF,and when they make fun of The Lord on The Simpsons,I just change the channel.When they stop making fun of Jesus,I change the channel back to FOX.As for M-rated video games,I choose NOT to play them.Because they're too violent.I'm quite a gamer myself,but i'm gonna choose NOT to play M-rated games.I'm a huge fan of action (I love Star Wars,Angry Birds,Ninjago,Ben 10,Pokemon,ect.) But I wouldn't exactly show them to little kids (NOTE: I'm not a parent,i'm a 21 year old male.) I remember one time,my friend who sits next to me in class (i'm a college student),let his brother (who is 6) watch a movie called Ben 10: Alien Swarm.The movie gave him nightmares.In my opinion Ben 10: Alien Swarm is an OK movie (read my review on it.)So,if I was a parent,and had a child who loves action,I would tell him not to copy what he sees of the screen!
Kid, 12 years old

In my opinion games like assassins creed, skyrim, and halo are ok for kids under 17 but games like cod and grand theft auto are not. Unfortunately my parents do not share my beliefs.
Kid, 10 years old

Assassin's Creed and HALO are M FOR MATURE rated games,so COD and GTA also are fine.I'd say games like Bully or Prince Of Persia are OK for kids under 17,the others are better with Parental guidance.
Parent written by Cuddly1984

It really depends on the content of the game, there are some M rated games that are just plain ridiculous with their content, such as (DMC: Devil May Cry), which has very foul language, and graphic sexual content. Compared to M rated Dark Souls or Skyrim which has very limited or no language/sexual content. Its just about parents researching the game, or trying the game themselves first before purchasing for kids/teens.
Adult written by JEDI micah

As an adult, I choose not to play M-rated video games. It may be tempting sometimes, but it's easy to resist if you are a person who never played M-rated games, like me. And it's the same thing with R-rated movies. There are some T-rated games that I'll play and PG-13 movies that I'll watch. But when I see violence through the media, I am smart enough to know that violence isn't always the answer in reality. When I see violent content, I would never do it in real-life. That's what people these days should think: Violence in media - fun to watch, but copying what you see - severe consequences could come up on your doorstep!
Adult written by JEDI micah

As an adult, I choose not to play M-rated video games. It may be tempting sometimes, but it's easy to resist if you are a person who never played M-rated games, like me. And it's the same thing with R-rated movies. There are some T-rated games that I'll play and PG-13 movies that I'll watch. But when I see violence through the media, I am smart enough to know that violence isn't always the answer in reality. When I see violent content, I would never do it in real-life. That's what people these days should think: Violence in media - fun to watch, but copying what you see - severe consequences could come up on your doorstep!
Adult written by B_K_R4NDoN

While I don't necessarily agree with everything in the article, your comment made me consider otherwise. I don't think you should be reviewing anything...
Teen, 14 years old written by Antagonist

You guys must seriously chill out. I was exposed to the first Terminator when I was 10 and I turned out alright
Parent written by CSM Screen name...

Excellent. Really good for group discussions. In the home and outside of the home. One thing that I think would be beneficial: balance the video with some video snippets that simultaneously promote encourage healthy value systems
Adult written by jymn

not all M rated games are created equal. There are some I would let a 12 year old play (Mass Effect, for example), and others no one is playing in my house--"I don't care if you're 23, gruesome violence for it's own sake is not entertainment, and I will not tolerate it under my roof!"-- (I'm looking at you, Manhunt)