Violence

The record is clear: video games do not cause real-world violence. Leading independent research studies have found no evidence that video games trigger violent behavior.

Some critics unfortunately blame video games for violent behavior, especially after tragic episodes of gun violence in the U.S. This claim is unfounded and distracts from discussions around real solutions to America’s larger gun violence issue. Real-world evidence makes it clear that there is no causal link between video games and violent behavior. In study after study, leading independent researchers have found no scientific evidence that links video games and violence. The U.S. Supreme Court reached the same conclusion nearly a decade ago.

Most of the three billion video game players around the world enjoy the same video games—including those containing violent content. Despite this, violent offenses in foreign markets where those same video games are sold are far less common than they are in the U.S., suggesting that other factors (background of the individual, the availability of and access to guns, mental health considerations, etc.) are more relevant to understanding the cause of any particular offense.

The video game industry has a demonstrated, long-standing commitmentto ensuring that games, particularly those with violent themes, are used by people of the appropriate age and maturity level. Creating a positive, inclusive and safe experience for players of all ages is an essential priority of the video game industry. For more than 25 years, the industry has worked through the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to ensure that consumers—especially parents and caregivers—have the resources, including voluntary age and content ratings, needed to make informed decisions about video games. The effectiveness of these efforts has been praised by the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Related News and Resources

results in Media Violence.
  • Statement by the Entertainment Software Association on Illinois HB3531

    Statements /

    The Entertainment Software Association issued the following statement in response to legislation (HB3531) introduced this week by Illinois state representative Marcus C. Evans:

  • Family Game Night with ESRB Senior Vice President Bill Garrity

    Perspectives /

    Learn more about why ESRB Senior Vice President Bill Garrity loves family game nights. "Playing together is quality time, full stop. We’re talking. We’re encouraging each other at times and competing at others. I’m sure I’ll miss it when they move out."

  • ESA Leadership Desk: Science Says Video Games Don’t Cause Real-World Violence

    Perspectives /

    Video games are about more than fun. They make us better thinkers, more creative, more curious, and bring us closer together. Thanks to the passion of video game developers, publishers, and players across the globe, the future of interactive entertainment is brighter than ever before.

  • Essential Facts About Video Games and Violence

    Fact Sheets /

    Blaming video games for violence in the real world is no more productive than blaming the news media for bringing violent crime into our homes night after night. Numerous authorities have examined the scientific record and found that it does not establish any causal link between media content and…

  • ESA statement on Valve’s decision not to launch controversial title

    Press Releases /

    "We applaud Valve for pulling this tasteless game that so heinously exploits recent national horrors. It’s the right call. ESA and its members take its responsibilities seriously, as illustrated in its support of the ESRB rating system and broad compliance with strict industry marketing guidelines. Valve’s decision reinforces the…

  • Lack of Evidence That Neural Empathic Responses Are Blunted in Excessive Users of Violent Video Games

    Academic Research /

    This study found that violent video games did not cause emotional desensitization or blunt neural responses to empathy. These results highlight the lack of evidence supporting the hypothesis that violent video games cause aggression.

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