Policy Positions


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 more than 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 commitment to 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).

More From The ESA

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