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February 28, 2007
According to Thompson, “Many parents think that stores won’t sell an M-rated game to someone under 17. We know that’s not true, and, in fact, kids roughly 50 percent of that time, all the studies show, are able to walk into any store and get any game regardless of the rating, no questions asked.
-Cooper, Anderson. Anderson Cooper 360. CNN, October 8, 2005.
Parental Involvement in Game Purchases
Parents are involved when games are purchased, with players under the age of 18 saying their parents were present at the point-of-sale 89 percent of the time.
Thompson dismisses statistics showing that while the popularity of video games has gone up, violent crime has gone down.
Though the FBI reports that the number of teenagers arrested for violent crimes fell by half between 1994 and 2004, Thompson attributes it not to reduced violence but reduced reportage.
“The experts I talk to in fact indicate that assaults, violent incidents in schools, are up, and they’re being handled in-house as opposed to going to the local law enforcement officials because schools don’t want to have that stigma,” Thompson said.
The total nonfatal victimization rate for young people declined between 1993 and 1998. The percentage of students being victimized at school also declined over the last few years. Between 1995 and 1999, the percentage of students who reported being victims of crime at school decreased from 10 percent to 8 percent (Indicator 3). This decline was due in part to a decline for students in grades 7 through 9. Between 1995 and 1999, the prevalence of reported vic-timization dropped from 11 percent to 8 percent for 7th graders, from 11 percent to 8 percent for 8th graders, and from 12 percent to 9 percent for 9th graders.
... While overall school crime rates have declined, violence, gangs, and drugs are still evident in some schools, indicating that more work needs to be done.
So errr, I’d be interested to know where or who exactly Mr. Thompson seeks his evidence from. It only took me a few minutes to hunt down a few counter facts against his argument.