AMES, Iowa – Nearly every video game sold or downloaded comes with a rating that provides age-appropriate guidelines based on the game’s content. Critics have questioned the effectiveness of ratings, but new research from Iowa State University indicates the rating system is a beneficial tool.
Russell Laczniak, a professor of marketing and an associate dean in ISU’s College of Business, says the results clearly show children spend less time playing violent video games when their parents use the rating system to guide purchases and set rules for video game play. This indirectly affects behavior. When parents limit video game play, children are less likely to act out or misbehave, Laczniak said. The research, published online in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, also suggests that more time spent playing video games increases negative behaviors of children.