Teen Health and the Media
TobaccoAlcohol & Other DrugsTeen SexualityViolenceBody Image and Nutrition
Four smiling teenage faces
violence title
Media Challenge Current News Fast Facts Teen Projects Resources & Links Hand on remote control



• April 20, 2009 - National Institute on Media and the Family
Millions of kids, especially boys, are hooked on video games. A national survey revealed that 97% of school-age children play them regularly. Larger than the Hollywood movie industry, video games are the fastest growing form of media entertainment. With their use of cutting edge technologies, video games involve the player in ever-more realistic, complex, and involved gaming situations. For most kids and families, video games are a fun part of a healthy media diet. For others, video game play can start to replace or erode important activities like spending time with friends, doing homework, sleeping and, in some cases, even eating. A growing number of parents are worried that their kids are "addicted" to video games. Of course, a true addiction means more than doing something a lot. An emerging body of research on video game play and youth is just helping us understand the scope of the issue.
Read all about it here.

• March 07, 2009 - Violence Updates
Violent video games as causes of aggression: Pediatrics recently published three longitudinal studies by Craig Anderson and a group of Japanese researchers. They investigate the content of games, how often they are played and resulting aggressive behaviors in school. "We now have conclusive evidence that playing violent video games has harmful effects on children and adolescents," Anderson said. His 2007 book is Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents.

Combating video game addiction: "This is starting to become a global effort of recognizing this isn't just a problem of the West; this isn't just a problem of the East," said Douglas Gentile, director of research at Minnesota's National Institute on Media and the Family. "As video games become a bigger part of our shared culture, we're all going to end up dealing with this."

FYI: Video game ratings and summaries are now available on line at

• June 23, 2006 -
Grand Theft Auto Makers Settle
Charges with the FTC

Last summer, the National Institute on Media and the Family uncovered a pornographic mini-program, dubbed "Hot Coffee" hidden within the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. This sexually explicit game sequence was not disclosed to the rating board which gave the game an "M" rating, instead of the "AO" (Adults Only) rating it deserved.

• April 24, 2003 - The Seattle Times
A new bill bans the sale of video games to minors with violence against police officers.

• April 21, 2003 - CNN.com
Video war games have seen a surge in popularity ever since the start of the U.S. war on Iraq.

• March 10, 2003 - The Seattle Times
Both boys and girls who watch a lot of violence on television have a heightened risk of aggressive adult behavior including spouse abuse and criminal offenses, no matter how they act in childhood, a new study says.

• January 29, 2003 - mid-day.com
Popular television show 'The Sopranos' cited by teens who killed their mother.

• December 10, 2002 - New York Times
Using video games, University of Washington researchers link guns and stereotypes.

• October 21, 2002 - USAToday.com
The release of Konami's Silent Scope 3 for PlayStation 2 has again put a spotlight on the correlation between video games and real-life violence. While officials in the Washington, D.C. area hunt a sniper who is shooting people at random, the game puts the player in the shoes of a government-hired sniper who is commissioned to kill.

• August 24, 2002 - MaineToday.com
In a move to aid student identification and prevent entry of outsiders, students at a Maine high school are required to wear ID badges this year. Similar policies are being adopted across the country.

• August 19, 2002 - JoinTogether.org
Charles "Andy" Williams, who killed two students and wounded 13 in a shooting rampage last year at Santana High School in California, was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison.

• August 17, 2002 - The Salt Lake Tribune
Utah judges kept gun lockers out of state courthouses by eliminating their own court rules that subjected them to new locker legislation. Weapons are still banned from all Utah courthouses, where taking a weapon inside is a misdemeanor.

• September 11, 2000 - Federal Trade Commission
FTC released report on the Marketing of Violent Entertainment to Children. Study finds companies in motion picture, music recording and electronic game industries routinely target children under 17.

[Back to Top]