Rating electronic games: Violence is in the eye of the beholder

Jeanne B. Funk, Geysa Flores, Debra D. Buchman, Julie N. Germann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Commercial ratings assist parents in monitoring their children's media experiences. Exposure to media violence may affect attitudes and behavior, and rating systems should accurately reflect the presence of violent content. Validity indicators for commercial rating systems are examined, including consistency with consumer perceptions. Violent electronic games are a contemporary media phenomenon. A comparison of commercial ratings for popular electronic games with consumer perceptions of game content indicates that, for games with obviously nonviolent or very violent content, there is agreement between consumers and the commercial system. However, there is considerable disagreement about notable violent content in games with cartoon-type violence. Recommendations include incorporating consumer perceptions into a comprehensive, content-based, informational rating system for all entertainment media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-312
Number of pages30
JournalYouth and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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