By Bonnie Miller Rubin Chicago Tribune
If you want to make blood-and-gore video games less appealing to minors, then toss those restrictive age and violent-content warnings. The lure of something off-limits only increases demand, a new study says.
In the study, researchers tested 310 Dutch children ranging in age from 7 to 17. Participants read fictitious game descriptions and rated how much or how little they wanted to play each game. In every group, the more objectionable the content, the more kids clamored for the controller –“forbidden fruit,” the researchers called the games. The findings are published in the March issue of “Pediatrics.”
While research has found ratings increase the attraction to raunchy TV shows and movies, the hypothesis had never been tested with video games, reported two of the study’s authors, Brad Bushman of the University of Michigan and Elly Konijn of VU University Amsterdam.
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They suggest youth should not be allowed to buy their own games and policy-makers should rethink the classifications (such as M, appropriate for those 17 and older), which will only make the games ”unspeakably desirable.”
Now about slapping a label on that algebra book ….