Just about every teenager in American plays video games (97%), and an equally overwhelming number of parents of gamers (90%) say they always or sometimes know what games their children play. Slightly more than seven-in-ten check game ratings (72%) and about a third (31%) go the extra step of playing — whether to monitor or enjoy — video games with their children. Most parents of gamers (62%) do not believe that video games have an effect on their children; only 13% say games have a negative influence. Parents who play games with their children mirror the larger population of parents with nearly two-thirds believing that games have no impact one way or the other. Parents of boys, who are more likely than girls to play violent games, are more likely to monitor their child’s games. Parents also give a closer look to the video games played by younger compared with older children. Ultimately, however, monitoring was found to have no impact on whether or not teens are exposed to anti-social behavior or words in the gaming context. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.