Charles Chukwuemeka Okika, Gabriella Izuchukwu Nwakasi


The science on which the harmfulness of violent videogames to children is founded on is widely controversial, inconsistent and disputed among scholars and researchers. This study assessed parents awareness of violent videogame screentime of children, their observation of effects as well as moderation of exposure in Awka urban, a state capital city in South-East Nigeria. This study intended the following; To ascertain parents awareness of violent videogame screentime of their children, to find out from parents the effects of these violent videogame screen time observable in their children, to know if parents moderated their childrens violent videogame screentime, to ascertain the effectiveness of measures adopted by parents to moderate the violent videogame screentime of their children. A survey of 400 parents in Awka urban whose children played violent videogames was conducted. Findings from the research showed that a less than a third of parents studied were aware of the violent video game screentime of their children while just a few parents observed certain effects of the violent gameplay on their children such as hostility and aggressiveness, insensivity to violence, use of violent gestures, use of profanity and swearing, mimicking of violent speech, hate catch phrases by game characters, poor academic performance as well as mimicking weapon sound effects. Results also showed that there was poor parental moderation of violent videogame screentime of children as well as checking videogame age ratings before play. The study also revealed that the violence exposure moderation measures adopted by these parents were usually effective in diminishing effects if sustained for longer periods. The study recommended long-term sensitization of parents on reading videogame disc pack age ratings and game reviews before purchase for children, mimimizing gameplay time and game developers incorporating in-game content filters in user interface.

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