Report claims more than half of parents let children play 18-rated games

Report claims more than half of parents let children play 18-rated games

Over half of parents allow their kids to play games rated 18 or over.

That's according to new research from, who spoke to 2,171 parents to get an idea of how they manage video game consumption in their homes.

86 per cent of parents say they do not adhere to age restrictions on video games, while 23 per cent say the same applies to films.

43 per cent of those asked admit to having seen a negative impact in their child's behaviour after playing these titles, with 22 per cent reporting offensive or negative language being used.

Additionally, 48 per cent say they fear their child is addicted to video games.

“It’s difficult in this day and age to govern what your child is exposed to, because if your 10-year-old has friends who are playing Fortnite, which is rated 12, you want them to be included in the fun," founder Richard Conway said.

"However, it’s always worth looking into the game to see if it’s suitable rather than leaving them to their own devices.

“What’s interesting is that the majority of parents follow film age ratings, but when it comes to video games they maybe aren’t as strict. It’s important to remember how impressionable children are; if they see behaviour or language in a video game or movie, they may mimic it.”

These results are not particularly surprising, but do show a depressing disregard for safeguards put in place to protect children. Why parents seem to be adverse to listening to this well-intentioned advice with video games but not with films is disturbing - but peer pressure is a very real concern for many children and their parents by proxy. 

This news comes as video games find themselves under renewed media scrutiny; titles such as Fortnite (pictured) have come under fire for being addictive - an accusation that the CEO of developer Epic Tim Sweney refutes - while video game addiction has found its way onto the World Health Organisation International Compendium of Diseases; rightly so.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.