Rated M for Monkey: An Ethnographic Study of Parental Information Behavior when Assessing Video Game Content for their Children

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Following the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association (2011), which struck down the state of California’s appeal to restrict the sale of games deemed to have “deviant violence” to those 18 or older and the court’s recommendation that parents use the ESRB Ratings System instead, this ethnographic study sought to better understand what parents thought of laws on video games and how they used the recommended ratings system. A total of 30 interviews using semi-structured open-ended questions were conducted and analyzed to reveal what parents thought of laws on video games, ... continued below

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Harrelson, Diana Dawn May 2016.

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  • Harrelson, Diana Dawn

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Following the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association (2011), which struck down the state of California’s appeal to restrict the sale of games deemed to have “deviant violence” to those 18 or older and the court’s recommendation that parents use the ESRB Ratings System instead, this ethnographic study sought to better understand what parents thought of laws on video games and how they used the recommended ratings system. A total of 30 interviews using semi-structured open-ended questions were conducted and analyzed to reveal what parents thought of laws on video games, how they used the ESRB Ratings System to assess video game content, and what other methods they used for video game content assessment in addition to the ratings system. This research utilized Dervin and Nilan’s (1986) sense-making methodology as a way to learn how parents bridged their knowledge gap when it came to learning about video game content and how they made sense of the knowledge gained to determine the content appropriateness for their children. Analyses of the collected data provided the foundation for a model on the effects of the parent-child relationship on parental information behavior.

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  • May 2016

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  • June 28, 2016, 4:28 p.m.

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  • June 27, 2017, 3:46 p.m.

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Harrelson, Diana Dawn. Rated M for Monkey: An Ethnographic Study of Parental Information Behavior when Assessing Video Game Content for their Children, dissertation, May 2016; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc849778/: accessed September 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .