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Forbidden Fruit Hypothesis

  • By: Catherine E. Goodall
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

Rating systems and warnings on violent and mature media content are intended to keep potentially harmful media out of the reach of children. However, questions have been raised about whether these warnings and ratings could backfire by inadvertently making such content more desirable and attractive to children than it would be without affixed ratings. This notion is referred to as the forbidden fruit hypothesis. It has been the subject of much research—from explicit music, to television, movies, and most recently, video games. This entry illustrates the forbidden fruit hypothesis in the context of video game rating systems.

Video Game Ratings

Video game rating systems emerged because of rising concerns from parents and policy makers about negative effects of violent video games on youth. These concerns are ...

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