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A recent study indicates that video games may be keeping young Americans from committing crime, even when those games are particularly violent. Several laboratory studies and analyses have focused on the possible ways in which exposure to violent video games can increase aggressive impulse in young people. However, a recent study aims to take a broader look at the equation. Specifically, "Understanding the Effects of Violent Video Games on Violent Crime" (Cunningham, Scott, Engelstätter, Benjamin and Ward, Michael R.) takes a look at the idea that people playing video games inside are not outside committing crimes, even if those games are violent and even if there is an increase in aggression.The study ultimately concludes that "violent video games lead to decreases in violent crime". In the study's introduction, the case is laid out in relatively understandable terms: "In this paper, we argue that since laboratory experiments have not examined the time use effects of video games, which incapacitate violent activity by drawing individual gamers into extended gameplay, laboratory studies may be poor predictors of the net effects of violent video games in society. Consequently, they overstate the importance of video game induced aggression as a social cost. We argue that since both aggression and time use are a consequence of playing violent video games, then the policy relevance of violent video game regulation depends critically on the degree to which the one outweighs the other. If, as we find in our study, the time use effect of violent video games reduce crime by more than the aggression effects increase it, then the case for regulatory intervention becomes weaker."The study was quoted in a recent BBC article that discusses 10 possible reasons why the US crime rate has been falling. Thanks to Kotaku for spotting the story. What effect do you think this study should have on lawmakers looking to limit access of violent video games to children? Do you believe a study like this should have any bearing on the soon-to-release ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on Brown vs. EMA?
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Game Informer.
well the gaming industry is self regulating itself quite well and retailers are making it harder for minors themselves to get "M" games (at least the ones I've been to). Government just messes things up when they involved in matters they shouldn't be. There isn't a need for this law and hopefully the judges will be rational and declare it unconstitutional or just unnecessary. Now parents just need to learn to not be stupid and read the *** ESRB labels which are really clear on what age games are intended for and even list generic reasons why on the back of the case. Maybe they should make a law banning stupidity from parents.
In your faces everybody hating on violent video Games! LOL!
is this so?!?! LOL then why the hell do I have to see tv early here in PR to see 7 shot nd killed a night xD oh well at least is workin so kudos to shooting games
Good. It stands to reason that by acting out violent behaviors in the digital medium, we don't feel the need to try them out in real life. I've always seen death metal as an outlet for angst so theres no reason why the same principal couldnt be applied to violent games.
Thank God. Although I would like to see little kids off of M rated games. They tend to....I don't know....ruin everything as soon as they say one word.
Glad to see that there are people out there doing studies to prove that we are not violent.
Wow! finally the truth is told. Fu anti gaming people. I would like to say suck it, you know you want to and if you don't your gonna.
yes!! another win for us. this makes those laws on violent games look bad
Duh violence is a cartadic release of emotion, thusly any outlet is good, and since we dont have many in this day and age, we gotta turn to shooting people in the face
i didnt understand a word the introduction said.
I'm guessing that's because it allows them to take out their anger and frustrations out in the game world and not in the real world; or some other "escapism" reason.
Take that Fox you lying bastards
up yours tipper gore
YES! I was right all along. Violent games don't cause violent behavior.