The lights are on
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.
This is true, ever since I started playing BF:BC2 I haven't raped, plundered or pillaged!
why do one crime and go to jail when u can do several crimes and get away with it in a video game
rawr the right to BEAR arms. grizzly.
I KNEW IT! I FRIKIN KNEW IT! TAKE THAT, POLITICIANS!
if they think that they can limit video games then they're crazier than I thought. and that means that they are completely lunatic! stay the f*ck out of our ways or we will disembowel you! *** politics
"The study ultimately concludes that 'violent video games lead to decreases in violent crime'."
I'm not sure if you could really say that... It's more "VIDEO GAMES lead to decrease in violent crime." OR, "violent video games DO NOT lead to INCREASES in violent crime." I don't think that violent games = less violent crime, I think it's merely serving as a counter-argument to the foolish "violent video games causes crimes" position.
the only violent crimes that are videogame related are just people who attempted to beat the kid in super meat boy :D
It's about time someone conducted a study like this. =)
Do i even need to say i told you so?
And just because someone has played/purchased a rated "M" game doesnt mean that there gonna do violent crimes. It depends on the persons "maturity."(sorry if I spelled that wrong). A 15 year old may be mature enough to play a M rated game and do no harm/crime, while a 22 year old may not be mature enough to play a rated M game!
well ya if kids have nothing to do what do ya think they are going to do sit around and do nothing
Finally someone has actually proven what we gamers have been saying for a long time, games are good for you!
It makes sense. I was getting WAY too tired of people claiming that video games make children kill people. I mean, I love Call of Duty as much as the next guy, but I don't go around scoring knife kills in real life. And I still don't understand exactly how they plan on keeping these violent titles out of kid's hands. I mean, the parents are the ones that are buying them for the kids. You already have to show your ID to buy a rated M game, anyway (and be 17). What are they gonna do? Bump it up a year? Oooh....scary.