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US Crime Rates Fall Due To Video Games

Far too often when violent crimes are reported the news report often points out how the criminal at the centre of the crime was a video game player. So it was a welcome change when we saw this small section in a recent report suggesting that video games are actually part of the reason behind the drop in crime rates in the USA. Strangely enough video game were not part of the headline, instead it was mentioned right at the end of the article and we felt it was our duty to bring this refreshingly surprising report to everyones attention.

If you further analysed the chart you could even put a case together than some of the dips in crime rate coincided with the release of the major consoles but that may be pushing it just a bit.

Jump over to the BBC article if you want to read the full report.  The section that refers to video games is below for your convenience.

9. A study released last month suggested video games were keeping young people off the streets and therefore away from crime. Researchers in Texas working with the Centre for European Economic Research said this “incapacitation effect” more than offset any direct impact the content of the games may have had in encouraging violent behaviour.

Source: BBC

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  • Anonymous

    The study that the BBC is talking about, “Understanding the Effects of Violent Video Games on Violent Crime”,

    They attempt to show that sales of “violent video games” affected the rate of violent crimes on a weekly basis. For one this is drawing a correlation to the sales of video games and crime rate, not the playing of them. To suggest weekly trends in video games sales affect crime dosent really make sense – that suggests the purchaser is effected by buying the game not playing it. Video games are not like movies where you watch the content and are then done, you continually play them – and I would likely believe someone with violent tendencies would play a violent game even more than someone without violent tendencies.

    What they actually should be doing is attempting to draw a connection between a trend in video game use and crime rate, not video game sales.

    However that dosent even seem to be related to their eventual conclusion. Like all papers trying to prove causation or correlation, it is very questionable. Studies have been done showing connection between moon phases and ice cream sales to crime. It is a very complex science determining what affects crime rates, and no single factor (especially video games) is the answer. 
    —————————————————————————
    I have only read a small part of the paper but what I have read is all over the place. I will have to read the rest of it to see if it has a more developed structure but it seems pretty scatter shot. 

    This paper hasent been published in any journals… so its validity is completely questionable.

  • Anonymous

    The study that the BBC is talking about, “Understanding the Effects of Violent Video Games on Violent Crime”,

    They attempt to show that sales of “violent video games” affected the rate of violent crimes on a weekly basis. For one this is drawing a correlation to the sales of video games and crime rate, not the playing of them. To suggest weekly trends in video games sales affect crime dosent really make sense – that suggests the purchaser is effected by buying the game not playing it. Video games are not like movies where you watch the content and are then done, you continually play them – and I would likely believe someone with violent tendencies would play a violent game even more than someone without violent tendencies.

    What they actually should be doing is attempting to draw a connection between a trend in video game use and crime rate, not video game sales.

    However that dosent even seem to be related to their eventual conclusion. Like all papers trying to prove causation or correlation, it is very questionable. Studies have been done showing connection between moon phases and ice cream sales to crime. It is a very complex science determining what affects crime rates, and no single factor (especially video games) is the answer. 
    —————————————————————————
    I have only read a small part of the paper but what I have read is all over the place. I will have to read the rest of it to see if it has a more developed structure but it seems pretty scatter shot. 

    This paper hasent been published in any journals… so its validity is completely questionable.

    • Anonymous

      The fact is, based on every paper I’ve read on the subject, the increase in violent video game use should have caused a marked increase in violence.