Study: Violent Video Games Might Cut Down On Violent Crime
For so long, video games have been blamed for having a direct increase on violent crime. But perhaps the exact opposite is the real truth, as a recent study has indicated.
According to a new study entitled "Understanding the Effects of Violent Video Games on Violent Crime," violent games may have a two-pronged effect: in the first place, the study supported findings from other studies, which successfully linked violent games and aggression. But on the other hand, we learn that games actually reduced violent crime by keeping potential offenders away from real-life trouble. The researchers are calling this the "incapacitation effect" and concluded that- "Overall, violent video games lead to decreases in violent crime."
Furthermore, the BBC cited this study and listed video games as one of their top ten reasons why crime in the US has decreased over the last 20 years. You may recall our talk with Dr. Bartholow after his study indicated a link between violent video games and aggression; it was an interesting result. But as he said at the time, this doesn't mean we'll all turn into serial killers, and how violence affects us requires more study.
P.S. Dr. Bartholow and I were interviewed for a NPR station in Missouri. My comments are right at the end; they're brief but they exist. :)
6/21/2011 8:59:25 PM Ben Dutka