A pair of new studies tend to dispel the notion that violent video games spark violent behavior.
GameCritics reports that the March issue of Criminal Justice and Behavior cites research from Texas A&M and the University of Wisconsin:
One study found that students who played shooter Medal of Honor: Allied Assault were no more aggressive afterward than another group which played the non-violent Myst III. From the research:
Although males appeared to prefer to play violent video games relative to females, there was no evidence from this study to suggest that people who prefer violent video games are more innately aggressive than those who do not…
The second project surveyed hundreds of students on issues such as domestic violence, past criminal behavior, aggression and gaming. The conclusion, from the study abstract:
Results indicated that trait aggression, family violence, and male gender were predictive of violent crime, but exposure to violent games was not. Structural equation modeling suggested that family violence and innate aggression as predictors of violent crime were a better fit to the data than was exposure to video game violence. These results question the common belief that violent-video-game exposure causes violent acts.