Report: Video Games Help Reduce Violent Crime Rates

June 21, 2011 -

A BBC report (thanks Magic) tries to surmise why violent crime rates in the United States have dropped dramatically in the last twenty years. The report offers ten possible reasons for this including The Obama presidency, good police work, the fall in demand for crack cocaine, police department number crunching, aging baby boomers, a decline in children's exposure to lead in petrol, more criminals behind bars, and a controversial theory that the increased availability of legal abortion has had an impact on population in poorer neighborhoods.

But the most interesting reason comes in at number nine. That entry cites a recent study conducted by researchers in Texas working with the Centre for European Economic Research. From the article:

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.

There's probably data to support every one of these theories, but save the study on abortion, it is more likely that all of these factors have had a cumulative effect on violent crime in the United States. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the rise of forensic science and the use of DNA evidence in combating crime and capturing criminals.

While we do not know what impact video games have had in reducing crime, it's obvious that  games are not increasing violent crime statistics..


Comments

Re: Report: Video Games Help Reduce Violent Crime Rates

Actually, the increasing number of incarcerated persons is a bad thing. Too many people are put in overpopulated prisons over non-violent drug offenses and are coming out worse than when they went in.

Given that the US has one the largest prison populations in the world, that says something interesting about us: We are either a society of degenerates or we willfully throw away segments of the population because they are doing something that wouldn't be a real problem if it were legal.

Re: Report: Video Games Help Reduce Violent Crime Rates

The only prediction the "games-cause-violence" hypothesis makes has been falsified.  If games turned people into killers, then crime rates would have risen as games became more widespread.  This did not happen.

Does this mean that games have reduced crime?  Probably not, and it seems a bit perposterous to say so...but if someone thinks this warrants further (and responsible) investigation, then more power to them.  

What fustrates me is the fact that this is not new information.  We have known for quite some time that crime rates have decreased as games became more popular.  And yet, liars like Jack Thompson & Leland Yee have continued to claim games increase violence.  Part of why they continue to say these things is because they are liars, but another reason is because the spineless Games Industry lets them.  These statistics should have been the main points of fact the industry put in front of themselves in the face of regulators.  Unfortunately they did not, and this irresponsibility may very well fuck them in the end...

 
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ZippyDSMleeIanC: Not really but if that keeps you warm at night then well...its not me dealing with all that hatred daily :P04/01/2015 - 4:57pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/03/it-felt-like-robbery-tomb-raider-and-the-fall-of-core-design/04/01/2015 - 4:55pm
james_fudgeIanC: or she doesn't like to be called every name in the book.04/01/2015 - 4:51pm
Matthew Wilson@IanC I may not like her work, but I recagnize that people were harassing her in the comets, so no I do not blame her for clossing them.04/01/2015 - 4:49pm
IanCAnitia Skeeter won't allow comments because she doesn't like debate.04/01/2015 - 4:46pm
Sora-ChanTestTube did a video on the Trans-Pascific Partnership https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W4Zc55pCtY04/01/2015 - 4:06pm
ZippyDSMleepicking up The Feminist Wire , Mary Sue and Feminist frequency , a shame FF had to close down comments, I tend to drop anyhting that dose not allow comments these days but as seeing how much spam and trolling they get I will it slide.04/01/2015 - 4:03pm
ZippyDSMleeOkay now that I can understand, I was focusing on total outcome not just reinforcement.So its about reinforcement of poor feelings/behavior than anything else..now I get it....uhg forest for the trees.....04/01/2015 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenBut again, to be clear, that does not mean consuming violent media will make you violent.04/01/2015 - 3:46pm
Andrew EisenZippy - Not totally sure what you're getting at but it's the same idea that when our fiction is full of stories where violence is the solution to everything, it helps reinforce the idea that violence is the answer in real life.04/01/2015 - 3:46pm
Andrew EisenAlso, just in case anyone wasn't clear on this, Sarkeesian's argument in her latest video is that we "need more women-centric stories of all kinds." That's it.04/01/2015 - 3:44pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen Okay so would that be like violence something that has a loose tie to the real world, or would that be an oversimplification?04/01/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenThe Mary Sue reports on all kinds of fun, geeky stuff from news to movies, video games, comics, science and more.04/01/2015 - 3:42pm
ZippyDSMleeAnyone know of any fun/comedic feminist blogs that keep up with news?04/01/2015 - 3:42pm
Andrew EisenYes, kind of. Repeatedly hammering home that men are the default and women are the exception can help reinforce that idea in real life. Does that mean playing fantasy games staring male leads is going to make an individual a raging misogynist? No.04/01/2015 - 3:41pm
ZippyDSMleeThe trouble wiht twitter and FB is they give inconstant updates to those you follow and RSS feeds never worked well for me, guess I will put in my news stuff and skim it like the rest when I have time..04/01/2015 - 3:38pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:So a wide use of generic tropes about male leads makes it easier for males to dominate females, and females feel lesser beings in real life?04/01/2015 - 3:36pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, they have an RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. All links are in the side bar of their site: http://www.feministfrequency.com/04/01/2015 - 3:35pm
Andrew EisenZippy - It has an RSS and a presence on Twitter and Facebook.04/01/2015 - 3:33pm
Matthew WilsonGoogle's April fools in play pacman on google maps http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2015/04/01/the-best-places-to-play-pac-man-on-google-maps/04/01/2015 - 3:32pm
 

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