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Are Violent Video Games Contributing To the Declining Crime Rate?

Thomas Hawk, Flickr

A new academic paper suggests that the proliferation of violent videos games over the past 20 years has contributed to the more than 50 percent decrease in violent crime over that time period.

The paper’s authors analyzed published studies on the topic of violence and video games, and were able to conclude that “though there is evidence that violent video games cause aggression in a laboratory setting, there is no evidence that violent video games cause violence or crime.”

In fact, they cite something they call the “incapacitation effect,” which suggests games like Gears of War and Grand Theft Auto are actually suppressing the crime rate by keeping the young males who might otherwise be outside committing crimes inside playing violent video games.

On Monday, the Supreme Court struck down the state of California’s efforts to restrict the sale of video games to minors.



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