Study Shows No Link Between Violent Games and Crimes

Here’s link to the IGN article by Jimmy Thang:

http://psp.ign.com/articles/875/875548p1.html

Study Shows No Link Between Violent Games and Crimes
University of Essex researcher disproves correlation.
by Jimmy Thang

May 20, 2008 – With the recent release of GTA IV, a game that allows you to steal cars, kill civilians, and conduct drive-bys, the topic of video game violence is back at the forefront of the media. While most gamers equate the potency of videogames to the violent movies that we’ve watched for years, the dissenting hand opposes violent video games due to their interactive nature.

The advent of violent video games raises many questions. Has video game violence gone too far? Aren’t M-rated games intended for mature audiences? Among the sea of good questions, the quintessential one arises, “Is there any scientific evidence to support the claims that violent games contribute to aggressive and violent behavior?” In the International Journal of Liability and Scientific Enquiry, University of Essex researcher Patrick Kierkegaard answers that query by stating there is no data to support the theory that videogame violence promotes violent crimes. His study interestingly provides the opposite correlation.

Kierkegaard asserts that past studies were predominately biased. His data shows that there is no correlation between the rise of violent videogames and the amount of crimes committed. Despite violent games becoming more mainstream within recent years, statistics show that violent crimes committed from juvenile delinquents have declined since the early 1990s. “With millions of sales of violent games, the world should be seeing an epidemic of violence… Instead, violence has declined,” wrote Kierkegaard.

Even though Kierkegaard found no ties between real life crimes and videogame violence, he admits that more research needs to be done. He also doesn’t rule out the possibility that videogames can influence behavior and emotion, noting that even books can spur violence in already sadistic individuals.

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