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Expert Explains That Video Games Don't Cause Violence

Despite what you may have heard from President Trump, video games don't incite violent behavior. Brut spoke to an expert about how politicians and pundits turned them into the "bogeyman." 🎮

Considering the Effects of Violent Video Games on Violent Crime

Economist Michael R. Ward has been studying the connection between video games and violent crime for years. Ward’s 2011 study found that when a popular but violent video game is released, violent crime actually goes down. “We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately.”

Video games are an increasingly popular leisure activity. As many of best-selling games contain hyper-realistic violence, many researchers and policymakers have concluded that violent games cause violent behaviors. Evidence on a causal effect of violent games on violence is usually based on laboratory experiments finding violent games increase aggression. Before drawing policy conclusions about the effect of violent games on actual behavior, these experimental studies should be subjected to tests of external validity. The study uses a quasi-experimental methodology to identify the short and medium run effects of violent game sales on violent crime using time variation in retail unit sales data of the top 50 selling video games and violent criminal offenses from the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) for each week of 2005 to 2008. We instrument for game sales with game characteristics, game quality and time on the market, and estimate that, while a one percent increase in violent games is associated with up to a 0.03% decrease in violent crime, non-violent games appear to have no effect on crime rates as stated by Michael Ward in the scholarly journal “Abstract”.

The link between violent video game exposure and aggressive behavior is one of the most studied and best established. Since the earlier meta-analyses, this link continues to be a reliable finding and shows good multi-method consistency across various representations of both violent video game exposure and aggressive behavior. In the wake of mass shootings, video games are often blamed and threatened with legislation.

Brut.

08/07/2019 9:57 AMupdated: 08/07/2019 12:51 PM
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126 comments

  • Donna P.
    08/31/2019 23:35

    It sure conditions the mind for it

  • Linda A.
    08/31/2019 23:32

    He's the hater spreader so he's to blame

  • Polli M.
    08/31/2019 16:44

    Video games do not cause violent behavior ,hate in the human heart and mind does!

  • Billy B.
    08/31/2019 16:17

    How can a gamer give an unbiased opinion???

  • Josh S.
    08/31/2019 15:07

    Reminds me of the speech in triple x when he drives the dudes Corvette off the bridge lol

  • Kenneth L.
    08/30/2019 22:04

    Trump what you said about video games is completely stupidly

  • Tim H.
    08/30/2019 16:17

    Haven’t People been saying this for decades

  • Juan R.
    08/30/2019 01:42

    I swear Chump, everything you say coming out of your mouth gets more stupid and stupid on a daily basis

  • Patrick V.
    08/29/2019 20:14

    And guns don’t kill people either so stop trying to make laws about blaming THINGS for people’s actions!

  • Brian A.
    08/29/2019 19:43

    SHUT YOUR ORANGE MOUTH!!! YOU STUPID TRAITOR!!!

  • Harry B.
    08/29/2019 12:22

    Your mom wanted you to play sports.to learn to function as a team ... dipstick

  • David H.
    08/28/2019 14:46

    Trump knows that the killing is because of him.

  • Tommy H.
    08/27/2019 16:01

    LuisMendoza the fool

  • Larry S.
    08/26/2019 11:38

    He’s an economist, not much credibility in psychology??

  • Rick N.
    08/25/2019 18:46

    Your 80 years old, grow up

  • David H.
    08/25/2019 16:53

    If literature, movies, games, or media in general can have a positive influence on society. Then one should infer that it could also have a negative impact...

  • Ted R.
    08/25/2019 02:05

    If video games don't cause violence,then why do police and military use simulators to train on?

  • Dakotah B.
    08/24/2019 23:48

    I remember unloading a machine gun in an airport, never made me do it irl

  • Josh K.
    08/24/2019 23:40

    They’re just looking for something to blame.

  • Joe W.
    08/24/2019 03:50

    A liar as President incites violent behavior!