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Here’s Another Study Showing Violent Video Games Don’t Increase Violence in Kids

Can we stop arguing about this now?


A statistical analysis of youth violence rates over a 15-year period compared to availability of violent video games over the same period shows that, if anything, violent video games correlate to a decrease in youth violence. Too bad that won’t correlate to people not arguing about this topic anymore.

The study was part of a broader look at media’s effect on societal violence that came up inconclusive when trying to find a relationship between movie violence and societal violence due to conflicting correlations over different parts of the 20th century. Video games haven’t been around nearly that long, so it’s possible that the measured decrease in youth (ages 12-17) violence that went along with them from the measured years of 1996-2011 was just a coincidence.

But hey! I turned 12 in 1996! They were studying me! You’re welcome for behaving myself and contributing to this positive data on our favorite pastime, other gamers.

Still, the fact that there was a decrease in violence where you’d expect to see an increase based on claims that video games contribute to violent behavior makes it pretty hard to argue that games are anything other than a convenient scapegoat in reality. Taking into account the available data, there’s no basis for causality between violent games and violent actions among kids.

How’s this for some causality we can get behind: it’s that violent tendencies cause some people to play violent games, not that violent games cause some people to have violent tendencies.

(via The Daily Dot, image via JD Hancock)

Previously in dubious gaming claim… ing

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Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.