Do Video Games Make You Violent?
While there’s a great deal of controversy around video games and their potential link to violent behavior in youth, statistics show something a little bit different. The studies done by Professor Michael Ward and other researchers argue that video games don’t make today’s youth violent. Still, law makers and congressmen are making decisions that could curb the creative liberty of video game designers.
• Here's a longitudinal study from Germany that finds no evidence for video game violence effects:
• Here's a correlational study finding no relationship between video game
violence and youth violence with other factors controlled:
• A correlational study of inmates that finds that video games don't
incite crime, althuogh criminals may pick up a few small elements from video games:
• This one finds the release of violent video games are associated with declines in crime:
• Experimental study finds that when you control for competitiveness, the effects of violent video games go away:
• A longitudinal study finding no relationship between violent video games and youth aggression or
• Video game industry page on violence:
Decline in youth violence over the last 20 years:
• Prof. Mike Ward’s three studies on the connection between video games and violence:
Michael R. Ward, “Video Games and Crime,” Contemporary Economic Policy, 29(2) (April 2011) 261-273.
Michael R. Ward, “Video Games and Adolescent Fighting,” Journal of Law and Economics, 53(3) (August 2010) 611-628.
Scott Cunningham, Benjamin Engelstätter, and Michael R. Ward, “Understanding the Effects of Violent Video Games on Violent Crime,” Working Paper, April, 2011.
In the 2011 Supreme Court case Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association.And there’s even more at stake if we were to allow this censorship. Video games have changed a lot in the past 30 years. What were once simple black and white blocks and nearly indecipherable images flickering on a television screen are now life-like beings with actions we experience on a visceral level. Some games now tell stories and evoke emotional responses similar to the finest literature or theater. And video games are perhaps the fastest developing form of artistic expression ever devised. The artistry and techniques used by game creators continue to expand and evolve rapidly. Restrictive legislation would curb the freedom of artists and stop valuable stories and content from ever being shared. Contrary to popular belief, youth violence has steadily decreased over the past 20 years, exactly when video games have become popular. This is hardly consistent with the quality of games causing violence. When people are violent, it’s not because games made them that way.