Understanding the effects of violent video games on violent crime


Cunningham, A. Scott ; Engelstätter, Benjamin ; Ward, Michael R.


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    URL:: http://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/3193
    URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-31936
    Document Type: Working paper
    Year of publication: 2011
    Publication language: English
    Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > Zentrum für Europ. Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW)
    MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
    Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
    Classification: JEL: L86 K14 D08
    Subject headings (SWD): USA , Computerspiel , Gewalt , Kriminalität , Schätzung
    Keywords (English): Video games , violence , crime
    Abstract: Psychological studies invariably find a positive relationship between violent video game play and aggression. However, these studies cannot account for either aggressive effects of alternative activities video game playing substitutes for or the possible selection of relatively violent people into playing violent video games. That is, they lack external validity. We investigate the relationship between the prevalence of violent video games and violent crimes. Our results are consistent with two opposing effects. First, they support the behavioral effects as in the psychological studies. Second, they suggest a larger voluntary incapacitation effect in which playing either violent or non-violent games decrease crimes. Overall, violent video games lead to decreases in violent crime.
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