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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Cunningham, A. Scott and Engelstätter, Benjamin and Ward, Michael R. (2011) Understanding the effects of violent video games on violent crime. [Working paper]

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