Stopping Crime By Getting Kids To Play More Video Games

from the gives-them-something-to-do dept

We’ve discussed how little evidence there really is about video games leading to youth violence. While studies have been spun to show both sides, there’s no actual link being shown. In some cases there are correlations, but it’s usually easy to explain — during a game, of course people are going to get excited and involved in the game play. However, for many it appears to be a way to let out aggression, not build up new aggression that gets let out on real people. This is clearly supported in the fact that youth violence has continued to drop significantly as video games have become ever more popular. Despite the efforts of some who want to blame video games for anything a child ever does wrong, it appears that some police officers are recognizing the good side of video games. Boing Boing points us to a story about police in Edinburgh who are organizing video game tournaments with troubled youths. The result? Youth crime in the area has dropped by half. Seems to take a lot of the sting out of the claims of those who like to blame the video games.

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Comments on “Stopping Crime By Getting Kids To Play More Video Games”

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Stanton says:

No Subject Given

realy? oh thank the lord! >.>
hmm wait.. this cant be right….
last game i played i ended up pounching my cuzin for he was kicking my ass…. and he woulnt tell meh how o.o oh well yay >.> well on the other hand online games i dont hit no one…
the players can pee meh off o.o i mean wall hacks other hacks then thay go have the nerve to say meh team is noobs… o.o boy we showed em >. i bet we tought them even hacking dosnt work vs skilled players… lol

Xanthir says:

Re: How come

I can agree with dorpus’ comments somewhat. While Mike didn’t come out and say ‘causation’, it is implied in his comments.

Making comments like that which imply that video gaming actually causes a reduction in youth violence hurts your point. Without control groups and such, there is no way to establish anything more than a correlation.

On that note, the correlation that exists does indicate a link between an increase in video-game playing and a decrease in youth violence. This is clearly indicated by publicly available FBI crime statistics, and is completely opposite what some of the anti-video-game crusaders enjoy saying.

giafly says:


There’s a statistical problem with such results:

  1. Youth crime for single neighbourhoods is partly random (this study is for the Moredun area of Edinburgh), up some months and down others.
  2. Police tend to act when crime figures happen to be high, above the average, which means that next months’ figures will usually be lower by pure chance.
  3. Thus police can usually claim success for almost any action to reduce crime.

The same approach is used to justify speed cameras.

  1. Police choose places where there have been most accidents recently (accidents are partly random too).
  2. They install cameras.
  3. And when the next batch of accidents randomly happen elsewhere they claim success.

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