A Positive Side of Violent Video Game Play The Negative Correlation Between Violent Video Game Play and Violent Crime

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Shayla Batty


The exploration of the potential link between aggression and violent video game play has been extended to violent video game play as a precursor to violent crime. If violent video game play does increase aggression in players, that does not translate into real-world violence or violent crime. There is no single criminogenic risk factor that causes someone to commit violent criminal acts, so the idea that violent video game play causes players to commit a crime, through desensitization or otherwise, is not plausible. Therefore, this paper discusses if violent video game play is a contributing factor for an individual to participate in violent crime. The conclusion is that violent video game play and violent crime exist in a negative correlation to one another. Crime data compared to video game sales, implying higher video game play rates, shows a decrease in property and violent crime in areas where violent video game play is increased. This outcome may be explained by more time spent in the home playing video games via Routine Activities Theory as well as the presence of a catharsis effect. Since violent video game play contributes to lower crime rates, this may produce lower social costs for society as well as a heightened feeling of safety in impacted areas. Future research in this area includes violent video game play and violent crime studies conducted with a broader range of participants with various demographics, as well as the long-term effects of violent video game play on players.