Video games may reduce violence and crime

The same has happened with the film, series or music, videogames have been criticized for alleged adverse effects that would have on the young people since 1976, went on the market, Death Race, a game that consisted of hitting figures, vaguely human. These criticisms received a boost by the American psychological Association (APA, for its acronym in English) with the publication in 2005 of its Resolution on Violence in video Games and Interactive Media , and in 2015 of the Resolution on Violent video Games. But both the scientific basis of these resolutions as the motivations that led to its drafting have been put into question by two separate studies recently published.

In the first place, a study published in Society and criticizes two serious errors that they commit the majority of research examining the relationship between video games and crime. In the first place, which is not discussed in reality such a relationship, but the one that exists between playing video games and aggressive attitudes of short duration, to subsequently assume that these attitudes are related to violence and crime. In the second place, we take it for granted that these conclusions about the behavior of individuals could be added without more to conclude that violent video games caused an increase in crime.

However, more recent studies have questioned both of these points and have found, in fact, negative relationships between the use of video games and crime data at both the national and the county. To solve this apparent paradox, the authors resort to the theory of routine activities, proposed in 1979, and that analyzes crime as an activity, explaining why increased since the 60’s, despite the fact that it had reduced the alleged causes of poverty, inequality or unemployment. The solution to this paradox would then be simple: the activity of playing at home reduces the number of opportunities to commit crime in a society. Or to put it more understandable: if a potential offender is in your home playing is not on the street to commit crimes. And believe you’ve tested using data from the census, official statistics of employment and of the criminality of the FBI.

For its part, an article published in the International Journal of Law and Psichiatry has examined the internal correspondence of the APA, concluding that its resolutions sold a few certainties about the relationship between video games and violence that did not exist because he could “sell” itself as a solution. An open letter of 230 scientists already criticized in 2013, the 2005 report by providing conclusions with too much certainty, asking that the resolution at which it started to work then it would not fall into the same error. Without success.

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