We’re all well aware of how often video games are slated in the mainstream press. From controversies such as the Six Days in Fallujah and Medal of Honor depiction of the war in Afghanistan to the increasing trend of emulative youth criminals, as gamers we’ve been largely outspoken due to knee-jerk reactions of the misinformed public, fuelled by inflammatory, and in some cases fictional, stories spread across the pages of daily newspapers.
Therefore it makes a change that video games are being shown in a positive light, especially when regarding an issue of national importance. Research investigating the fall in US crime since its peak in the early 90s suggests that the increasing uptake of gaming as a hobby is one of the top 10 most significant causes along with the election of Obama in 2008, and fall in demand for crack.
A study released last month suggested video games were keeping young people off the streets and therefore away from crime. Researchers in Texas working with the Centre for European Economic Research said this “incapacitation effect” more than offset any direct impact the content of the games may have had in encouraging violent behaviour.
Though the report is by no means bulletproof, or indeed 100% representative of America or other developed countries, it’s an interesting U-turn from what usually crops up in video game news at the breakfast table here at TSA Towers.