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Computer Games and its Social Effects

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Sunanda K. Chavan
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Computer Games and its Social Effects - October 11th, 2010

Computer Games and Its Impacts on Societies Socially and Psychologically

In the wake of media attention surrounding tragic episodes of youth violence, some observers have questioned whether violent content in video games contributes to aggressive behavior, especially in children.

The most objective reviews of studies on the subject of video games and behavior have concluded there is no link between video game use and aggressive behavior in children.

And while there are some studies that do purport to show such a link, those that do so tend to be based on flawed methodology and/or are performed by researchers who have a predisposition to find a link between violent games and aggressive behavior.

In addition, there are other strong objective indicators that such a link does not exist, as discussed below.

Youth Violence Has Declined As Game Sales Have Risen
Violent Crime, Particularly Juvenile Crime, Decreased
Dramatically From 1994 to 1999 While at the Same Time
Computer and Video Game Sales Soared

Perhaps the most compelling counterpoint to the argument that video game use does not cause violent behavior in young people is the fact that youth violence fell dramatically in the 1990s over exactly the same period that video game use skyrocketed.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Program, between 1994 and1999 violent crime among 15-39 year olds decreased dramatically.

Further, the data shows that the biggest decrease (39%) came from juveniles between the ages of 15 to 17.

As the chart at left illustrates, during the same period when juvenile violence was plummeting, video and computer games surged in popularity and sales. Between 1994-1999, video and computer game sales soared by 50 percent.
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