Whether violent video games have a positive, negative, or zero effect on violence and aggression in people still seems to be an open question, but it has undoubtedly had one positive effect: occupying the time of people who would otherwise be out committing crimes.
Young adult males have the highest rates of violent crimes, and are also the largest consumers of video games. Over the past two decades, the introduction and meteoric rise in popularity of video games has correlated directly with the drop in crime, and video game revenues rise inversely proportionally to said drop. Consoles are cheap (a few hundred dollars) and games can be borrowed, traded, and rented cheaply, while consuming dozens of hours weekly. Replayability means a single game can be played 30, 40, 50 or more hours. Games offer escape from reality, even an impoverished one, so much so they are used after surgery to distract patients from pain
. Here's one article discussing the correlation between crime and videogames
. Dozens of hours a week playing games means people aren't out on the street doing crimes, and video games are a cheap substitute for using drugs as a means of escaping reality.
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