Do Video Games Increase Crime?
42 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2020
Date Written: August 28, 2015
This study examines the change in crime observed in the weeks following the release of both violent and non-violent top-selling video games between 2006 and 2011. We find that the release of Mature-rated video games is associated with an increase in overall crime in the weeks following release. Crime increases for both youth and adults following Mature-related releases, but the increase in crime among youth is approximately four times greater (8%) than the increase among adults (2%). Conversely, we find that the release of non-violent (Everyone-rated) video games is associated with a decrease in crime in the weeks directly following the release. Our results suggest that the release of violent video games increases crime in the United States, at least in the short-term, especially among the under-17 population for whom Mature-rated games are explicitly labeled as not “suitable.”
Keywords: crime, video games, game releases
JEL Classification: D08, K14, L86
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation