Study: Games have lowered US crime rate

In his Father's Day email, President Obama challenged fathers to have their kids “turn off the videogames and pick up a book.” The President of the United States refers here to what a new European study calls the “incapacitation effect” of videogames: if your mind's mired in Cyrodiil or Liberty City or wherever-have-you, it's easy to neglect other avenues of imagination or application unless reminded. But the study also stresses that the incapacitation effect isn't all bad for society: time spent playing, after all, is time that can't be spent lawbreaking.

Above: Not pictured: actual criminality

Crime in the US has been dropping since the early 90s and continued to fall even in the economic strife of recent years, says the BBC. “Researchers in Texas working with the Centre for European Economic Research,” the article adds, found that the incapacitation effect of games “more than offset any direct impact the content of the games may have had in encouraging violent behavior.” Other factors cited include the proliferation of cell phone cameras and the election of Obama himself. So... zoned out in front of games to avoid prying eyes, or exploring a brave new world where citizens control their own wellbeing? Which are you in this totally non-loaded argument?

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  • MyriamD - June 24, 2011 12:10 a.m.

    From personal experience, miring yourself in ANY world created by another person interferes with time you spend thinking about your own endeavors. I read a LOT (traditional stories, too, not just blogs - but almost exclusively online, like on fictionpress). When you read, play, watch or otherwise consume fiction, you think about it, and not about your stuff. You make fanfic instead of Original Fic, because why not? You're already thinking about it.
  • Turbonutter - June 22, 2011 6:14 p.m.

    Newsflash: another politician uses convenient political scapegoat "video games" to score easy points with the older crowd. Film at 11. I must say I do feel a bit foolish having thought when I voted for this guy that he'd be anything other than a typical politician though. Silly me.
  • RicePuddingUK - June 22, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    Why bash games over books Mr Obama? Just play Mass Effect or Oblivion and they have far more power and effect on children than any Sci-Fi or Fantasy book and tell an equally powerful story.
  • PretzelBoy - June 22, 2011 3:40 a.m.

    Take that Jack Thompson!
  • chicgods96 - June 22, 2011 3:33 a.m.

    Wonderful. Share a website with you , put this url in google sirch ( ) Believe you will love it. We accept any form of payment.
  • copedude - June 22, 2011 2:25 a.m.

    Take that mainstream media
  • Maksimovic - June 22, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    @RUBIX Well, I can't say anything about Ender's game, but I've read Lord of the Rings, and honestly, it doesn't even come close to Mass Effect (1 or 2, both are better, though 2 by far more). It's about equal to Oblivion, and Oblivion isn't even a good story. Really, most games these days have better stories than Lord of the Rings (Yes, I know you mean the book)
  • Mfchimichanga - June 22, 2011 6:05 p.m.

    @Crypto140 playing video games doesn't mean you have a lower intellect, it's just another past time like building birdhouse or collecting puppets On an other note doesn't Obama have more important things to do than weigh in his opinion on what i do on my fucking free time? He'd rather worry about me reading twilight instead of playing heavy rain instead of hmm I dunno worrying about the jobless people in America? P.s I have a great imagination and I don't read that often, I draw play video games watch French movie and read comic books they don't get the IMAGE in imagination?? Fuck you Obama I am not fucking voting for you again and I hear by take back my support of you. Don't talk shit about video games obama
  • Darkwun - June 22, 2011 5:43 p.m.

    i bet jack thompson is rolling over in his grave... what do u mean he's not dead?... well, we'll see about that... incapacitation effect... my ass its a good fuckin job i copy my comments before posting, GR ur recaptcha really do suck ass!
  • Crypto140 - June 22, 2011 5:07 p.m.

    This article had made people reveal thier opinions of Obama, reading, and the need for Fox news to STFU. And this article is only 2 paragraphs long! My 2 cents Obama isn't the worst president Video games appeal to children more than books do due to pictures becasue America is getting dumber Screw you Fox news your weather team sux
  • Bubblesauce - June 22, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    @RuBIX He's not arguing that they are better stories, he's saying that they have more of an impact on modern society, and I believe they do, surely I can't be the only one who is more interested in Mass Effect than I am in Lord of the Rings?
  • RuBIX - June 22, 2011 2:17 p.m.

    @RicePuddingUK I'll take a shot Enders Game Lord of the Rings Yeeeaaah, neither of those games have stories that even come close.
  • ZigzMagoo - June 22, 2011 6:14 a.m.

    @PretzelBoy FUCK. You stole my comment.
  • nadrewod - June 22, 2011 2:47 a.m.

    @DOCCON, Love the joke (you obviously are misspelling those letters on purpose), but please save it for the later comments (as in, not the first 20 comments, AKA the first page of comments, which is always visible directly beneath the article).
  • D0CCON - June 22, 2011 2:21 a.m.

    Evar senz gamz caem out, my grammarz r gittin betar and my entilligance am growzing.
  • Threesome - June 22, 2011 1:23 a.m.

    Unreal Tournement 3 taught me to play nice with others
  • Fiirestorm21 - June 22, 2011 1:22 a.m.

    Interesting, though not all that surprising.
  • Killershadow117 - June 22, 2011 1:21 a.m.

    Of course, I know we have all seen the doom release dates on the crime rate line chart.
  • Hammish - June 22, 2011 1:21 a.m.

  • bitchassafriBLAMamericANTISTA - June 22, 2011 1:20 a.m.

    well i guess julie pisseswell is going to have to apolog... SUCK IT!

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