Total US sales of video game hardware and software increased 204% from 1994 to 2014, reaching $ billion in 2014, while violent crimes decreased 37% and murders by juveniles acting alone fell 76% in that same period. [ 133 ] [ 134 ] [ 135 ] [ 136 ] [ 82 ] [ 83 ] The juvenile Violent Crime Index arrest rate in 2012 was 38% below 1980 levels and 63% below 1994, the peak year. [ 83 ] The number of high school students who had been in at least one physical fight decreased from 43% in 1991 to 25% in 2013, and student reports of criminal victimization at school dropped by more than half from 1995 to 2011. [ 107 ] [ 106 ] An Aug. 2014 peer-reviewed study found that: "Annual trends in video game sales for the past 33 years were unrelated to violent crime... Monthly sales of video games were related to concurrent decreases in aggravated assaults." [ 84 ]
I agree that there is no obvious correlation here. But only the headline suggests that, not the study’s author. And of course very bookish kids have traditionally been the social outsiders with little concern on the part of parents and psychologists. Video games are not books. “Action” happens only within the confines of someone else’s game and is limited. And while the skills involved in gaming have some relevance to real life, their overall benefit to intellectual development is much lower than the benefits to improving verbal skills, reading comprehension, and just the greater exposure to a broad array of characters and ideas that you get from books.