The Supreme Court recently struck down California’s ban on the sale of violent video games to children (7-2). While I’m happy with the decision, I can’t help but wonder why the law was passed in the first place. Why do people think violent video games are bad?
Even this BBC article, which lists video games as a possible reason for the large drop in violent crime over the past 20 years, still made the assumption that violent games encourage violent behavior. They argued that the “incapacitation effect” of video games might “offset any direct impact the content of the games may have had in encouraging violent behaviour. “
Isn’t it possible that getting to live out violent fantasies virtually reduces actual violence? This is similar to the idea that access to pornography prevents rapes. I’m not saying that it does, but it seems like a possibility.