Violent Computer Games / Movies as Triggers for Violent Real Life Crimes: Is Comparative Post-Crime Influence Research Useful?
The question if violent computer games lead to more violence in real life has long been controversial. While it seems clear that some perpetrators are influenced by what they have seen on tv or in computer games, the vast majority of gamers does not commit crimes. It is therefore necessary to understand mechanisms of game-influence on those who actually commit violent crimes.
Predisposition to use violence and the legal and factual accessibility of weapons, in particular firearms (these would be separate issues worth of investigation), being equal: are violent computer games more likely to impact players’ real life-behavior if the weapons and mode of violent in game-behavior is unlikely to be realized in real life? In other words: are more realistic computer games more likely to lead to real life-violence?
Such research could be undertaken by looking at pre-crime gaming behavior of violent offenders in different jurisdictions (different weapons laws) but also different factual circumstances regarding access to firearms. This will require a global outlook but could help law enforcement and the computer gaming industry to better understand the impact of computer games. Parallel studies should be undertaken with regard to violent movies etc.