In the past 20 years, video games have increased in sales dramatically, while crimes committed by youth have decreased dramatically. This shows that as a general rule, video games do not cause criminal behavior. In fact, video game use and criminal behavior are separate issues. Countless hours of time spent playing video games does not add up to a general increase in violent behavior in children or teenagers–or even in adults. Anyone who says otherwise is grossly misinformed, and it bothers me to no end when people equate real-life violence to video game use without proof.
I’m not saying that video games don’t make some people aggressive. However, most people play video games with only a temporary increase in aggressive or anti-social behavior that dissipates over time; very few become criminally violent. Many gamers–including BYU students that play video games–are social, kind, and overall normal people that would never hurt someone in real life just because they play Halo or Call of Duty in their down time.
Video games are shown to help develop problem-solving skills in children and, when it comes to multiplayer games, are just as fun as other kinds of games. However, like how some movies are not appropriate for children, some video games are not appropriate for children. Anyone buying video games for children should use the rating system and look up reviews of the games in question to make sure what they’re buying will be age-appropriate.