bubble on green wallpaper, violent video games and violence, conundrum of incompetence

bubble on green

bubble on green wallpaper. by way of microsoft/corbis with some touch-ups in photoshop.

To date there is no scientific evidence that violent video games cause people to commit violent acts, Shooting in the Dark

The proliferation of violent video games has not coincided with spikes in youth violent crime. The number of violent youth offenders fell by more than half between 1994 and 2010, to 224 per 100,000 population, according to government statistics, while video game sales have more than doubled since 1996.

In a working paper now available online, Dr. Ward and two colleagues examined week-by-week sales data for violent video games, across a wide range of communities. Violence rates are seasonal, generally higher in summer than in winter; so are video game sales, which peak during the holidays. The researchers controlled for those trends and analyzed crime rates in the month or so after surges in sales, in communities with a high concentrations of young people, like college towns.

We found that higher rates of violent video game sales related to a decrease in crimes, and especially violent crimes,” said Dr. Ward, whose co-authors were A. Scott Cunningham of Baylor University and Benjamin Engelstätter of the Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim, Germany.

Cause and effect are tricky. So if society has a problem and you roll out the heavy hand of law enforcement it is important to know that you’re regulating the correct cause.

Diamond-Studded Dancer-1965

Diamond-Studded Dancer, 1965. “Disco dancer with a diamond in her navel takes to the floor at Killer Joe’s opening at the Taft Hotel Discotheque.”

The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Why The Incompetent Don’t Know They’re Incompetent

“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”

One of the tell-tale signs of the classic authoritarian personality is the psychological inability to live with some ambiguity.