Computer games might reduce crime

The rise of the use of violent computer games during the recession might have led to a reduction in violent crime.

Coppers in the US have been unable to work out why crime actually dropped when traditionally it rises during a period of economic trouble.

Violent crimes fell 5.5 percent last year and property crimes declined 4.9 percent.

One theory is that the US has locked up everyone who might have committed a crime and the other is that smart, data-driven police strategies have prevented anything from happening.

But Lawrence Katz, a labour economist claims that it is all to do with video games.

Katz thinks that games and Web sites may have kept the young and idle busy during this recession, thus explaining the surprising lack of an uptick in crime.

Video games can not only provide hours of entertainment. They can also give people an outlet for frustration that doesn’t involve actual violence.

The theory is that while video games can promote obsessive, antisocial behaviour and can make violent situations seem ordinary they keep people off the streets.