On the other side of the equation, theorists argue that the possible effects of violent video games have not been effectively proven. For instance, well-known media scholar Henry Jenkins writes, “According to federal crime statistics, the rate of juvenile violent crime in the United States is at a 30-year low. Researchers find that people serving time for violent crimes typically consume less media before committing their crimes than the average person in the general population.” These statistics seem to run counter to the arguments that video games will negatively affect audiences.
Others argue that the research demonstrating negative effects from video games has been overstated, and that meta-analyses of this research, which discuss the results of a broad array of studies together, have displayed a number of weaknesses. Some have focused on studies that have found effects, leaving out large numbers that have shown the relationship between video games and aggression to be negligible. This could result in the relationship being emphasized more than it deserved. Researchers in this camp also argue some reports that show effects are methodologically weak, sometimes failing to control for other variables that could account for the relationship between games and aggression.
To explore this side of the debate more fully, the following articles provide an overall view of the current arguments against effects of violent media.
- Ferguson, Christopher J. “The School Shooting/Violent Video Game Link: Causal Relationship or Moral Panic?” Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling 5.1-2 (2008): 25-37.
- Ferguson, Christopher J., and John Kilburn. “The Public Health Risks of Media Violence: A Meta-Analytic Review.” The Journal of Pediatrics 154.5 (2009): 759-63
- Jenkins, Henry. “The Video Game Revolution: “Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked” PBS.com. PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. <http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html>.
- Sherry, John. “The Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggression: A Meta-analysis.” Human Communication Research 27.3 (2001): 409-31