ABSTRACT: Psychological studies invariably find a positive relationship between violent
video game play and aggression. However, these studies cannot account for either aggressive
effects of alternative activities video game playing substitutes for or the possible selection of
relatively violent people into playing violent video games. That is, they lack external validity.
We investigate the relationship between the prevalence of violent video games and violent
crimes. Our results are consistent with two opposing effects. First, they support the behavioral
effects as in the psychological studies. Second, they suggest a larger voluntary incapacitation
effect in which playing either violent or non-violent games decrease crimes. Overall, violent
video games lead to decreases in violent crime.