The issue is especially relevant today, because the games are more realistic and bloodier than ever, and because most American boys play them at some point.
Girls play at lower rates and are significantly less likely to play violent games.
Afterward, the team took various measures of arousal, both physical and psychological.
It also tested whether the students would behave more aggressively, by having them dole out hot sauce to a fellow student who, they were told, did not like spicy food but had to swallow the sauce.
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. Scott Cunningham of Baylor University and Benjamin Engelstätter of the Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim, Germany. It may be that playing video games for hours every day keeps people off the streets who would otherwise be getting into trouble.