Sharing is always good!

Physical Video game sales were at $13 billion in 2012 – down from $17 billion in 2011 (Forbes.com), but a large piece of business nonetheless. And I’m not surprised. Everywhere I look — from the local paper to the national news, reports of violence are everywhere. Murder trial after murder trial on channel after channel. Social media is on fire with calls for peace and tougher gun laws. The world is simply out of control with violence. Doesn’t anyone think about the children?!? What about the children?!?

I remember asking my mom to go out as soon as she could to pick up Mortal Kombat at the store before it was banned. The more I heard that it should be banned, the more I wanted it. Performing just the right button combination to utterly destroy your opponent was deliriously thrilling. Today’s games are just as thrilling but with graphics that make Mortal Kombat seem like cave drawings in motion. I can’t imagine what they will be like a mere ten years from now.

Luckily, the FBI records data on violent crime to show the causal connection between the rise of the video game industry and the explosion in crime. From the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, in 1992, the year Mortal Kombat was released, there were 757.7 violent crimes for every 100,000 inhabitants. That number skyrocketed to plunged to 386.3 in 2011, the most recent year reported.

Okay, so overall violent crime is down 49%, but murder has to be up and just hidden in the overall number. According to the same report, the murder rate dropped to 4.7 per 100,000 from 9.3, also decrease of 49%. Aggravated assault? 441.9 to 241.1 — down 45%.

I hate when facts get in the way of emotional pleas.

All of these numbers are on a downward trend and not simply one year anomalies. However, I get the feeling I should be a violently deranged male with an itchy trigger finger willing to kill anyone that looks at me sideways. Of course, this is only a stepping stone to the mass murder I will most assuredly perpetrate for having carried out the very same act with my pixeled playthings. But, unless there has been an absolute explosion in unreported violent crimes perpetrated by video game junkies, we are actually in a fairly peaceful time.

I blame my parents for teaching me personal responsibility and the difference between fantasy and reality. Sound parenting and a focus on education has meant a life of work and accountability. All this discussion of violence is too much for me right now anyway, time to catch the late news to get away from it all.

Sharing is always good!