Do video games affect kids’ behavior?

Every time some kid shoots up a school or steals a car there are always three convenient scapegoats: video games, that music they listen to, and those movies they watch. Recently here in the Bay Area there has been an upswing of service vehicles being stolen: ambulances, police cars, etc.

Now normally I’m of the school of thought that says parents who parent well are to blame for kids stealing cars or being miscreants, not RockStar Games, Eminem, or Quentin Tarantino. Nonetheless, stealing service vehicles is a core part of the Grand Theft Auto series (III and Vice City in particular). It’s a little odd though, I mean what are you going to do with that fine new ambulance you’ve jacked?


“Computer games don’t affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.”

Kristian Wilson, CEO, Nintendo, 1989