Crime Rates Drop In 08, Video Game Sales Increase

Violent crime, arson and car theft all dropped nationwide in 2008 compared to the prior year, according to the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Report.

But what does that mean to gamers?

In reality, it shouldn't mean a thing. Crimes and the things that cause people to commit them are far too complex to compare to other statistics, like unemployment or demographics. But that doesn't stop pundits, newspapers and politicians from doing just that every year.

Occasionally, a wacko will also try to roll out annual video game sales and draw some sort of correlation between the increase in video game purchases and the crime rate, be it juvenile arrests or violent crimes committed. It is, of course, utter nonsense. But it's also an interesting jumping off point for discussion and debate... intelligent discussion and debate.

One word of warning, the numbers shown here, all pulled from NPD and the FBI, are meant to only show changes over time. They should not be used to compare totals because I had to re-fame the "per thousands" on them to get all of the numbers (which range from the thousands to the billions) to show up on one chart.

Now have at it... nicely.


    To analyse trends like this you take at least 5 years of data. 3 if you're unprofessional. The trend this article is about happens only over 2.

    Therefore, these are just coincidental fluctuations that don't provide reasonable conclusions.

    Although I'm sure some douche politician will try -_-

    I am no statistician, but would not the lower graph indicate that for a linear regression on those 5 years of data, both the sale of video games AND juvenile arrests have increased?

    I know the data doesn't prove anything, but you should be aware that that the data does not actually prove anything.

    Including that chart there is therefore worse than useless, as it implies that someone can gain intelligent information out of it. The only people who will comment on it are the people who don't understand that it is useless in the first place.

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