Type JournalArticle
Date 2015-02-13
Volume 65
Number 1
Tags nonfiction, games, violence
Journal Journal of Communication

Does Media Violence Predict Societal Violence? It Depends on What You Look at and When

I wrote about this back in 2014 complaining about the paper going too far, especially in the "Policy implications" section. I was reminded of Ferguson by an article in the Atlantic (Bogost, 2019), so I looked around, and found that in 2015 the journal published a note indicating that "it was found to contain substantial personal commentary that went beyond what was justified by the results of the study and the state of the literature" (Parks, 2015) and therefore that this material had been excised from the printed version.


Bogost, I. (2019, August 5). Video-Game Violence Is Now a Partisan Issue. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/08/video-game-violence-became-partisan-issue/595456/
Parks, M. (2015). Editor’s Note. Journal of Communication, 65(1), 192. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcom.12143


This article presents 2 studies of the association of media violence rates with societal violence rates. In the first study, movie violence and homicide rates are examined across the 20th century and into the 21st (1920–2005). Throughout the mid-20th century small-to-moderate correlational relationships can be observed between movie violence and homicide rates in the United States. This trend reversed in the early and latter 20th century, with movie violence rates inversely related to homicide rates. In the second study, videogame violence consumption is examined against youth violence rates in the previous 2 decades. Videogame consumption is associated with a decline in youth violence rates. Results suggest that societal consumption of media violence is not predictive of increased societal violence rates.

Name Role
Christopher J. Ferguson Author