A Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist named Mike writes into the comments:
I would say you are either among the many uninformed people I know or you are brilliant in feeding the masses random statistical data that leads to no conclusions to no end other than to sell more of your books. There is an overwhelming body of medical research linking violent media to increased aggression in kids and teens.
This is a pretty crucial point, one that bears walking through more slowly. It is true that a number of studies have found a correlation between violent media and aggressive thoughts or feelings. I think that's an entirely reasonable finding. But *no* study has found a correlation between violent media and actual violent or criminal behavior. In fact, the only study that I know of that interviewed perpetrators of actual violent crime found that they tended to watch *less* media than the average person, and have less of an identifying relationship with onscreen characters.
So the only thing that we've been able to prove after years and years of study is a slight increase in aggression after spending time with violent media. And that's precisely why I brought up the high school football analogy and the "compared to what?" question. Because there have been no studies that I know of that have compared the levels of aggression provoked by violent media to the aggression provoked by any number of activities that we happily encourage as a society: football, pickup basketball games, playing cops and robbers, etc. In other words, the idea that some form of media might create an uptick in aggression is not in itself cause for panic, if we already accept and celebrate many forms of recreation that may have the exact same effect.
And I fail to see why violent crime statistics are "random" in this discussion. The specific accusation leveled by Senator Clinton and other game-bashers is that Grand Theft Auto and its ilk are damaging a whole generation of kids, desensitizing them to violence and thus making them more prone to it. So if all the evidence suggests that this generation is the *least* violent bunch of kids on record, why isn't that relevant to the debate? The argument that the anti-gamers are making is that we have a crisis on our hands with these games, so the first thing we should ask is: where is the evidence of crisis in this generation of gamers, in their real-world behavior? And in fact, there's no evidence of crisis whatsoever -- other than the obesity issue that I referred to. For some odd reason, people like to think that the "kids today" are in some kind of terrible peril, but the happy truth of the matter is that they're doing better today than they have in the past 30-35 years. Despite the fact that they're playing more videogames than ever.