Countries where the most youngsters play violent games like Grand Theft Auto ‘are the safest in the world’

Campaigners have long sought to link violent games such as Grand Theft Auto to real-life murders – arguing that the games turn players into killers.

But actually, the reverse might be true, according to a new book, ‘Moral Combat’ by psychologists Dr Patrick Markey and Dr Christopher Ferguson.

The researchers found that the 20 countries where video games – including hits such as Call of Duty – are the most popular, are also the safest countries in the world.

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‘When we look at these countries, we find that, contrary to the fear that video games make society more dangerous, the opposite tends to be true.

‘The countries that consume the most video games are among the safest nations in the world.

‘In fact, the three countries with the fewest global game sales had a nearly 200 per cent higher average violent crime rate than the three countries that sold the most games.’

Japan and North Korea are the biggest spenders on video games – closely followed by the United States and the UK.