New research suggests that, contrary to popular (media) opinion, violent attacks have actually declined as gaming popularity has increased.

A report in the International Journal of Liability and Scientific Enquiry has said that the success of games such as GTA IV has coincided with a drop in violent crime.

Speaking to the Metro newspaper, Patrick Kierkegaard of the University of Essex believes that violent games can actually reduce aggression, and states evidence linking video games to violence is "flimsy".

"Violent crime, particularly among the young, has decreased dramatically since the early 1990s, while video games have steadily increased in popularity and use", said Kierkegaard.

"For example, in 2005, there were 1,360,088 violent crimes reported in the USA compared with 1,423,677 the year before. With millions of sales of violent games, the world should be seeing an epidemic of violence, instead violence has declined."

See, we're not a bad bunch after all.