"In the late 1960s, as crime rates were rising and the war in Vietnam preoccupied us, a groundswell of sentiment against violent entertainment actually succeeded in profoundly altering the landscape of children's culture. With help from the Federal Communications Commission and the grudging cooperation of the networks, groups such as Action for Children's Television succeeded in chasing most of the violence out of kids' programming. The generation of cartoons created during the 1970s, from The Smurfs to Strawberry Shortcake, were designed to emphasize pro-social values and eschew slapstick humor and physical contact.... Prime-time action shows like The Incredible Hulk and The Dukes of Hazzard featured little action and not a single instance of bodily harm. The mighty Hulk had to content himself with tearing the bumpers off cars, smashing through doors, and sometimes knocking a bad guy into a swimming pool....
We tend to forget now, but for about a decade not very long ago, we truly did give our children the nearly violence-free popular culture that so many critics of the media are pressing for now.... What happened during those years? Crime rates increased. Our national anxiety about violence, as measured by opinion polls, worsened. The kids who spent their formative years in that pop-cultural milieu became the teenagers of the mid-1980s, when crime rates rose again. The kids who spent their formative years in the 1980s, on the other hand, when action-packed movies, TV shows, video games, and combat toys seemed to be taking over kid culture, became the teenagers of the late 1990s, when those rates plummeted. Obviously the Smurfs were no more responsible for the crime wave of the 1980s than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were for the relative calm that followed."
Gerard Jones' Killing Monsters : Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence, being quoted in Savage Pastimes : a Cultural History of Violent Entertainment, by Harold Schechter.
Note to anotheranon: Kage Baker appears to be spot on in her Company future, with violent video games being the primary entertainment in a non-violent culture ... the lady knows her stuff! :-)