For the non-gamers out there, IRL means "In Real Life". A very appropriate title considering a recent study out of Washington State University that shows that watching TV crime dramas makes people more likely to help others in criminal situations.
The study suggests that by watching shows like Law & Order and CSI that people are actually being educated about things like sexual assault. These shows average about 6 violent acts per hour, 10% of which are related to sexual assault. The shows also tend to feature bystanders helping the victims or the police as they investigate.
Researchers think the combination of seeing these violent acts portrayed and seeing civilians stepping up to help strangers inspires and empowers people to be more pro-active when they encounter similar situations. They went on to say that this can both dissuade attackers and support victims which is what is necessary to eliminate sexual assaults.
Click here to see the full text from the Journal of Health Communication.