Playing violent video games ‘has risks’

Reuters February 06, 2009

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AMONG young college students, the frequency and type of video games played appears to parallel risky drug and alcohol use, poorer personal relationships, and low levels of self-esteem, researchers report. “This does not mean that every person who plays video games has low self-worth, or that playing video games will lead to drug use,” Professor Laura M. Padilla-Walker said. Rather, these findings simply indicate video gaming may cluster with a number of negative outcomes, “at least for some segment of the population,” said Prof Padilla-Walker, an associate professor at the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

She and colleagues examined the previous 12-months’ frequency and type of video game and internet use reported by 500 female and 313 male undergraduate college students in the US. The students, who were 20 years old on average and mostly received course credit for their study participation, also recounted their drug and alcohol use, perceptions of self-worth and social acceptance, and the quality of their relationships with friends and family. The findings, reported in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, showed “stark gender differences in video game and internet use,” Prof Padilla-Walker said. For example, compared with young women, young men reported video gaming three times as often and reported playing violent video games nearly eight times as often.,28348,25017533-5014239,00.html