Is computer video gaming harmful to your kids? A recent research from the Yale University School of Medicine suggests that computer gaming is “largely innocuous”.
The study, which covered around 4,000 high school students in Connecticut, found that only five percent of gamers showed signs of “problem gaming” such as having an irresistible urge to play, trying and failing to cut down on gaming, and feelings of tension that could only be relieved by playing.
Meanwhile, of the 95 percent of gamers who did not fall into the “problem” category, there was little evidence that the hobby was related to any negative health or academic effects. For them, playing computer games is just a normal hobby.
According to a report by Reuters Health, “problem gaming” is related to higher risks of smoking, depression, drug use and fighting among boys and girls. However, it is not clear whether one’s addiction to video games helped cause the above problems, or vice versa, or whether they simply co-existed.
Says Dr. Rani Desai, lead researcher of the study: “Correlation does not equal causation. Kids who smoke might also be more likely to develop a gaming problem — not the other way around. We can’t tell from these data.”
The study which was recently published in the journal Pediatrics also found that kids who played video games were no more likely than their peers to report drinking or using drugs. Interestingly, boys who gamed were less likely than other boys to smoke, the study adds.
For stories related to this entry, check out our post on the bad effects of too much texting or social networking, the health effects of laptops on your lap, and the negative health effects of 3-D movies.