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He finds they negatively influence relationships

Published: Saturday, Jan. 24 2009 12:26 a.m. MST

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BYU research...

another video game study with a bias conclusion. Most of the people I know who play a lot video games were never social butterflies. I disagree with the claim video games made them that way. Video games, especially violent ones, are a favorite target for conservative types. They start with the supposition that there's something wrong with them, and it's their duty to prove it.

Neeneko

I am really glad that this study gave a nod to the question 'is this cause or effect'. I know many people who turned to games because they are already in a poor life situation and are seeking to improve their life... in which case the gaming is a very positive response to a negative situation.

Anonymous

Sorry, to broad of a brush, in my opinion. I play games, violent ones mostly, and enjoy a very rich and happy social life, married life, and relationship with my family.
I've enjoyed playing online games with friends, and coworkers and I think I've better established relationships with some co-workers due to our mutual enjoyment of video games.
Just one's opinion.

Jack Thompson

A "bias conclusion?" The researcher plays video games so much that his wife objects. If anything, the bias would have gone the other way.

I was recently in Utah for the purpose of preparing new legislation to make game retailers stop selling adult games to kids. This study could not have come at a better time, and in Utah no less!

Jack Thompson

rick

and ome more thing. Video game violoence and all that legislation is a target of liberals. Not conservatives.

Peter

Mr Thompson, once again you attempt to twist the facts to suit your own prejudiced agenda, this research was done on people at an average of 20 years old, draconian legislation would have had no impact on these people whatsoever.

Also, I have great suspicions about the accuracy of this research, go to socially deprived areas, where drug taking is rife, and ask them whether it's Video Games or social/peer pressure that pushes them to drugs, and then compare the results, I think the authors of this research will be somewhat surprised.

Neeneko

@Peter

Since the study makes no claim of cause, I'm not sure that holds. I think a better thing to find out would be to ask drug users how they spend their time. I suspect that games (with all their fun sensory stuff) make a great activity while high and thus are a pass time of preference. Looking at the results that is how I read these numbers.

Now what that would mean is that playing games has no effect on drug use.

While this research can probably be twisted by the anti-game lobby, the actual research that was done seems pretty neutral.

glad

Glad someone spends money and time on studying the effects of video games on adolescence. As a mother and counselor I could have told you that without taking up much of your time or money. Just $65/hour.

Recovering WOW addict

I've always had a bad relationship with my parents. for me games like WOW and Final Fantasy were ways that I could forget about my crappy life and just for a moment enjoy myself. Now that I have a better relationship with my family I play for fun, but that doesn't change the fact that games "can" be addicting. In my opinion, it's very similar to sports addicts (except that playing sports is more healthy).

Before I started playing world of warcraft I was warned by several friends that it was a major part in the down fall of their marriage. I've played for the past two years and I've found that those who play daily usually end up with or already have failing relationships and the worse those relationships get the more they play.

When it all comes down to it I think that video games are a fun past time, but must be handled like alcohol, responsibly. Anyone play on Deathwing? Ill be on ALL weekend.

Jim42

Just another study that provides fodder to the sheep on both sides of the fence to argue over, instead of providing any conclusive facts for any type of prudent action or decision.

Peter

@Neenko, possibly, but I'm still highly dubious about what the research implies, and how it could be twisted by fanatics such as Thompson, it's like the findings about 'self esteem', are we really surprised that gamers suffer from esteem problems with the kind of attitude that much of society adopts towards them, they have become the latest scape-goat in a long line of scapegoats, back to the days where Rock'n'Roll promoted Violence and Elvis' gyrating hips promoted promiscuity, people can't even argue that it's the interactive element, since dancing is, if anything, more interactive than Video Games.

Even now, in other quarters, there is 'research' linking rock music with promiscuity, if censors had their way, children would grow up in sensory deprivation tanks. Personally, I'm sick of all this finger-pointing, as though turning a switch off will solve all of societies problems, it's a cheap get-out clause that too many people are trying to twist for the sake of their own personal agenda and it needs to be stopped.

Brandi

A study that involved only 813 college students around the nation? What a narrow sampling of subjects. Anything that takes too much of your attention can negatively affect your friend and family relationships. Video games are simply the subject du jour of this generation. I've been a gamer for most of my 35 years, and yes, I enjoy it greatly, but I find it much harder to stop reading a good book rather than stop playing a good video game. It's all subjective. Every generation is going to have something that takes up their attention to the exclusion of all other people. I could make the same argument about workaholics or artists; therefore, I find nothing conclusive about this study.

Not enough info

The article is quick and easy journalism. Take a conclusion, throw out a headline and never give us any real info about the study. How were social interactions measured? How were social interaction pre and post video game use measured? How did he find the test subjects? Stats? Results? Survey or observational? More info please!

Anon

It may not be that games cause the bad relationships. Asperger's and other autism spectrum sufferers cannot form or maintain relationships easily (or at all) and gravitate towards games as a surrogate for that essential human connection which they want but cannot have.

Neeneko

@glad

This study did not cover adolescents. Your response also makes me question your abilities as a counselor. Having seen the shallow understanding of psychology adolescent counselors often have, this does not surprise me.

@Peter

*nod* the issue of how this research will be interpreted and twisted by those who wish to cast blame on games for societies ills is another thing. In cases like this I try to remember who to view poorly and this time I think the researches did a good neutral job, even if the results are easily twisted.

Mother of sons

I've seen my previously social child become very non-social as he has become addicted to on-line gaming. On one level while he was in college I appreciated that he spent more time gaming than paryting/drinking. But, now, having graduated from college he seems stuck in a rut, not moving forward in his life. I understand gaming makes him feel very competent and boosts his self-esteem while he is playing, but outside of the game it seems to me it has the opposite affect. There needs to be more studies and media/public discussion of this issue.

Conservative Violence

"and ome more thing. Video game violoence and all that legislation is a target of liberals. Not conservatives."

No, it pretty much is almost entirely conservatives that are responsible for the legislation. I know you live in a world where everything bad has to be the fault of liberals, but, well, you're wrong.

Nice try though.

Madden

I see no bias in the study, though it is impossible to say video games CAUSE any of the ill effects. The study was not an experiment, but was observational only. We can never really know whether people who get hooked on games would have had social issues anyway (or possibly turned to other vices worse than gaming).

However an 813 sample size is more than sufficient.

-Matt the Statistician

Hatuletoh

We did something similar for a communications study a few years ago. We came up with the same basic results, but the failing of our study (and probably this one) was the old "chicken and the egg" causality issue. We didn't set the thing up with enough controls to decide whether video games hurt interpersonal relationships, or people with low interpersonal aptitudes are more likely to play video games. For example, people--especially girls--likely to be described as "popular" and "attractive" rarely played video games. But of course this is just intuitive: when was the last time you saw a bunch of hot girls hanging out with their girl buddies in their parents' basement, eating pizza and getting all worked up over Madden football? Maybe video games are just the favored passtime of the socially awkward? Kind of like Dungeons and Dragaons used to be?

Emily Jo

Ha ha...no offense, but I laugh at those who get defensive when they hear actual results of statistics such as this. Accept it and move on. The results of this study will not change. I think we all deep down inside (if you will admit it, or NOT) know that nothing truly ever comes of video games anyhow. Just think about it. Wasted time. A cheap escape when better, more enriching and wholesome activities can take place instead.

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