He finds they negatively influence relationships
.The problem I have with this study is that I feel it was bias and narrow
minded. They, for one, only asked college students, who make up the majority of
pot smokers and heavy drinkers and also only make up a small percentage of young
adults who play video games at the same time assuming all young adults are
college students. They dont take into account college students who say spend a
lot of time playing Rock Band or any of the Wii games that incorporate many
players at the same time which could in turn strengthen relationships with
certain people. They dont reveal what questions they asked to get their
statistics and dont give any real statistics what so ever. The lead author of
the study is Laura Walker, a BYU professor in the School of Family Life. With
such a background, I question Walkers ability to be unbiased.
I love how the people who immediately say how "video games are bad" are the ones
who don't play it that much, or are the ones who play it in excess. I'm a female
gamer. I have a PSP, a Wii, and at my parents house, we have several other types
of consoles. Yet my parents are in a loving relationship, my brother is a social
butterfly (And he's the one who plays these games the most) and my sister is an
outstanding third grader who's very intelligent for her age. I believe there's
no real evidence for or against video game playing, as, GUESS WHAT!? It effects
different people different ways. What people choose to do with their time is up
to them, and what they choose to do with the information is also their choice. I
honestly, however, think that this study is biased, and completely excluded some
facts.Our family eats dinner together, has talks, even plays some
games together, and we're never stronger than when we're doing a great activity
like that. Video games don't ruin lives. Ignorant people do.
Haha, I am an avid gamer, I love gaming and I can tell you that multi-player
games are much better than a solo game, all the talk about anti-sociality may be
true, but I believe that some can gain great bonding experiances as placed in
this article.I am in a guild of great friends and the leader and his wife
both play, and they have a great social life, with me, and others perhaps its
the MMORPGS that should be better monitered to decide what constitutes as
I think it is safe to say that anything that is extreme is bad, i.e. playing
video games everyday for hours at a time, watching TV for hours on end, or
anything and I do mean ANYTHING! regulate yourself and your children, is that
too much to ask. also some games like Metal Gear are not even meant for ADULTS,
let's be serious! It's ridiculous.
Nuclear Geek details an exchange with BYU's Laura Walker. The professor, who
previously told the Deseret News, "Everything we found associated with video
games came out negative," attempted to clarify her remarks and indulged in a bit
of the media blame game: One study does not claim to be
representative of all gamers, and we were in no way making that claim. We are
not even claiming generalizability to the 18-25 age group, this is just what we
found in our sample. Media has a way of really spinning these stories
that are not always accurate. However, in our study, we did find that video game
use was related to only negative behaviors for students this age. Does that mean
this applies to all gamers? No. Does that mean video game use causes these
outcomes? Certainly not. It is possible that video game use could be positive in
a number of ways, but given the variables we measured in our study, it was
related to only negative outcomes...
"Participants included 813 undergraduate students (500 young women, 313 young
men, M age = 20, SD = 1.87) who were mainly European American (79%), unmarried
(100%) and living outside their parents home (90%)"So the study
consisted mainly of young white college students...could you have pigeon holed
this study any more???
I agree with DGY, I'd be more afraid of vision issues than anything else. I too
have begun to need glasses after more than a decade of computer use. I have a good friend who is one of those sterotypical World of Warcraft geeks.
He admits he has no time for anything else since he has been playing 8+ hours a
day for years now, he even took a semester off of college just to play 24/7.
I've grown up with this guy since elementary school and I can tell you he has
ALWAYS been like that and he wasnt allowed to touch video games till he was 16.
The only difference was that instead of Pwning N00bs on WOW he was throwing kids
lunches at them and pushing people.
IMO, I don't think games can really affect how a person behave, to me its more
about their own self control and their environment they were brought up in. I
know many people(including me) who play games and we all live a successful life(
no drugs, no criminal record, and a good social life also). In fact, games had a
positive effect on us, I learn many things that help me benefit in class, for
example stuff related to engineering. In fact some people I know who aren't that
bright and cause trouble don't really know much about games. And how about those
puzzle games, they prove to be beneficial and about those violent games that
cause kids to act out, the fault lies with the parent for disregarding the
rating. Well the only negative effect games have is well it made me wear glasses
lol but of course this is my opinion
@JasonYour post wasn't up when I posted mine, spooky how we both
mentioned bias, just wanted you to know that wasn't aimed at you.With regards to your post.Exactly, it's all about the numbers and
how they are interpreted and used. As I stated earlier about Keith Bakker, what
he originally thought of as an addiction is looking more and more like an escape
from social and family problems, the low self-esteem and social problems led to
the Game playing, not the opposite. I don't see this report so much
biased (it even states that parents' shouldn't rush out and remove Video Games),
but I think there's some lack of investigation over cause and effect and which
Bias is an interesting concept.There's an interesting bit of
research by Prof. Christopher Ferguson of Texas A&M International University,
which states that there is no link whatsoever between Violent games and school
shootings.I quote from it:'As for the news media, it has
long been recognised that negative news... sell better than do positive news...
As for social scientists, it has been observed that a small group of researchers
have been most vocal in promoting the anti-game message... oftentimes ignoring
research from other researchers, or failing to disclose problems with their own
research...'No doubt there are a whole bunch of people here who will
immediately assume that this report is biased because it says something they
don't want to hear.No matter like this is ever black and white, and
trying to say simply 'Video Games are Bad in every way' is bias in and of
The "bias" that is the problem here isn't that of the researchers themselves but
their methods. Anybody who has studied econometrics/statistics in the most basic
sense knows what an omitted variables bias is. I would love to know how the
researchers determined causation in the sense that increased video game playing
causes a bad relationship. How did they determine it wasn't that a bad
relationship that causes undergraduates to play more video games. What they are
not including in the model (study) is most certainly correlated with what is
included and therefore causes any conclusions to be biased (useless).
@Agree4 Years is a long time in research, you may want to check over
some of the more recent scholarly reviews on the subject, many of which disagree
with elements of the original findings. Yes, 4 years ago Games were found to
have many negative effects, however, nowadays, even the concept of Video Game
addiction is somewhat debated, since Keith Bakker, founder of the Video Game
Addiction Centre has stated that 90% of the people who were originally though to
have Video Game addiction were usually sinking themselves into games in order to
escape social and familial problems, and that the solution may lay more firmly
with communication and interaction skills.You may also be interested
by work by people such as Bavilier and Green, Kutner and Olson and Professor
Arthur Kramer all of whom state that there are definite beneficial effects to
moderate and sensible Video Game playing.
I wrote a report in college just about 4 years ago about video games and how
they affect teenagers. I could only use scholarly peer review material and
could not insert any of my own opinions. The peer review literature was quite
similar to this article - that teenagers are less cooperative and harder to get
to work, etc. when they have been playing video games. However, it affects some
kids more than others. The teenagers who spend lots of time on video games
(addicts) have lower grades in school and less social skills. The violence in
the games contribute to a desensitization to other people's feelings and a
violent psyche. In the games, they view themselves as the perpetrators of the
violence. There was nothing in scholarly peer review material that had anything
supportive or psoitive. For those of you who don't know what
scholarly peer review material is - it is research done largely by university
professors that has been accepted by their peer community as accurate.
Russell Carroll: I'm curious. You made a rather blanket statement about how sad
it is that video games do not strive to become a more positive influence. What
games from what genres have you played that gave you this opinion, or which
studies did you read? The Pew Internet & American Life Project in
October of 2008 found "...that avid gamers are just as likely to be civically
and socially active as occasional gamers." amongst 12-17 year olds."The study also found that certain types of video games can have a positive
effect on a players participation in civic activities. Most kids who were
civically or politically active played games that involved social, moral or
ethical issues, or played games that involve helping others or forming
groups."Not all games involve blowing something up. Many are very
inspirational in their story-telling and artistry. Many games too promote
verbal communication skills, teamwork, critical-thinking, judgement, and
strategy, mathematics, athleticism...the list could go well past the 200 word
limit.But like anything, games should be played in moderation, just
like eating, drinking (non-alcoholic drinks included), or any other activity
whether day-to-day or for recreation.
813 College students is not a proper study size. 813 people of varied ethnic,
social, economic, & age would be a proper study.Anyone who lays the
blame for the social ills of the world on any one topic (today video games,
yesterday rap, before then rock music, before then cowboys & indians, before
then not attending church, before then literacy...) is a fool.How
much time do people waste reading trashy novels, or non-educational materials?
Watching TV? Bolwing? Fishing? Knitting? Not intervening to help loved ones
who are addicted to something?Water is good for us; so why does it
kill us if we drink a lot of it? Because ANYTHING is bad for someone if one
uses it too much.This story fails to observe the benefits of what
they are researching, it fails in being non-biased (the researcher began with
the presumption that 'games are bad m'kay'), fails to investigate what the cause
& effect is, & fails to study a broader audience to provide a proper result.Also, BYU found physical disabilities makes married people happier in
another study, easily found on their own December 2008 archives.Yeah.
I am not disagreeing with the news but with the lady that they interviewed last
night on the news from BYU, I really disagree with her Big time
Well, in all honesty, it is a parents job to tell their child what they can and
cannot do, but I guess that is the whole crux of the matter, it is the *parents*
job to do so, not the governments.If legislation is introduced, it
starts with Games, but where does it end? Music? TV? Books?If
parents don't like their children playing video games, it is their
responsibility to put their foot down, if the 'child' is a 20 year old adult,
then they have to make their own decisions, it's up to parents to teach them
moderation when they are young.Do any of the posters on here
*really* want the Government to start to dictate to your children what is Right
or Wrong? Do you want to hand that power over to them, because, if you do, you
will never, ever get it back.Hate Video Games if you like, but if
you value your right to be a parent, fight Legislation every step of the way.
I really Disagree with the article that i watched on the news lastnight , I
think if a kid wants to play Video Game that should be his right he dosen't need
to have someone tell them that to do and what not to do Get with it,
The funniest part is the fact that all these people shouting 'I told you so!
Games are Evil!' obviously haven't read the report, which, all by itself states
that a the numbers are in no way indicative of a Causal relationship, that's the
researchers saying that, not the gamers. They also stated that the social impact
was minimal.Personally, I have my doubts about the 'self esteem'
research, 10 questions is nowhere near enough for a proper psychometric
evaluation, but then, seeing some of the assumptions made about Video Gamers, I
wouldn't be all that surprised.
@Jamie A1: Because Science that is not questioned is Dogma, as any
scientist would know.2: Because there is already research that
disagrees with this result, it's just that censors choose to ignore it because
it doesn't suit their agenda.
@Jamie A. The studies linking "the negative effects of video games" are
flimsy and limited at best; if you'd ever played something like DDR or Rock
Band, you'd know that video games can be fun AND physically demanding, and with
GTA and Gears of War, you'd know that games aren't just for kids anymore.
Although the topic of video games stimulates much debate (as seen through nearly
every comment), the point is that this research supports previous evidence
concerning the negative effects of video games. Those who have questions or
criticisms are typically those who are uneducated as to the full research that
has been performed. Don't be so quick to judge when you don't know all the
details. The students and the teachers are both educated and extremely
knowledgeable about this area of specialty. I know both the teacher and Alex,
and this research took much time and effort from a college student. Why not
praise someone for their accomplishments instead of being so critical? If you
are so upset about the study, go work on your own research and prove us all
First of all Amen, lots of wonderful things can come from gaming.You seem to
assume that because we play video games, were automatically wasting out
time.However, many of us are capable of gaming in moderation and not succumb to
addiction.Grow up,and get your head out of your but.Video games give
people entertainment and fond memories, in the exact same way that a book or a
movie can. You need to get over your prejudice and realize that gamers are
everywere, and can be just as successful as those who condemn our hobby.
@Amen 2:41pmWhy would I bother defending myself to you, you've
already got us tagged and bagged as far as you are concerned, arguing my point
with you would be like talking to a brick wall, and just as pointless.If people want to debate the facts, fine, if people are going to regurgitate
their own prejudices, one way or the other, then there's no point starting a
dialogue, is there?Though, I will point out that even clinics that
are dedicated to gaming addiction are admitting that it is rarely gaming alone
that is the problem, there are usually underlying social factors. Take a look at
Keith Bakker, founder of the Video Game Addiction Clinic, and see what he has to
say, I cannot post a link because of posting rules.
If J.D Thompson uses this to his advantage, we all know it's doomed to fail.
The same exact opinions here can be said about doing too much of anything
excessively. This "researcher" (and I use that term lightly considering how
narrow the study was) has an agenda, just like Jack Thompson and all those
others who criticized comic books, rock n roll, TV, and rap music. Stop giving
these people attention.
First, surveys are the least reliable of all research methods. I'll take
quantitative analysis over qualitative any day of the week.That
people with low self-esteem, and poor relationships would be drawn to the
escapism of video games is common sense, not brilliant scientific research.
People who don't like their life are more likely to want to escape from it than
those who are already happy.Chicken and the egg my friends.And poor, poor Jack T...still tilting at windmills I see...
I'm curious at how the defense "other things are just as bad" is a good defense.
Doesn't that indicate an agreement of the problem.Regardless I
think of it in terms of influence. Some things are more positive influences
than others. Influences do exactly that. They influence. They don't choose
someone's actions, but they can impact what actions happen. It's
sad that video games haven't worked to make themselves a more positive
influence. There are movies and books that influence people to do things that
positively impact the world around them. Until the same is routinely said of
video games, video games deserve additional scrutiny. How are they influencing
society is a very valid question regardless of what it is aimed at. ...and when the influence is negative (like smoking for example) the public
should be made aware of that fact.I make video games for a living
and I really think the industry needs to take a more serious look at the
influence video games have instead of categorically dismissing it.
I'm so ashamed at everyone at the comments section It is stupid to play Video
games 24 Hrs a day but you people (both non-gamers and gamers) are LOSERS, You
people treat video games like the Civil war (I'm sorry to the author of this
article) but I'm fed up with the video game war (Non gamers better grow up here
your're acting like children)
I've seen the exact same thing with my brother. I would never say this to him,
but he is a loser. He hasn't gotten anywhere in his 33 years (except for
beating games) I think he is FINALLY beginning to understand this, but he has
already wasted so much time.I know gamers love to defend their
addiction, but the truth is they are missing out on real life because so much of
their free time is WASTED on video games. (Cue gamers to defend
their addiction and try to convince us that "wonderful" things come from
With all deference to the study, as has been noted, causation and correlation
are different. My experience suggests that video games are an escape mechanism,
symptomatic of a poor social environment. I would encourage another study to
determine whether playing multiplayer games, with their artificially-created
social environment helps players to adjust to real-world environments better
than their peers playing solitary games, or no games at all. But that would
require at least six groups, several years, and good deal of funding.
In my opinion, the effect of excessive video-game exposure is obvious. Society
has come to accept that they and those around them are checked-out to the point
that most people don't even think twice about playing violent video games. It's
a sad thing and I feel bad for all of the previous commentators who find nothing
wrong with violent video games or even non-violent games in excess.
Why were only unmarried people used in the study???
Sure I can accept the results, video games and marajuana are related therefore
video games cause drug use. Hey! Marajuana and munchies are related too,
therefore Dorittos, cheetos and mini pizzas cause drug use!!!! I love the new
I know many young people who have terrible relationships with their family and
there isn't a video game system in the house. Well, there was a PS2 that was
used to play DVD's but these people had no games. They also did not have cable
TV and rarely watched the DVD player.It is about how you make it
work. And comparing it to cult-like mormon behavior that is designed to
brainwash the youth is probably going to show video games to be terrible.Video games are the devil. Right? Beat feet.
correlation is not causation
The results in this study could just as well be applied to any recreational
activity that demands one's full time and attention. Perhaps it is the
sedate nature of gaming that gives it such a bad wrap. The question is,
can a video gamer have healthy relationships with friends and family?Of
course they can! Some may have to cut back on their playing time, but why target
the video game itself?That's like blaming guns for killing people.(maybe that's not the appropriate analogy in this case.)
Emily,You mean like watching tv or reading a book. Neither of those
activities are any more social than playing a video game.
This is the first time I have added a comment on anysubject. It seems that
the point of the study was to see what effect video games had on 813 students.
The conclusion was that games have a negative affect on relationships. The same
could be said for TV and movies. Is it just one more thing to study.
In my opinion any type of medium whether it be music, the spoken word, or video,
if it puts out negative information then that is what the brain will take in and
one will naturally react to it negatively. Next time you watch or
listen to something negative listen to the self-talk that goes on after. The
brain will let you know how it feels about what has just been viewed. It is a
@Emily Joe:Such as Drinking, or Bowling or Fishing?Just
because you yourself do not approve of something does not automatically make it
a bad thing, I'm not a big fan of Video Games either to be honest, but that
doesn't mean I can't respect the people who choose to use it as a past-time just
like any other past-time. I am sure there were people who told Rembrandt that
Painting was a pointless pastime, or told Beethoven that sitting indoors
composing Music was a waste of time and that he should be doing something more
'wholesome' with his life. Judging people by our own standards and
opinions is one of the most restricting and selfish things we can do, yet people
seem incredibly eager to do it.As mentioned earlier, does that still
mean that the studies that found Elvis promoted promiscuity in teens are valid,
and that we should, therefore, put restrictions on who is 'capable' of listening
to them?Of course the results of studies change with time, that's
what science is all about.
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.
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?
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
"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.
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
@gladThis 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.
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.
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!
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.
@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.
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.
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.
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.
@PeterSince 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.
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
and ome more thing. Video game violoence and all that legislation is a target of
liberals. Not conservatives.
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
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.
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.
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.