Yet another seemingly profound and yet inevitably pointless look into the personal lives of gamers has resulted in one Professor Laura Walker of Brigham Young University in Utah claiming that gamers have a 10% higher chance of smoking marijuana or getting drunk at the weekends. Indeed, hardcore gamers were found to be three times more likely to partake in the smoking of weed than somebody who doesn’t play games at all, and who undoubtedly is kept in a clear glass cage away from all types of media.
This report, coming from the lovely Daily Telegraph (which, by the way, had a headline that made me shout “Hoorah, 3/3!”), comes with a host of lovely quotes about the gaming community:
Although “gamers” have long denied the accusation that they are anti-social loners, scientists believe they have proof that long hours spent attempting to better “top scores” could have far-reaching consequences.
“Denied the accusation that they are anti-social loners”? Of course that’s going to be denied. I’m sure the scientists would deny being interfering twats, but that’s what this study seems to prove to me.
She said previous studies had only examined the issue of aggression but added: “It appears video games are related to a host of other negative outcomes.”
Oh wonderful, so now I have something to blame for my unattractiveness and being constantly under the influence of gravity as well?
It also amuses me that this is the picture they chose to illustrate the point:
Which clearly shows a group of gamers, i.e. not anti-social loners, with one bottle of beer per person, and clearly some romantic overtones – an almost complete contradiction to the article it’s contained within. Plus, when was this picture taken? Thats the N64 they’re playing on! That’s two generations of consoles old now…
So the entire study outlines how video games are responsible for a higher likelyhood of drinking, drug use and anti-social behaviour, only to get to the end, where it says this:
Prof Walker said that it was still unclear whether playing computer games caused other social problems, or were merely a symptom of them.
I.e. This doesn;t prove anything, and the conductors of the study aren’t even sure if what they’re looking at is a cause or an effect. One other minor factor of the validity of this report? It was conducted solely in a University. How many of them drink or do drugs?