The Situationist

The Surprising Situation of Video Game Players

Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 2, 2009

Videogame PlayersTor Thorsen of GameSpot has an interesting piece on surprising new findings from the Centers for Disease Control on video game players, who tend to be older than you might expect, and also more depressed.  Below is an excerpt.

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Often, games are dismissed as a youthful pastime. However, a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that the average US gamer doesn’t even fall into the 18-34-year-old demographic advertisers and MTV programmers so highly prize. According to the study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and provided to MSNBC, the average adult American gamer is 35, the age when the ostensibly retirement-age organization AARP starts sending out invitation letters.

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It gets worse. The study, which was conducted in conjunction with Emory University and Andrews University, also found the majority of adult gamers had “a greater number of poor mental health days” compared to non-gamers. They also were more often overweight and antisocial than teetotalers of computer entertainment, according to researchers.

“Video game players also reported lower extraversion, consistent with research on adolescents that linked video game playing to a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status, and to mental-health concerns,” the study authors wrote. Female gamers were particularly likely to be hit by depression and “lower health status.” It also found that women are more like to use games as a “digital self-medication.” Male players spent “more time using the Internet and rely more on Internet-community social support.”

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To read the rest, click here.  For related posts, see Are Video Games Addictive?, Resident Evil 5 and Racism in Video Games,” “Encourage Your Daughters To Play Violent Video Games?,” “The Situation of First-Person Shooters,” “Suing the Suer: Video Game Company Sues Jack Thompson,” and Michael McCann’s “The Intersection between Tort Law and Social Psychology in Video Games.”

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2 Responses to “The Surprising Situation of Video Game Players”

  1. alarm said

    “The subjects ranged in age from 19 to 90″

    Wouldn’t that affect the average age of gamers? Ignoring all teenagers and younger? Maybe a better conclusion would be the average age of ADULT gamers is 35. In fact, the title of the study is “Health-Risk Correlates of Video-Game Playing Among Adults

  2. Justin said

    This isn’t surprising. People who are overweight, introverted, or depressed are much more likely to stay home by themselves.

    I imagine that one could get similar findings from studying ‘readers’.

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