Hallelujah. It looks like all those naysayers who have been telling us for years that video games are bad for you and will rot your brain or turn you into a violent psychopath were wrong after all.
A new Oxford University study suggests that children who play games for up to an hour a day are more sociable than their peers.
The researchers found that children and teenagers who played games for less than hour daily were better adjusted to society than children who did not play video games and those who played for more than three hours.
The study tested almost 5,000 youngsters, comparing those who did not play at all with those who spent varying periods of time playing console- or PC-base games.
“Young people who indulged in a little video game-playing were associated with being better adjusted than those who had never played or those who were on video games for three hours or more,” the study found.
“Those who played video games for less than an hour… were associated with the highest levels of sociability and were most likely to say they were satisfied with their lives. They also appeared to have fewer friendship and emotional problems, and reported less hyperactivity than the other groups.”
Experimental psychologist Dr Andrew Przybylski, who conducted the study, told the BBC that although the effect of video games on children is statistically significant in this study, factors such as the strength of family relationships play a larger role.
“In a research environment that is often polarised between those who believe games have an extremely beneficial role and those who link them to violent acts, this research could provide a new, more nuanced standpoint,” he said.
“Being engaged in video games may give children a common language. And for someone who is not part of this conversation, this might end up cutting the young person off.”
Right, if you will excuse us, we need to get back to Mario Kart 8 …