You must log in or register to comment.

AutoModerator t1_iwzq2tn wrote

Welcome to r/science! This is a heavily moderated subreddit in order to keep the discussion on science. However, we recognize that many people want to discuss how they feel the research relates to their own personal lives, so to give people a space to do that, personal anecdotes are allowed as responses to this comment. Any anecdotal comments elsewhere in the discussion will be removed and our normal comment rules apply to all other comments.

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.


Jonny_Boy_HS t1_iwzrdxd wrote

There is a lot of trust in psychology experimentation placed on the validity of self reporting. I’d be interested in the reporting of teachers, other children, outsiders, etc on their take. That might be a good follow up experiment.


[deleted] t1_iwzrvsu wrote

Feel like every other day there's a study that debunks that myth of gaming being harmful to teens.


DopeDetective t1_iwzsziw wrote

I would also be curious how many dont play because their family can't afford it which would probably make them less happy for other reasons but still correlated


doctoreldritch t1_iwzwx2r wrote

Before anybody reports this for violating comment rule 4: they really didn't control for socioeconomic status beyond "food poverty," as this was less of a study and more of a data dredge performed on existing survey data.


CraftyRole4567 t1_iwzxzol wrote

It’s worth noting that this measured well-being only as self-reported mental health, clearly with a focus on whether anxiety or depression as linked to gaming. This didn’t look at the cost to these kids of spending the equivalent of a full day every week gaming in terms of impact on grades, social life off-line, lack of physical activity etc., or compare any of those things among kids who don’t game/game less.


Tyken12 t1_iwzz7n5 wrote

exactly, video games are a blessing and a curse for my adhd- i get dopamine and satisfaction of completing tasks/challenges while still being engaged mentally which usually doesn't happen in my day to day life


Strange-Ad1209 t1_ix01uhk wrote

But they should be spending much more time in outdoor physical activities than they are because body mass indices of current HS graduates are completely unhealthy and most young adults of the gamer generations are very physically unfit, many with underlying cardiac, neuro-musculature diseases and pre- diabetes conditions as well as other indications of under development of their physical bodies.


BiggsIDarklighter t1_ix02ypt wrote

The findings actually say that only 1/3 of the surveyed participants play for 3.5 hours or more a day.

> In total, 12,725 participants answered the OxWell gaming questions. Almost one-third (3970/12,725, 31.2%) indicated that they play games for at least 3.5 hours a day.

So 66% of those surveyed are not considered in this “heavy gamer” category that the study then breaks down into smaller sub categories.

> The latent profile analysis distinguished 6 profiles of adolescent heavy gamers: adaptive computer gamers (1747/3970, 44%); casual computer gamers (873/3970, 22%); casual phone gamers (595/3970, 15%); unknown device gamers (476/3970, 12%); maladaptive computer gamers (238/3970, 6%); and maladaptive phone gamers (79/3970, 2%)

The conclusion this study then draws only pertains to those 33% who they consider heavy gamers and considers that 33% a “substantial number”

>Conclusions: >A substantial number of adolescents are spending ≥3.5 hours gaming each day, with almost 1 in 10 (317/3970, 8%) reporting co-occurring gaming and well-being issues.

So the 1 in 10 is only of the 33% of “heavy gamers” and not of the overall 12,725 participants.

>The data on time spent gaming on the computer/console and the phone, as well as from the Gaming Addiction Scale (GAS), were only collected from those participants who answered that they play games for more than 3.5 hours overall (“About how many hours a day do you usually play games on an electronic device (e.g., computer, game console or phone)?”). 8,755 students were excluded from further analysis as they were not playing for more than 3.5 hours and so were categorised as non-gamers. This resulted in a final sample of 3,970 gamers (Supplementary Materials: Table S1).

So this study on gaming addiction and well-being is limited to only those who spend 3.5 hours or more a day gaming.

In other words, this study focuses only on those already considered addicted to gaming and asks them how their addiction affects their well-being.

I have never seen a study on addicted drug users who currently still use drugs and are not seeking help, asking them how their drug use affects their well-being. Curious what those results would show.


scavengecoregalore t1_ix031z4 wrote

I'm actually more fit when I game, because I have one of those portable foot pedal things and a stepper. I really want a treadmill desk. My stepkid games standing up and balances his hobby with organized sports. Pairing the dopamine rush with exercise can be very effective. Not arguing, just presenting a possible solution


Chris-1235 t1_ix04qu8 wrote

Gaming isn't a single experience. Studies need to look more closely into the type of games played, whether they are social or not, whether the player is competitive or not and more. E.g. Playing the same game together with friends (not in the same space) is primarily a social activity, that has helped my son tremendously through multiple moves between countries and through the covid lockdown. I on the other hand stay as far away as possible from multiplayer games, so my experiences with gamong are completely different.


PriorTable8265 t1_ix058xz wrote

Not really, gaming is becoming incredibly harmful to society as the industry slowly merges with gambling.

Heavy gamers are addicts, they forgo personal hygiene and basic human responsibilities to get just one more hit if dopamine.


__Dystopian__ t1_ix061qp wrote

3.5 hours = considerable time

Me sitting here looking at my life



Hydrocoded t1_ix0alwz wrote

That’s because gaming is the best way to socialize atm


BafangFan t1_ix0di36 wrote

People who need to escape.... Escape via video games.

If it weren't video games it would be alcohol, over-working, shopping, reading, or a thousand other ways people choose to disconnect with whatever is happening in their life.


Movie_Rude t1_ix0dzby wrote

I believe there are a few TED talks that already addressed this.


anaximander19 t1_ix0g64k wrote

I wonder how much of this is influenced by the fact that online multiplayer gaming is an entertaining activity that can be done with friends, and we just had two years of remote learning and lockdowns. The kids who don't game are more likely to have just had two years where their social activities were taken away from them.


Electrical_Tip352 t1_ix0gc09 wrote

Anecdotally, my 12 year old games A LOT. He wants to be a professional gamer when he grows up. I can honestly say that with very little effort he gets all As and Bs in school (after two and a half years of online school, he’s back in public school now). He’s really good at math, problem solving, engineering,and has tenacity. I will say he struggles the most with language arts though. I wonder if he played more story games, with some dialogue and reading if he’d excel in that too?

I heavily cut down on his allowable gaming hours during the school week, trying to encourage more tactile arts, like sketching and reading. But the more I real of these studies the more I think I should encourage different types of games to build those lacking skills.

He’s in a STEM class where they use an engineering computer program to build out the specs of the things they’re going to build. He picked it immediately and is doing all of the blueprints for my at home projects.

The biggest negative effect I can see (compounded by covid and isolation) is lack of in- person social skills. We all know the way we act online is different than how we act in person. So he’s having a hard time making “real life” friends at school.


[deleted] t1_ix0iwwl wrote

Also, they may report current higher happiness than children of stricter parents who may restrict their screen time in an effort to better their children through education or other activities, but report lower happiness down the line when children from stricter homes are more successful in life


MaleficentSorbet360 t1_ix0kepj wrote

Maybe it's cus the ones who don't play as much are dealing with real world stuff which is insane right now.


Sinemetu9 t1_ix0noo4 wrote

Thank you, I suspected as much so didn’t bother reading it. Ask anyone that’s high on something if they’re happy, they’ll say yes. Was there a control, to see how the same people felt when gaming was taken away, to compare with a natural state?


lefthandedrighty t1_ix0pp29 wrote

Hmmmm. It’s almost like people are happy being left alone and just doing what they want to do. Everyone’s idea of ‘entertainment’ is different. Some people binge watch trash tv for hours. Some game. In my 42 years on this earth I’ve learned if something makes someone happy and it isn’t negatively affecting you or those around you people should just be left alone.


Lesdeth t1_ix0ru8x wrote

It may have to do something with there being clear cut rules in video games. In real life, you have to figure it out without a guide, unless you are rich to begin with. As technology evolves, we have opened eyes towards how reality is a very badly balanced concept that produces a wide amount of misery, frustration and pain. No wonder people have better wellbeing by ignoring reality.


routerg0d t1_ix0ygn0 wrote

They troll through data all the time to find trends. Some alternative medicine treatments come from such data hunts. If they find that people taking X but also have Y and it causes Y to be less of an issue even though X was for another condition the medicine is clearly impacting Y as well. So then a proper study on the medicine is done against Y.


LuneBlu t1_ix0zza7 wrote

Well but wellbeing isn't everything...


redsoxman17 t1_ix12vfg wrote

Having spent a lot of time gaming, I think I have figured out a huge part of the appeal, at least for me. You always have a concrete goal and a path of progression.

In this world we live in there is so much uncertainty and pessimism towards the future. Nobody knows the "rules" of life and whatever we think the rules are is often a generation behind (like the kids who were "just go to college" and are now saddled with debt).

Video games provide a sense of stability and progression. You know what you need to do (complete this quest, beat this boss, win this battle, explore this dungeon, etc) and are always given sufficient tools to accomplish your task.

Compare that with one's career. Ask yourself what you need to do to get a promotion. How long will it take? What are the odds you don't get the promotion? Chances are you can only come up with vague answers riddled with qualifiers like probably, maybe, and most likely. I am sure you would be a lot happier if you had a concrete path to promotion and certainty that you would get there.

As long as people don't allow "virtual" progression and achievements to supersede "real life" equivalents, I think video gaming can be an excellent hobby with benefits that extend far beyond the gaming world.


apartsell95 t1_ix14i9s wrote

It also allows for further studies to be made with the sole purpose of including those blind spots that were found in the previous ones, it's like adding Lego blocks together one by one without realizing you're actually building the Millennium Falcon.


SlaveLaborMods t1_ix15kn8 wrote

I think it’s the camaraderie and social interaction that is a big thing


GivenToFly164 t1_ix1bjad wrote

While ideally kids would spend less time playing games and more outdoors or with friends, the reality is that most kids would replace those gaming hours with advertisement-saturated television shows.


maniacreturns t1_ix1bxji wrote

Well said and this is pretty much the nuance required when you look at things like this. Some games engage lizard brain and you sit slackjawed looking at a plastic box with a glass screen. Other games you're coordinating with other people in real time to solve problems and overcome challenges both physical and mental. And just like sports. Anything that teaches you to fail repeatedly and overcome will build character


beatbox2sleep t1_ix1byni wrote

Feed the public that video games are the real way of life. Feed them until they eat from your hand. Video games are the perfect avenue for governments and big business to trap younger generations and get them in consumption traps.


Breakfest-burrito t1_ix1ehjv wrote

Were they happier and better off mentally/physically compared to kids who were outside my more?


LSeww t1_ix1flkg wrote

Mistakes you make in 12-18 years are usually manifest much later in your life.


OnIySmeIIz t1_ix1gdlc wrote

Now fast forward 30 years later and see how the group preform. I mean, one could use that time spend studying, etc.


bill-nye-finance-guy t1_ix1h04a wrote

I completely believe this. Playing video games often feels great for my mental health. In moderation.


CraftyRole4567 t1_ix1k5nb wrote

The teachers I know at the grammar school level have always referred to it (out of the kids’ hearing!) as No-friend-o because of the association they see between gaming heavily and lack of social skills/isolation. That said, the games have changed a lot and quickly over the years, and especially for kids who are playing team games and know each other in real life it can be just another social outlet.

Covid has left* so many* kids struggling with social skills. 12 is a tough age, too. Your son sounds like a great kid, with a lot of interests (nothing wrong with math and engineering! And I say that as a history teacher.)

The idea about games that includes storylines makes sense to me, and wouldn’t it be helpful if there were some detailed studies on what kinds of video games are most helpful to kids in improving specific skills? I don’t know if they’ve even bothered to do that.


Deliciouserest t1_ix1qk40 wrote

Gaming has been such a stress reliever and escape my entire life


djdefekt t1_ix1r6cb wrote

Tell me you're not a gamer without telling me you're not a gamer...


Gaff1515 t1_ix1sco0 wrote

I’d imagine the inactivity will have negative long term health consequences


Ok_Fox_1770 t1_ix1vpx4 wrote

Gamings fine but don’t miss out on life too. Balance is everything. Just saying you regret those lost sunny days of summer and time with grandparents n such. Grab as much out of time as you can. 36 still game but regrets are there.


iamorangeyblue t1_ix1vwel wrote

Agree...also playing online to keep their friendships solid. They are left out of conversations at school and can't relate if they aren't gaming with their friends. It leads to social inclusion, particularly if they don't play sports etc.


Xemxah t1_ix1vzhv wrote

With the rise of Discord, social gaming is more and more prevalent. As an adult, 90% of the adults I know that are heavy gamers play almost exclusively social, team, or multi-player games (Valorant, League of Legends, Escape from Tarkov, FFXIV) save for the solo player masterpiece like Elden Ring. I'm not saying that my experience correlated that well to the younger crowd but it might.


Mother_Welder_5272 t1_ix1w0pz wrote

Yeah I don't mean to jump to conclusions. And I know it borders on being an anecdotal fallacy. But the vast vast majority of video game podcasters and discussions I read on /r/truegaming and /r/patientgamers and /r/games point to a whole lot of gamers having mental health issues, anxiety and depression.

Being a gamer myself, I don't know if it's causal or if people who already have those issues gravitate towards games. But I have a gut feeling there's a link.


hottwhyrd t1_ix2089t wrote

Ugg. Professional gamer. At what age is at safe to explain there are more NFL players than people making a living playing games. I know many kids who idolize these gamers but what the don't realize is, it's not the gaming that garners viewer/money. Its the personalities. One thing I like to mention is most of the top end streamers are fit and healthy. That's because when not sitting in front of a PC they are active, kids just don't see that part.


Strange-Ad1209 t1_ix20oba wrote

Europeans in the 1980's used to have much shorter work days and work weeks. I was amazed how few people were at the Philips factory there in Nederlands before 9am or after 3pm Monday through Thursday and almost nobody on Fridays. I was also amazed at the number of holidays, especially a whole week of Carnival before Lent. My American joint venture employer wanted to withhold my pay for all of those holidays but I got the Vice President of Philips international to lean on the American venture because I was actually an international employee/contractor working under Nederlands work and salary rules. I understand that during the 2000's a lot of companies were purchased by international corporations who worked to Americanize European labor rules and break unions as much as they could. Didn't matter I'd gone into teaching College Engineering so I was under American BS Labor rules (lack there of in Right to Work for Less States). It truly is a shame that the trend is backwards from what everyone was promised and delivered in many cases through the 1970's early 1980's with on premises day care, exercise rooms, full cafeterias with subsidized delicious meal pricing for three shifts each day. Profit Sharing and Employee stock purchase plans at below market rates, real pension plans instead of 401K scams where companies can arbitrarily stop putting in their share any time they feel like it while buying back their own stocks inflating values (but usually not significant part of employee 401Ks).


SoCuteShibe t1_ix21b0t wrote

I mean games can be an incredibly immersive and effective form of escapism. It would make sense for people wanting to escape their situation (depression, generalized anxiety, etc) to gravitate towards games.


Tahoeclown t1_ix23m35 wrote

Yeah…when you’re 12-18. Ask the same cohort when they are 32-38 and see how they feel then


unidentify99 t1_ix23umt wrote

ngl..who doesnt feel better playin a good game tho? i mean, my mood gets improved


Caracasdogajo t1_ix29m4f wrote

I don't feel like I've noticed significant differences in how people perform in school based on choosing video games over another hobby.

My anecdotal experience says kids in sports struggled worse to keep good grades than video gamer kids. That was my experience in high school and college.


Caracasdogajo t1_ix29t1x wrote

So you're telling me playing World of Warcraft for 9 hours two days ago might have been why I felt like trash all day?

Seriously there is some major truth to this. Yesterday I played like 2.5 hrs and felt great about the day... 9 hrs not so much.


SpectralMagic t1_ix2ahup wrote

A lot of modern gaming is social, that's what is attractive to Zoomers. Socializing is good for people, especially if you are only having to deal with some random asshat for one match. Its much easier to be yourself online when you get to choose what you share to people. Hanging out with friends, just vibing is totally good for you if that's difficult to do irl


katy405 t1_ix2brbi wrote

And prison inmates have higher self-esteem than college students according to similar studies. Makes you wonder if the studies are valid.


Old_comfy_shoes t1_ix2eqkq wrote

Also, teenagers that play lots of video games might really be having lots of fun. And those that don't, might be studying hard.

And on 10-15 years, the gamers might still be gaming, and they'll be less well off, and have less of a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment, and those that didn't game so much, will be happier.


Puzzleheaded_Runner t1_ix2gekp wrote

Since the late 80s when I was a kid, I’ve equally been into gaming and sports. Continued to do both even today. Have can get immersed i games AND touch grass


rennarda t1_ix2go3r wrote

I was wondering about that. Physical well-being is crucial, but inactivity at an early age will likely set you up for a lifetime of sedentary behaviour and associated health risks. Then that’s when the mental health effects kick in.

Kids will be perfectly happy being inactive, but it will lead to poor outcomes when they are older.


CircularRobert t1_ix2hr3d wrote

Or like you knew you want to build the millennium falcon, but your wife won't greenlight the big purchase, so you built a mini version, then a little diorama, then start to kitbash one together, until she sees you're actually serious about it, and then she approves the funding for the thing you actually wanted.


Hautamaki t1_ix2irqu wrote

this aligns with my prior that boys crave competition, and the way that schools have gradually removed competition from academics and studying to the point that now it's nearly taboo to even ask what scores other students got on a test or what their grades are is one of the most significant factors in boys doing worse and worse in school relative to girls. Girls can take or leave competition, it doesn't seem to bother them much either way, but boys need it, and when schools don't give it to them, and they aren't naturally good enough at sports or just otherwise not exposed to any sports they have a natural affinity for, they turn to vidya for their need for something to actually compete in, and they can turn to it with a vengeance. And yeah, it doesn't necessarily show net negative impact on their psychological well-being, because in fact it is giving them something they genuinely need.


Hautamaki t1_ix2jant wrote

my guess as both a former teacher and a gamer is that what he really craves is an outlet for his competitive instincts/urge, as most boys do. Schools heavily de-emphasize and even discourage feelings of competitiveness around academic achievement, and that I think is one of the primary de-motivating factors that causes boys to be less interested in school. If there's anything you can do to try to re-ignite, in a healthy way, a competitive aspect to achievement in school, that would allow him to scratch that itch in a possibly more productive way. It seems like the STEM class you refer to possibly already has done that to some extent; being surrounded by other boys with similar interests that probably all want to develop and show off their abilities to contribute has probably ignited some of that passion. Figuring out how to compete with peers in a productive and healthy way is definitely a major part of developing social skills as well.


Hautamaki t1_ix2jdxy wrote

I mean Tyler1 does lots of pushups and weightlifting stuff on stream, maybe more streamers should copy that. Then again he also babyrages a lot on stream which isn't exactly what you want to see emulated either...


beatbox2sleep t1_ix2l984 wrote

Whether intentional or not, it is that deep. Additionally, the public (including you) either ignoring that or not being to see its effects is problematic.

These studies are coming out because adults have, since video games came out, touted how horrible they are for the next generation. Stating these oversimplified redirections away from the real problem is, in my opinion, an intentional strategy to suggest kids should just keep consuming it because "it is better than nothing". Do you really think higher-ups of governments actually care about their citizens? You're just a number to them, and so are our children.

I doubt any of these studies would show the development in kids who play only video games hold up against kids who actively engage in actual games (sports; science fairs; spelling bees; whatever) and exploration. Compare a kid who plays video games to a kid who goes hunting and I can bet there will be a noticeable advantage to the kid who goes outside, learns to handle a firearm, understands the life cycle of their prey, understands its habitats and the opportunities and dangers within it. Sure, a kid who plays video games will likely be able to follow simple directions but is that really the goal for youth? Being able to follow directions is a goal for infants.

What I'm saying is: "Set the bar higher".


Glimmu t1_ix2pv8a wrote

I bet it has to do with less social media time.


ireadthingsliterally t1_ix2smlx wrote

Imagine thinking that having 3.5hrs of fun every day would somehow decrease your well-being.


Sparkykun t1_ix2zq0i wrote

How much did they pay for this study?


Nobody_Special_Here_ t1_ix3b4b1 wrote

4 out of 5 doctors recommended camels vs the other brand. Camels are less harsh and……..

These studies definitely have the same feel


shadowkiller t1_ix3cyjj wrote

> The biggest negative effect I can see (compounded by covid and isolation) is lack of in- person social skills.

As someone who was like your son, many years ago, this is far more important than the rest. If he does really want to be a professional gamer, that means building a community of fans and interacting with them frequently. If he ends up going into a more traditional job it's obviously important.


Youaskedforit016 t1_ix3d9nh wrote

>he’s having a hard time making “real life” friends at school.

Really? No Way? A nerd gamer not able to make friends? Isn't that the point. Gamers have all online friends, Cause "real life" is well REAL. And if they could face that, they wouldn't be gaming all the time.


CraftyRole4567 t1_ix3q1hj wrote

I know people who game a lot and are perfectly functional people, physically healthy and with lots of friends in real life. I don’t think it’s an inevitable outcome to have depression or anxiety or weight gain, but especially when we’re talking about kids this young I think that the problem is that they aren’t going to all react identically. Some of them are going to be able to maintain mental & physical health, and life/school/game balance, just fine! Some won’t. The problem is that we don’t know who’s who when they’re 12.

24 hours of gaming a week seems like a lot that young. At that age I was still figuring out what kinds of things I wanted to do, but there was time to try music lessons or different sports. (That said, I probably spent 24 hours a week reading, easily… back in the 80s my teachers worried that that would make me fat and lacking in social skills and friends! ;)


groundbeef_babe t1_ix3v5mn wrote

Honestly not surprising when all of the other kids in the study spend 3.5 hours on TikTok a day as well.


Sweet_Musician4586 t1_ix489gm wrote

My brother used gaming to avoid his entire life. Hes almost 40 and still works in fast food, now he has no friends because he alienated them all so that he could stay home and play video games and he has never had a relationship with a female outside of hs before he played video games nonstop (grade 9). All his goals in life are about video games. He also didnt graduate on time and failed many classes due to gaming. The only friends hes had now are ones he made when he was 12 in video games.

The idea that heavy gaming isnt detrimental to life is like pretending addiction to anything is fine if your addiction makes you happy but you are still performing well in some aspects.


Strange-Ad1209 t1_ix4dbao wrote

You are correct. I'm amazed that gamers actually think they are healthy. The only healthy member of these generations are the skate boarders and even then it's not their upper bodies getting enough physical exercise. At their age 14-34 most of my generation were climbing up trees, steep hill sides, running several miles, skiing cross country, bicycling 20 miles at a time just to get to the latest movie releases at the only theater within 50 miles. Prior to 14 we were outdoors all weekend from sunrise to well past sundown playing in the farmers barns, haystacks. An entire world of physical development totally missing from the last two generations. A good part is parents behaving unbelievably fearfully about where their child is, what are they doing, who are they playing with. The fear factors have gotten blown completely out of proportion by the stoking of fear by politicians to foment unrest inflaming the fear even more.


Drink_in_Philly t1_ix4gc1s wrote

Also, people who can escape the stresses of life by hiding in videogames where they don't have to deal with their problems and life's challenges would seem happier, at this time and in a snapshot. But as life goes on, hiding from your issues and escapism in general can lead to much worse problems down the road.


doctoreldritch t1_ix4kef8 wrote

Eh, imo this perspective is overblown and a symptom of societal dysfunction. Kids playing games is not escapism, it's (socially) normal behavior and (evolutionarily) a safe way to learn and practice basic skills (motor coordination, hand-eye coordination, basic logic, etc).

The quality of the specific games they play should be under scrutiny, certainly--most mobile games for example don't teach anything beyond addictive compulsions--and they should be accompanied by physical play behaviors as well (eg sports), but there's nothing inherently wrong with even fairly heavy gaming.

Plus, leisure is an important facet of human psychology and you could conversely argue that gamers are more happy simply because any leisure activity improves mental well-being. You might even argue further that these leisure activities are especially critical during childhood, because the minor dysfunctions of having no leisure time compound throughout childhood and produce a very dysfunctional adult. Top this all of with the fact that the most antisocial thing any child can do by definition is simply to not fit in, and consider the fact that gaming is an extremely popular leisure activity.

My point here of course is not that gaming should be especially encouraged or anything, but that human psychology is not simple and children are not made of glass, so until the science is in on the lifetime harm/benefit ratio, parents should drop the hubris and focus on gaming (or whatever else the kids enjoy doing) with their kids (even if that sometimes just means watching them fall off the same ledge 500 times in a row).