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Playtime, Not Games Played Linked to Behaviors in Children

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 02:41PM

Do video games cause people, especially children, to act violently has been a debated question for years, and will likely continue to be debated for years to come. Both sides have evidence they turn to, and researchers at the University of Oxford have contributed a little more. This research though falls somewhere in the middle though.

The main point of the debate is if violent video games cause people to act violently, or at least if there is a link between in-game violence and real violence. The Oxford researchers did fail to find such a link with gameplay, but the time spent playing was linked to problem behavior. This problem behavior includes hyperactivity, getting in fights, and a lack of interest in school. However, the researchers note that while this link is statistically significant, it is still a minor factor on a child's academic progress and emotional wellbeing. The researchers also found that playing for less than an hour a day could encourage better behavior, and that some kinds of gameplay seemed to discourage emotional and social problems.

The findings support the recommendation that parents pay attention to the amount of time children spend playing games. To perform the study, the researchers had some 200 students from 12 to 13 years old fill out a survey on their gaming habits, and had their teachers report on their behavior.

Source: University of Oxford

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