Study: Games are depressing…or are they?
The average gamer is 35, overweight, and more likely to be depressed, says a new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study, which was carried out in the Seattle-Tacoma area, found that gamers 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.”
It also indicated a curious difference between male and female gamers: the former proved more overweight and reported more Internet usage than non-gamer men, while female gamers reported more depression and lower general health than non-gamer women.
But which comes first, the games or the poor health? The researchers hypothesized that depressed individuals might be turning to games as a means of self-medication, immersing themselves in a game’s world as a way of forgetting about real-life troubles.
“Habitual use of video games as a coping response may [provide] a genesis for obsessive-compulsive video-game playing, if not video-game addiction,” one researcher told MSNBC. The study calls for “further research among adults to clarify how to use digital opportunities more effectively to promote health and prevent disease.”
Ah, the old chicken & egg. I suppose they’ll need more funding for further study.