The stereotype of the antisocial videogame enthusiast with no friends and no relationship to speak of isn’t just untrue — it can be entirely inaccurate, found a recent Penn State study of 166 gamers waiting in line for the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops.
The survey measured participants’ financial, social, and behavioral investment in the games and found that, in fact, playing videogames can have major social benefits, ScienceDaily reports:
“What the study does seem to point out is that video gaming is not always a negative,” Hickerson said. “Players may actually be doing something positive when gaming becomes a way for games to connect with friends who they otherwise may not be able to spend time with, especially friends who they are not near geographically.”
Like any other behavior, study authors found that problems arose when gamers “organized their lives” around the games. Some people surveyed reported spending more than 100 hours a week playing videogames, which isn’t considered healthy and can have a negative effect on relationships and friendships. (The norm in the study was 20.5 hours a week.)
We love all things geek, so it’s nice to know, scientifically speaking, that gamers are just like anyone else when it comes to relationships. Plus, without videogames, we wouldn’t have awesomely nerdy marriage proposals like this one or this Mario-themed one.
Play on, players.
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