Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fear and Facts

This is old news by now, but for Scandinavian readers it's a pretty piece of good news. The Swedish National Board of Youth Affairs has just published a report on youth who are heavy gamers. This is a study of health, political activity, social issues, stress levels and academic performance of young people who define themselves as playing a lot of games. The main finds are:

They are of no worse health than others, quite the opposite, they report less headaches and less stress than non and low gamers. They also report about the same physical activity level.

They are not more criminal or problematic than non or low gamers, quite the opposite, there is a tendency towards less use of alcohol than their peers.

They are as politically active and -conscious as other youths their age.

They are slightly less academically ambitious than their peers. This can however easily be traced to their backgrounds, as it seems like the heavy gamers to a slightly larger extent are recruited from families where the parents have little or no education.

All of these deviances are however minor. The main conclusion after reading this report is that young people who play a lot of computer games are pretty much like everybody else, have the same problems, but are perhaps a little more relaxed about their lives.

While this is no bomb, it's certainly a nice confirmation of the "feeling" many games researchers who are also gamers have had for a long time. Unless specifically looking for the problematic stories, the general impression is that gamers do just fine, and are perfectly normal people. And here it is, the confirmation that this holds true - at least for Swedish gamers.


Neils said...

Thanks for the post! Does it say on the Ungdomsstyrelsen site that the age range was youth 16-25? Or is this for younger children?

Torill said...

You are correct, these are youths between 16 and 25.