Video games are a huge distraction
Video games, a hugely popular pastime for many people, are no longer an important source of entertainment for most adults, according to a new study.
The findings, published in the Journal of Health Psychology, show that even those who use video games regularly still don’t enjoy them, despite a large amount of media advertising around the games.
“When I was a child, video games were a very important part of my daily life,” says Michaela Schmid, a researcher at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.
“When I started to play them, I was very interested in the stories that were told and the characters that I could play with.”
“Nowadays, I don’t have time for the games,” she adds.
“It’s not like there are lots of other things to do.”
The study, which involved nearly 4,000 people, found that the vast majority of people who play video games are interested in stories, characters and other experiences, and enjoy them as a form of entertainment.
This was the case even when the game was being played in a non-gaming environment.
In fact, a significant proportion of participants said they did not enjoy games at all.
“These are games that are designed to make you feel a certain way, and the idea of them being a substitute for real life is just wrong,” says Schmid.
“In many ways, the gaming community is still the only community in the world where we still have a very specific kind of relationship with the medium.”
In the study, the participants were asked to describe their favourite games.
In the majority of cases, people described games as having a “mildly erotic” or “sexier” theme.
But only half of the people in the study said they had enjoyed video games as a hobby.
Only about 1 in 100 people said they enjoyed playing games in a “sexual context”.
The majority of the participants said that video games had been used to make them feel more “emotional”, and were often the first thing people mentioned when they think about relationships.
“People are still talking about video games in that way, even though that’s a totally negative experience,” says Paul Toulmin, a psychologist at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
I think people need to think about how much they want to spend time with the people they love.””
I’m not sure how to reconcile this with the fact that video game play is one of the most socially important and emotionally satisfying activities available to us.”
I think people need to think about how much they want to spend time with the people they love.
“However, people with anxiety tend to play video game more often than people without it. “
Video games can have positive effects for people who have depression or anxiety,” says David Giedd, a psychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at King’s College London.
“However, people with anxiety tend to play video game more often than people without it.
It’s important that we have a realistic view of how video games impact people.”
The researchers said they believed that video gaming was not inherently harmful to people with depression, anxiety or other mental health issues, but they did want to stress that it was important to be aware of how these types of games may be harmful.
“Games should not be played for a few hours a day, because they will not cause lasting mental health harm,” they wrote.
“Instead, it is important that people with mental health problems are aware of the potential benefits and how to avoid using these types, as they may be associated with harmful psychological effects.”
The authors say that the findings also show that there is a need for more research on how to reduce the number of people addicted to games.
“There is a lot of information on how gaming can make people more happy,” says Toulmon.
“The next step is to look at ways to reduce that, so that more people are not addicted to video games.”
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