BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

January 23, 2009 -

A study published today in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence maintains that video games - including the non-violent kind - are linked to a variety of negative findings among college students.

According to the Deseret News, the study, conducted by a team of faculty and students at Utah's Brigham Young University, concludes that:

  • the more the students play video games, the worse their relationships are with friends and parents (although this effect is modest)
  • those who play video games daily smoke pot twice as much as other players and three times more than those who never play
  • young women who play often have lower self-esteem

BYU prof Laura Walker, the lead author of the study, told the newspaper:

Everything we found associated with video games came out negative... [But] I don't want parents to go out and yank all video games. It's like TV. We have to choose what's good and bad and practice moderation.

Student Alex Jensen, who participated in the research project, added:

I assumed violent video games would be related to lower relationship quality with friends and family. I didn't expect regular video games — nonviolent video game use — would be correlated to lower relationship quality...

An abstract posted on the website of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence offers some information on the methodology of the BYU study:

Participants included 813 undergraduate students (500 young women, 313 young men, M age = 20...) who were mainly European American (79%), unmarried (100%) and living outside their parents’ home (90%).

GP: It is quite interesting that this study would appear in conservative Utah at a time when a renewed effort to legislate video games is underway there.


Comments

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

im sorry. but this is complete BS.. in the past 11 months. i have over 30 DAYS of play time on Call of Duty 4. yes. 30 days. and guess what. i havent smoked pot. ever. im 18. never drank either. guess what?? i go to a school with about 1600 people. i only know about 4 people that have never drank, or smoked anything. you saying that they all play video games??? hahaha. wow. i hate when people compare drugs and alcohol to video game play. TAKE A LOOK AROUND WORLD!!!! like 95% OF HIGH SCHOOL KIDS DRINK AND SMOKE!!! video games has nothing to do with it.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

As a woman, if video games lower my self esteem, then I should quit doing everything that I do for the same reason that I play video games, right? I should stop watching movies, or TV. I should stop listening to music. In fact, I should REALLY stop reading so much!

Why should I stop these things? Because they all provide me with a small escape with which I can spend a little time not thinking about work, or my grandmother that has cancer, or paying bills, or planning my upcoming wedding. Video games, films, television, music, reading, they all give me a little relaxation, and for that, my self-esteem is lower?

Not to mention, I remember when and why I began playing video games in the first place. Middle school is not the place for high self-esteem, especially when one isn't necessarily considered "popular". My interest in video games developed out of the interactivity and the fact that I could have fun alone, because at that stage in my life, I had no friends to speak of. It was easier to learn to be alone than get poked and prodded and rejected simply to interact with my peers. So where did my low self-esteem come from? The REAL PEOPLE in my life.

This is such crap.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

I finally finished writing my post at vgresearcher and there are a lot of caveats in the study, but as the researchers contend, this is only an exploratory study and let's not get overblown by its findings.

There is some interesting things to know that's not in the press, which is the differential results from the student pool they sampled.

http://vgresearcher.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/video-games-and-internet-us...

http://vgresearcher.wordpress.com/

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

As you're here, I'd like to congratulate you for your excellent blog, which deserves to be better known. Thanks to you, I understand video game research much better.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

The trouble is that the sample size came from one small area in a school.

If they took the sample from a larger protion of society, they will find allot more different results.

 

TBoneTony

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

"Those who play video games daily smoke pot twice as much as other players and three times more than those who never play"

I call bullshit. I play whenever I can, and I don't even WANT to smoke pot, let alone cigarettes, like most of my family.

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"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

"Those at BYU who play video games daily smoke pot twice as much as other players and three times more than those who never play"

Fixed!

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

That part is poorly worded, it implies that all everyday gamers smoke pot.  They're really saying that the gamers who play every day are twice as likely to be smokers compared to other gamers and three times as likely as non-gamers.

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Yep, yep they seems to say that we smoke it like a chimney, despite the fact that i know a few non-gamers who want to (and some have) smoke it, whereas i havent and havent got the urge. like ffs, you cant demograph the gaming population nowadays, cause like they say in a saturday morning cartoon 'everybodies different'. They can range from anyone to anyone. Like i know a bunch of guys at my school (last year) who are the standard punks who beat up gamer nerds (in the 80s) and take their money, but really they play COD 4 more than i do.

 


Burning things is fun..

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

to quote Scruffy, the janitor: Second.

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Here's what i have to say about Video games and this study

There are healthy benefits to Video games(improves hand-eye coordenation, and various other benefits)

But such entertainment is not without it's own risks(Violence, Abuse, soreness of thumbs or If you play the wii, Arms)

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

I was thinking.

Wasn't drugs popular in the 60's amongst the youth culture?

And the same thing in the 70's and 80's?

That was long before videogames so you might say that Drugs are part of the school culture for a long time that it is impossible to suggest that Videogames are the cause of it if they had not considered all the other influences that happen in the school yard.

 

Also there is that Extreme Group there with JT that might have influenced the media coverage and exagerated it beyond what the research really had.

 

TBoneTony

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Oh dear look at this mole hole, oh wait *reads comments* apparently it is a mountian. 

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

"It is quite interesting that this study would appear in conservative Utah"

NO! REALLY?!

I wonder what their findings would be if they focused on Mormonism...

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

I think that when it comes to these stydies, it is not the stydy itself, but it is how the Newspaper and the Mainstreem News twist it into something negative towards gamers that makes it newsworthy.

In the end, it is the same old story.

People who sell the news will try and twist it into their opinion and newsworthyness. And Antigamers would have ammunition to attack us and discriminate against us because they don't understand us gamers.

 

At the end of the day, it is the parents who suffer from anxiety.

I have never smokes pot, and I still maintain a good relationship with my family.

I have a girlfriend who is also a gamer. And we chat online.

I go out for walks every late afternoon.

I wash the dishers at home.

And at the end of the day I still find time to play Videogames.

 

I also did not like how the guy in the newspaper quit playing his favorite game Madden just to trade it in for Mario Party so he could play it with his wife...

 

This is more towards the discrimination against Videogamers... and in a married relationship, I don't see this as being a fair partnerdship if someone has to give up something he loves just to please the wife.

 

 

 

TBoneTony

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

ok here's the full study

http://byunews.byu.edu/archive09-Jan-videogames.aspx

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Wow. Those photos ooze pretentiousness.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

In their defense, I think by federal law it is a crime punishable by five years in prison to take a photo on a college campus without looking pretentious or utterly retarded.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

To me, the problem isn't the study itself (kudos to Zevorick for explaining it to us and keeping us from knee-jerk reactions). The problem is the way it will be interpreted by mainstream media. Have read the Daily Telegraph, for instance ?

"Although "gamers" have long denied the accusation that they are anti-social loners, scientists believe they have proof that long hours spent attempting to better "top scores" could have far-reaching consequences".

Same thing for most video game research. Rather than the studies themselves, the real problem lies in their media coverage. This is why I urge all of us to  : 1/ read this study thoroughly, 2/ draw our own conclusions, 3/ compare with the way it is interpreted here and there (especially in the mainstream press), and 4/ confront the (mis)interprets wherever they are.


Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Rather than the studies themselves, the real problem lies in their media coverage.

Agreed, the real problem lies in the sensationalist news media outlets and the ignorant fools who take what they say for face value. The sensationalist news media will be the downfall of society.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

And just one example of what I said about (mis)interprets : the coverage from the Provo Daily Herald :

"BYU study says video games cause a host of problems"

"When it comes to relationships with friends and family, there's really nothing good to say about playing video games, according to a study in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence."

Now let's pick up a quote from the authors of the study themselves (taken from the Daily Telegraph) :

"Prof Walker said that it was still unclear whether playing computer games caused other social problems, or were merely a symptom of them.

"It may be that young adults remove themselves from important social settings to play video games, or that people who already struggle with relationships are trying to find other ways to spend their time," she said. "My guess is that it's some of both and becomes circular."

So once again : let's all read the study, draw our own conclusions and compare them with media coverage.

 

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

I doubt anybody will scroll this far down to read this comment but most of you, have "never tried pot" (which is a straight up lie) in conjunction with a videogame and therefore have absolutely NO perspective.

Using cannabis while playing increases immersion exponentially. And those that have a bowl loaded ready for a toke tend to take one after a victorious moment (i.e.: won the match online, scored the highest trick combo, etc...). Those that play videogames all day, every day, tend to have more of those moments than those that go outside or work for a living.

Then there's the people with OCD that ritualize virtually everything they do. It is quite easy to adopt cannabis into daily rituals (i.e.: smoke when one sees 420; be it the time, a score in the game, a combination of scores lined up correctly, etc...). But it's pretty shitty to lump cannabis use into negativity.

Sure, breaking the law is not generally good, but what about when the law is based on bigotry and lies, and the rest of the populace allows themselves into being brainwashed that it will ruin your life with no hope of recovery. THAT is the true crime.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

As for your information, I indeed have never tried pot or any drugs what-so-ever. Now alcohol...that is a different story all together!

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Alcohol is absolutely a drug. Many would argue it's one of the absolute worst to befall mankind.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Without having read all of the comments, I'm going to risk being unoriginal and saying: "Chicken or egg?"

 

I don't have many friends. However, the friends I have are very close- and I like it that way. 

Also, low self-esteem here. But I'd think that's more related to shitty childhood events. I went to the games to get away from my asshole classmates. You mean to tell me that being spit on at lunch didn't screw up my sense of self worth, it was the video games?

I would have never guessed.

Can't say much about the pot thing, except that I wouldn't be surprised that that's bull too. They pulled the other two negatives out of their asses...

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

I agree...

 

I was teased badly at school... all because my footy team lost 4 grand finals in 7 years and the kids at school teased me about that ALMOST EVERY DAY!!!!

 

So I took videogaming as something enjoyable and something that helped me not to listen to those bullies.

The study also needs to take into account that school bullying exists not only in the school yard but also in the work place where college students needed to work to pay for school fees and sometimes they can also be subjected to being bullied by their own workmates.

Low self esteem was never related to videogames, but more towards the fact that people are being teased in real life and also family troubles.

TBoneTony

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

I'm wondering why so many people at a conservative university smoke pot.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Utah = snowboarding  = pot use. Also, it's a VERY common thing to do, especially in universities. The students aren't the programmed fascists their parents were... yet. But then again, they haven't graduated yet.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

People Are Stupid in the comments section of the newspaper website telling us to Quit and do soming more productive(Utah, Screw em)

http://deseretnews.com/user/comments/1,5143,705279681,00.html

Just to let you know I commented as Anonymus(to avoid drawing attencion here)

and I did condemm both sides of the Debate(of the most recent article and telling non gamers to stop acting like children)

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

"Participants included 813 undergraduate students (500 young women, 313 young men, M age = 20, SD = 1.87) who were mainly European American (79%), unmarried (100%) and living outside their parents’ home (90%)"

So their study consisted of....young white college students....could they have pigeon-holed this study any further???

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

This Study(BYU) is Confirmed to be very Pigeon-holed

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

I'd put some remark on how them picking only young white college students is somewhat racist but it'd probably backfire and make me sound racist instead.

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Oh? Are there a large number of black, hispanic, or asian young people in Utah? Do you think including a smaller percential of white folks would be any more accurate of a sample? They would have to go out of their way to disqualify a lot of folks based on the color of their skin which would actually be racist.

I guess your comment was a self fulfilling prophecy.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

actually, I'd probably say that going by the fact that the study was aimed at single white college students, BYU probably doesn't yet admit blacks. I mean, the Mormons didn't allow blacks into their religion until 1978, when the IRS threatened to cancel their non-profit tax-exempt status

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Nope, I guess im gonna stay away from this topic for awhile, Apparently, Since Den Den gave us some news awhile back to the soon-to-rot-in-hell thompson reading this article, i need to look at some things, And if he is reading this, I hope he can actually think, instead of having a stroke.

Magic Taco

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

I lol'ed at the entire comment

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

I lol'd at "Den-Den"

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

He's a fanatic, and fanatics rarely look at anything with an unbiased gaze. If so, he'd realize that this study is nothing to add to his "aha, i gotcha" repetoire.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Personally, I wonder if Mr Thompson realises that, even if his unconstitutional law got passed, not one person interviewed would have been restricted in any way as to what games they could buy, since the median age of the people interviewed was 20?

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

the fact that Thompson has called us 'potheads' before confirms my suspicions that he payed these clowns off

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Yes, because surveys are the most reliable of research techniques....

"You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

"You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Been playing videogames since 1986. Haven't touched Pot, or another illigal substance at all. And, it would be someone from UTAH making this up.

 - Warren Lewis

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

"Junk Science" immediatlely clicked as soon as I read the pot comment.

If you were me and you know my brother, you'd say its the other way around :P 

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

I wonder what kind of device they used to measure womens confidence... And in the relationship with friends and family did they just count the subjects family members and friends (did they count internet buds, and clan members?). Or did they just use a friendship measuring device? 

 

This study proves nothing, except maybe that gamers smoke more weed than the average person.

RTS gamer

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Read the article, specifically the Methods section as that will tell you everything you need to know.

I do have to question the validity of their chosen self esteem inventory instrument "The Self-Perception Profile for College Students" considering it only has 10 questions. from a psychometrics standpoint it is very hard to have a measure with strong enough convergent validity and internal reliability with less than 15 questions at the minimum.

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Glad somebody has studied research methods and statistics.

"You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

"You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

I don't care if it's data collection or not, it's kinda insulting that list of things.

I play Video games daily, when I'm not doing my homework I game,

My friends come over and we chat while I play, my mom comes in sits down chats while I play, it's not like it's really interfereing, mom or friends call me for something I drop the controller and go running. So to keep being told I'm anti-social annoys me -alot- because to make generalizations like that is to make oneself look ignorant.

Two I tried Pot in High school after my friend Harrassed me into it and I went one time won't kill anything...and it nearly killed me (Allergic to it >_> ) so no, I'm not more likely to smoke pot or any other drug just because I play video games, I did smoke Methampetamines back from June 2004 to July 2005...but that had nothing to do with Video games and everything to do with the man I loved being killed and my now ex-friend putting my emotions to the backseat of hers and feeling no support I did something stupid...wasn't anything to do with Games

And most importantly, this idea that a woman's self-esteem issue comes from playing Video Games? Please...mine I know for a fact comes not from Video games but from being LD (Learning Disabled...hate that term -_-; ) and always treated like a special ed kid when if given the chance I could run circles around the entire class...but instead was told to my face by my teachers since Elementary school and other students that I was stupid, retarded, and worthless.

If anything maybe he shoulda been checking for people like me where Video Games helped me become less mute and more talkative with people, thus raising my Self-Esteem enough to actually make friends (kid you not thats why I'm so anti-social in my College classes, I have issues with teachers and students so instead of potentially being laughed at like always I just stay quiet...)

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

I can't even begin to point out how many holes are in this study.  Say lots of people wear Crocs and have low self-esteem.  Bingo, wearing Crocs leads to low self-esteem!

...Yeah, I chose that analogy on purpose. :P

M. Carusi

Capitol Gaming

http://capitolgaming.blogspot.com

Re: BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

Yet another 'study' done by people who don't really use any scientific method.

All of these are qualitative findings, which can NOT be measured by any form of science. NOT quantitative.

The pot smoking thing is utter bullshit, they may just have a problem in utah that they're afraid to address. Maybe they should stop drinking out of that salty lake. I hear salt water causes hallucinations and delusions when consumed.

 
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