Flying in the face of Phil Zimbardo’s assertion that videogames are turning boys into “arousal” addicts,” a new survey of clinical literature published in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found there is “potential promise for videogames to improve health outcomes, particularly in the areas of psychological therapy.”
The survey, led by Brian A. Primack, an M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, looked at 1,452 journal articles describing experiments that considered the effect of videogames on their subjects physical or psychological health. The survey concluded that while the majority of trials that examine videogames are poorly designed and non-conclusive, most showed a general improvement in the condition of their subjects.
Videogames appear to have joined the pantheon of subjects whose effects on us are so subtle and various that–depending on the time of day and degree of squintiness of the viewer–they will either kill us or improve the quality of our lives. Chocalate, red wine, black coffee, and Mario. They’re either ruining you or making you happier. Or more likely, you’re killing yourself or making yourself happier with whichever passive implement is handy. In which case, remain calm and keep consuming.