Games don’t make kids psychotic after all

Videogames are addictive, mood-altering, controller-smashing, grotesquely violent activities. That’s why we love them! But should we be concerned that gaming is fostering a legion of future sociopaths?

Of course we should. But a study published by the University of Glasgow suggests that there is no correlation between the time kids spend playing videogames and negative attitudes. In the study, the behaviors of 11,000 five to seven-year-olds from the U.K. were observed. While watching television for three or more hours per day caused a slight rise in bad conduct, “playing electronic games was not associated with conduct problems.” 

The researchers weren’t able to establish connections between game time and emotional states such as “hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationship problems, [and] prosocial behaviour.” 

We should keep in mind that the study doesn’t focus on content. It doesn’t say what kind of games were being played, and it’s pretty safe to assume given the young age of the kids that these weren’t your over-aggressive, cop-killing, banana-clip-reloading videogames. But at least you can rest easier knowing that too much Plants Vs. Zombies at an early age won’t turn your children into anti-socialites.