The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with
help from Andrews University and Emory University researchers,
studied 552 adults between the ages of 19 and 90 years old in the
Seattle-Tacoma region. A total of 249 reported they were
gamers, with 56 percent of gamers said to be male.
played video games were heavier and used the internet more than other
men who reported they aren't gamers. Furthermore, women gamers
are said to have higher levels of depression and are unhealthier than
non-gamers, according to researchers.
factors differentiated adult video game players from non-players,"
National Center for Health Marketing researcher James Weaver said in
a statement. "Video game players also reported lower
extroversion, consistent with research on adolescents that linked
video game playing to a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status,
and to mental-health concerns."
For depressed gamers,
playing video games is a type of "digital self-medication,"
with women more likely to play video games for extended doses of
"In short, they literally 'take
their minds off' their worries while playing a video game,"
researchers said in their report.
Critics of the report have
come forward, citing concerns over the sample size and just one
geographic location for the report. Researchers and others
noted however, the size of the sample, if it's random, doesn't matter
-- and indicated similar gaming research also reveals similar
Seattle was selected, according to researchers,
because of the city's size, diversity, and because it has one of the
highest Internet usage rates in the country.
been growing concern among mental health experts about major health
concerns related to video games, though research has proven to be
rather unhelpful in the past. China, for example, has had
several reported deaths in Internet cafes from gamers who played too
long, while other countries are becoming increasingly concerned about
the negative impact of possible video game addiction.