I would probably be a pretty terrible person if I were to attempt to defend sexism in any form, so I'm not going to do that. However, I am going to point out that the video game industry can't really be held responsible for an individual's personal behavior. For some reason, a culture that accepts sexism has sprung up around gaming, but that probably has far more to do with the anonymity that comes with online gameplay than the games themselves.
The question isn't whether or not sexist people exist within the community, it's whether or not gaming is somehow at fault for their bigotry. And considering that the majority of gamers don't share the sexist opinion of a particularly vocal minority, it would be silly to blame the industry as a whole.
Though, perhaps it is time to disallow this type of behavior from the members of our specific community.
Unfortunately, I need to concede this one. Researchers are split on whether or not video game addiction needs an official diagnosis criteria, but there's talk of adding it to the upcoming edition of the DSM: a psychological handbook for the diagnosis of mental illness.
It's not hard to conjure up a picture of a typical antisocial nerd who sits in his parent's basement and polishes off quest after quest in Skyrim. However, that disgusting fantasy is immediately ruined when you discover that the majority of video game players, about 62%, spend a fair amount of time playing with friends or family. Actually, 17% even play regularly with their spouses. Romantic, right?
I doubt that many of us have the intellectual stamina it takes to spend several years of our lives studying the effects of video games on teenage eating habits. Lucky for us, the fine folks over at Michigan State University seem to be among the minority.
In 2011, MSU researchers published the results of a year study that measured the body mass index of 482 teenagers over the course of three years. The results of the index were then compared to their Internet, cell phone, and video game usage. Unsurprisingly, they found that no such correlation exists.
However, they did find a connection between socially isolated gamers and depression, which probably won't surprise anyone. However, the scientist in me feels compelled to point out that this doesn't mean that video games cause depression. It only indicates that depressed people tend to spend more time alone.
Date: August 21, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*