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Are gamers really “old,” fat and sad?

I just read an article from Reuters entitled, “Average gamer is 35, often overweight and sad: study.” The tease for the article was at another article I was reading and read, “Are gamers old, fat and sad”? From the article:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Video games might be regarded as an obsession for youngsters but in fact the average player is aged 35, often overweight, introverted and may be depressed, according to a U.S. study.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the behavior of 552 adults aged between 19 to 90 from the Seattle-Tacoma area.

They found 249 of these, or around 45 percent, were video-game players, with men accounting for 56 percent of these.

The researchers found that the men who played video games weighed more and used the Internet more than other men.

Women who played video games reported greater levels of depression and poorer overall health than non-gamers with researcher James Weaver and his colleagues suggesting video gaming for adults may be a form of “digital self-medication.”

They said women in particular may immerse themselves in brain-engaging digital environments as a means of self-distraction.

First of all, 35 is not that old. And second, what’s wrong with being an introvert? Some of us are introverts, some extroverts, and frankly, I don’t think one is better than the other. Finally, maybe playing video games is better therapy than sitting around ruminating about one’s problems or doing something destructive. Maybe games are one way that introverts can exert some control over their environment. Maybe digital “self-medication” is not such a bad thing. Who is to say playing videos is harmful? Especially after this study showing that games are not related to violence.

Frankly, given the way that our society treats those who are considered “old, “fat” or not as extroverted as others would like, maybe video games are not such a bad idea.

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