An overweight adult male who is sitting in a messy and stinky room while eating fast food and drinking soda, with a failing report card rotting away in the corner along with leftover food. “It’s a stereotype that we need to get over, and we slowly are.” As times change, so should our thinking of how playing a variety of video games can affect you or someone you know in school life. As Patrick Godfrey, the Chief Information Officer at the Upper School said above, we have overcome many false stereotypes about people who game. But let's take a look at some real data before we believe stereotypes about those around us.
“Over 227 million people in the US play video games one to a few hours per week,” says a blog post posted by TrueList 2022, with more statistics of roughly “74% of US households” including at least “one member who plays video games.” According to video gaming statistics, approximately “76% of Americans” under the age of 18, and “67% of adults play [video] games.” Something else to note is that “7% of people older than 65 play video games.” Now from those numbers, only 55% of gamers are male, which is a shock to most people with a stereotype of gamers.
According to another blog post on WePlay Holding, of the 7.67 billion people in the world, “roughly 36% of the world are gamers,” and using a study from NCBI, there are only “1.4% addicted gamers.” But it’s not black and white like addicted or not addicted to gaming. There are levels. “7.3% [of gamers are] problem gamers, 3.9% [are] engaged gamers, and 87.4% [are] normal gamers.” Addicted gamers are those who play video games for more than 2 hours a day over 12 months and exhibit addiction-like behavior. Problem gamers are those who played about 2 hours each day, engaged gamers are those who play 1.5 hours each day, and normal gamers are those who play 1 hour each day. For reference, the American Medical Association (AMA) stated that for gaming to be healthy, kids should have “no more than one to two hours per day of [gaming] screen time.”
However, gaming has been reported to cause some problems with school grades. An article written at the University of Cumberlands states that gamers “had significantly lower GPAs than students who indicated that they did not play video games.” But are low GPAs ok if gaming can translate to real-life skills? An article published by NCBI states that gamers (vs non-gamers) had “improved 69% of psychological therapy outcomes,” as well as “59% of physical therapy outcomes, 50% of physical activity outcomes, 46% of clinician skills outcomes, 42% of health education outcomes, 42% of pain distraction outcomes, and 37% of disease self-management outcomes.” Overall, like anything, there are pros and cons to gaming, but it’s only when you start to play excessively that it borders an addiction to the real threats start to show.