BYU Study: Video Games Are Bad For You In So Many Ways

A study published today in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence maintains that video games – including the non-violent kind – are linked to a variety of negative findings among college students.

According to the Deseret News, the study, conducted by a team of faculty and students at Utah’s Brigham Young University, concludes that:

  • the more the students play video games, the worse their relationships are with friends and parents (although this effect is modest)
  • those who play video games daily smoke pot twice as much as other players and three times more than those who never play
  • young women who play often have lower self-esteem

BYU prof Laura Walker, the lead author of the study, told the newspaper:

Everything we found associated with video games came out negative… [But] I don’t want parents to go out and yank all video games. It’s like TV. We have to choose what’s good and bad and practice moderation.

Student Alex Jensen, who participated in the research project, added:

I assumed violent video games would be related to lower relationship quality with friends and family. I didn’t expect regular video games — nonviolent video game use — would be correlated to lower relationship quality…

An abstract posted on the website of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence offers some information on the methodology of the BYU study:

Participants included 813 undergraduate students (500 young women, 313 young men, M age = 20…) who were mainly European American (79%), unmarried (100%) and living outside their parents’ home (90%).

GP: It is quite interesting that this study would appear in conservative Utah at a time when a renewed effort to legislate video games is underway there.

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  1. FlakAttack says:

    So it was peer reviewed. Would you look at that?

    I just took a good long read over the study this time. The wording in it is quite bad, and biased towards the "gaming causes-" side of thought. THIS IS AN OBSERVATIONAL STUDY; YOU CANNOT ESTABLISH A CAUSE-EFFECT RELATIONSHIP WITH AN OBSERVATIONAL STUDY. (I know you understand that, I’m capping it for those who didn’t take statistics or psychology)

    I was quick to jump on that boat, glad you righted my wrong, but none-the-less, the study itself is quite flawed, and the interpretation it will get by the media and the anti-gaming boneheads will be awful. The only thing that pisses me off more than a poorly done study is the misinterpretation that ALWAYS gets done by the media.

  2. Lazier Than Thou says:

    I never found anything in there that said anything about homosexuality.  Could you please point me to it?

  3. Lazier Than Thou says:

    Shouldn’t you get mad at the people in California for actually voting yes on Prop 8 instead of the people that donated a ton of money to see it passed?  I mean, it’s not like the no on Prop 8 people didn’t get massive funding outside of California, either.

    Not only that, but I think that only around 2% of the population in California is LDS and, even then, there were a lot of Later-Day Saints that voted no on Prop 8.

  4. Bigman-K says:

    Most Mormons who have come to me to try and proselytize me are usually pretty cool once i tell them I’m not interested. They’ll just say "oh that’s cool man, have a nice day" and be on there way.

     "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  5. Nekowolf says:

    But I’m -sure- the Church gave a lot of praise for it, even if they didn’t donate (actually, can a church donate money? I’m not sure how they operate). Either way, it really angers me, and that’s the point I’m trying to make.

  6. MrKlorox says:

    The thing about Christianity is that there are so many sects. And many of those sects don’t consider people who are from a different (read identical except for some minor detail) sect to be actual, "true Christians" and ignore them instead of defame them.

    Ironically "true Christians" are ones who accept others that "accept" Christ. Period.

    Those that segregate or try to change others beliefs are the same bigot inside as the rest of the world.

  7. Zevorick says:

    There are very simple reasons as to why there arem ore women than men. Go into ANY psychology classroom and do a headcount of women vs men. You’ll be surprised (even though you probably shouldn’t) that men are REALLY outnumbered when it comes to psychology. I can’t tell you how many times i’ve been "the token male".

    This is important because they gathered the participants of the study from psychology classrooms at their university. They offered extra credit for those that participated, which is a common practice among universities (mine requires it outright, but that’s neither here nor there).  Furthermore women, for whatever reason, are usually more likely in psychology classrooms to sign up for said extra credit opportunities than men are, so that’s a double whammy.

    If you give more opportunity for women to participate in a study than men, AND women are more likely to participate, then you are going to get "skewed" population.


    Finally, and i can not stress this enough, the results are NOT skewed by the numbers due to the statistical tool he used to calculate the differences. They take into consideration the intergroup variance and account for the discrepency in sample sizes to make an accurate representation of the facts. (small correction. The fact that there are unequal populations can be problematic if the analysis administered does not take in weighted means. It’s pretty much taken for granted that you are never going to have a perfectly equal sample size unless you are extraordinarily anal about your research methods. However, there are statistical methods to compensate for that, which if i remember correctly the author of the article used)

  8. PHX Corp says:

    i’m a christian(Roman Catholic) and I dislike what the christian Colition and moral majority are saying(note: They are about as crazy as Jackie-poo when it comes to gay marrige and abortion) but i dont believe in abortion an gay marrige but these people(moral Majority, etc) take things too Seriously

  9. PHX Corp says:

    ok, Hits with Godwin hammer(get the joke everyone)

    but anyway Jackie-poo should be gone by now(after he got banned by JAABLOG)

  10. black manta says:

    Personally, Zack, I never really understood why so many people have a problem with Mormonism.  Yes, I know about the whole polygamy thing, but as you and others have pointed out, that tends be regarded as more of a fringe sect thing and none of the Mormons I have ever met practiced it.  And I’ve yet to have any Mormons come to my door offering copies of the Bible or trying to sell me on their religion either.

    In point of fact, many Mormons I’ve met, including you, have been pretty cool people.  Here’s just a short list off the top of my head of quite a few famous Mormons whose name isn’t Osmond and whom I hold in some high regard:

    Glen Larson (Creator of shows like Knight Rider, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and the original Battlestar Galactica)

    American McGee (Developer of Doom, Quake and Alice)

    Orson Scott Card (Award-winning Science Fiction writer)

    Don Bluth (maker of The Secret of NIMH and Dragon’s Lair)

    Trey Parker (Co-creator of South Park)

    Belladonna (porn star)

    Hey, let me know if there are more!

  11. Zerodash says:

    No offense, but I am tired of the "not all Christians…" response.  The very core doctrines of the faith are what spawned the hate-issues that the religion is now centered on.  I think the Christians who are not "that way" have a responsibility to their faith to take on and defeat the zealots.  So far, nobody seems to do this.  For instance, where is the Christian outrage over people like Pat Robertson?

  12. black manta says:

    The only reason why Thompson started off on his anti-gaming "crusade" is for one thing and one thing only: Publicity.  That and probably money, too.  Of course, he denies this vehemently; swearing up and down he’s doing it simply because his faith calls him to do it or because he’s trying to "protect the children."  But every other thing he says and does betrays both these assertions.

    Jack has always gone after whatever cultural whipping boy was popular at the time if for no other reason to get his name in the papers and on the news.  Back in the early 1990’s he went after Rap with 2 Live Crew’s Nasty as They Wanna Be, which he managed to get temporarily banned from stores in Dade county.  That I think was his whiff of grapeshot since it was the first time his name ever got publicized nationally.  After that he was one of the people to condemn Ice-T and Body Count’s single "Cop Killer."  And he likes to take sole credit for getting that song pulled from their album (never mind the involvement of Charlton Heston, Pres. George H.W. Bush and pretty much every police organization in the United States).

    When the thing against Rap didn’t pan out, he went after Howard Stern for obscenity on public airwaves.  He complained to the FCC and likes to take credit for getting Howard off the air in Florida.  But then Howard moved to satellite about a year later where he’s making even more money now than Jack could ever hope to see, so Howard got the last laugh in the end.

    So with most of his enemies either no longer topical or legally untouchable, his only recourse is video games.  You’re right, his first involvement with them was in the Heath High School shooting in Paducah, Kentucky, the first of many failures on his part.  He wasn’t the face of anti-gaming initially, though.  At first it was retired Col. David Grossman.  But as Grossman became discredited and has gone to ground, Thompson took up the banner and ran with it ever since.

    And I think now the only reason he keeps at it in the face of his disbarment is not only because he’s delusional, but also like some have said, on some level he recognizes that we gamers are one of the few people who pay attention to him.  So like any parasite or scavenger, he takes whatever attention he can get.  He knows we hate him and he gets off on it, but as much as we’d like him to shut up and go away or just die, we can’t get enough of him because in a way he’s become our whipping boy.  It’s human nature to want to put a face on our fears and personify all those negative attitudes and misconceptions about our hobby, and Jack just happens to be convenient because he spouts so much hate and vitriol that it’s okay to demonize him because we don’t really think of him anymore as a human being…at least not a sane one.

    We like to think we’re better than him, perhaps we are.  But really, when we do this, sometimes I wonder if we’re no better than he is?  Demonization is something that has occured throughout history, especially in times of conflict.  The Nazis did it to the Jews (ok hit me for Godwin, but it had to be said and it’s the most obvious), and we did it to the Germans in both world wars and the Japanese in WWII.  And we also did it to a lesser extent to the Russians during the Cold War with all the anti-Communist rhetoric.  Not saying it’s right.  Just that it is and it’s a part of human behavior.  Jack demonizes us, and we demonize him and his kind in turn regardless of how much either side tries to dispel the false notions.

    Ok, I’ve waxed philosophical on this enough.  Back to the topic at hand. 

  13. ezbiker555 says:

    So I’m a pothead because I play video games everytime.

    Right, that’s the biggest peace of bs. I have yet to meet someone who smokes pot because they play video games. (I don’t doubt that there are potheads that play games but that’s like a minority)


  14. Geoff says:

    Well being a private institution I think they are allowed to do that, as f’d up as that is.

    This is the internet and I’m probably wasting my time by doing this, but not all Christians are like this.  You can say maybe half of America’s Christians are like that and that’s probably exaggerating the actual numbers.

    Being a narrow-minded atheist is just as bad as being a narrow-minded Christian.

    Jeez, these are strange times indeed when the resident Heathen is defending Christianity.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  15. SounDemon says:

    Saying I didn’t read it was the only thing that I found unfair.


    "AS for the religous aspects, I was defending my faith only because you tried to tie the Mormon church to the study directly."

    I admit that was unfair, and for that I apologize.


  16. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I never once defended the study. I merely pointed out the flaws in your own bashing of the study. I know the study is flawed. I do not deny that, but I also admit that your criticisms of the study are flawed.

    AS for the religous aspects, I was defending my faith only because you tried to tie the Mormon church to the study directly.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  17. SounDemon says:

    The study is flawed, there is no denial of this, EZK. There are no controls, the sample group is skewed, and they don’t properly isolate variables. 

    The mormon church may or may not be interested in game legislation, and may indeed be an innocent party, but pointing out the ‘coincidence’ that games are slandered in a unscientific study at a Mormon-owned school, then slandered in a newspaper article at a Mormon-owned newspaper is hardly unreasonable. 

    I don’t like religion; Religion tore my family apart and currently has an interest in oppressing homosexuals and melding church and state (and don’t act like putting gay marriage up to a vote is not oppression). I see the good in having comfort, but your religion should not be a reason to defend an unscientific study.


    "I hate people who can’t read and who claim to know more about groups and people than they really do."

    I hate when people will defend stuff just because it’s related to their ‘faith’ and talking about it in anything other than a completely deferential manner makes them butthurt. There is no reasonable expectation that religion is a completely taboo topic and can never be criticized. 

  18. FlakAttack says:

    "Part of the peer review process is to publish your findings in a scientific journal so that it can be exposed to more people in similar fields for peer review."

    1. This study is fairly useless if it’s not peer reviewed.

    2. Without a control group, the scientific soundness of this study is questionable, at best.

    3. By reviewing only single-player gamers, this study is heavily biased.

    That’s 3 strikes when it only takes one my friend. This study is worthless.

  19. FlakAttack says:

    When I was a child, I was terrible at creating and maintaining friendships. Sure enough, the internet soon became my home. An unexpected side effect of such was to find many others like me, to become more confident, and seek the problem out.

    I now have a fulfilling relationship with my girlfriend of 1 and half years, I’m going to college and doing well, I see my family almost every day, and I still play games for 2+ hours a day. Hmm…

    I don’t understand this "PLAYING GAMES = SOCIAL RETARDATION" because it was online gaming that brought me out of my shell in the first place. Now, I’m not gonna try to say that my relationships with everyone are flawless, but I was like this well before I started gaming. My girlfriend also has a hard time getting along with people, and she doesn’t game at all. She watches movies and reads books, draws and writes, goes to school. Nothing strange about her. She just doesn’t like people.

    I’m curious to know how they picked the sample for this study. I’m also curious to know why they only chose single-player games, as the mindset of multi-player gamers is drastically different, and many gamers often play with their RL friends as a form of being social.

  20. nightwng2000 says:

    People who read books for hours on end because they are so caught up in the stories tend to rub their eyes a lot.

    People who play Solitaire or solo games a lot or even exclusively are Anti-Social.

    Participating in contact sports, such as football or boxing, will make your muscles sore.

    If you are alive, one day you will die.

    One cannot LIVE without SOMETHING negative happening to them.


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  21. Nekowolf says:

    Proposition, sorry, whatever. But yeah. The Mormon church generated massive amounts of money to pour into the proposition 8, who happen to be headquartered, where? In Utah.

  22. Geoff says:

    Eh, take it easy EZK.  Methinks too many people are equating the crazy-fringe sect of Mormonism, the FLDS specifically, with the mainstream religion.  Happens all the time.  Easier to demonize an entire group of people or their ideology if you assume they are all like the insane branch.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  23. Geoff says:

    Yes, but a large amount of money was given over to the "Yes" group by out-of-state groups, including the Mormon church. (Or, at least, by a lot of Mormons). 


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  24. Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    "In fairness to the study, I doubt the timing had anything to do with any legistlation going on in Utah.  Academic journals don’t typically try to time things like that."

    Read up on the product defense "industry".

    Harvard (yes, THAT Harvard) Center for Risk Analystis (HCRA) was basically employed by companies like big tobacco, chemical companies for years to create bogus studies to defend their toxic products against law suits and government regulation. They have since cleaned up their act, however.

    The product defense companies regularly hire academics to do their dirty work, although most of their "scientists" are career frauds rather than academics.

  25. E. Zachary Knight says:

    The religious in Utah are the ones pushing for Legislation, and the Mormon Church has been known to oppose anything that isn’t directly related to their religion.

    No they don’t. They have no interest in game legislation. So this is not a push by the Moromon Church to outlaw violent games.

    Notice also the high degree of pot-smoking in "Utah’s largest Religious College", 

    Um… The sample came from college age adults from around  the country. Not just BYU.

    They also don’t make a connection between the traditional Mormon view of Women as disposable baby-making factories and a "lower self-esteem".

    I work Directly with Mormon Youth and that is far from how we treat women and teach them. It is far from how we teach men to treat women. To let you know, we encourage women to seek education and that they are equal partners in a marraige.

    Using 500 women and 313 men seems to be a clear-cut case of stacking samples to comply with observer bias. They most certainly used more women to accentuate the "self-esteem" thing. If they didn’t use more women, the results wouldn’t be very politically expedient.

    Do you think it could also be that men are less likely to participate in surveys and studies? Nah, it couldn’t be that.

    Any COMPETENT AND HONEST scientist would have his work peer-reviewed. To do otherwise is a crime against academic honesty and science in general.

    Part of the peer review process is to publish your findings in a scientific journal so that it can be exposed to more people in similar fields for peer review.

    I hate bad science. I hate bad science with ulterior motives more. And I hate religiously influenced bad science masquerading as good science to support an ulterior motive more than anything except Sarah Palin.

    I hate people who can’t read and who claim to know more about groups and people than they really do.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  26. reverandspaniel says:

    It’s a pity ol’ Jacky boy doesn’t take much notice of our comments about peer review and bias by the authors…

    Seriously, he just needs to get it sorted and open his eyes to the reality of the world. Totally disillusioned…

    EDIT: I’ve been looking online trying to find information about JT and why he started off on his war against video games, but can’t seem to find too much. Anyone know was it that whole ’97 Heath High School thing? Or maybe he got beaten at pong one too many times by the computer or just couldn’t get past the first level of super mario. I don’t know, but I kinda do care…maybe if we knew we could actually try and help him get out of this weird psychotic obsessive fantasy world he lives in. However, all his work does make for good reading.

  27. Zero Beat says:

    Word of advice to all people performing studies everywhere: Pot use is common among college students.

    Unless you can recreate the pot findings in different age groups (college grads, middle and high schools students, early-mid 30s), video games are not a factor.


    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  28. gamepolitics says:

    Not surprisingly, Jack Thompson has picked up on our coverage.

    I received an e-mail from him this morning which said: What a perfect time for a negative video game study to hit in UTAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    As you probably know (and it’s linked in this story), Thompson is trying to once again push video game legislation in Utah, where he has connections with an ultra-conservative group, the Utah Eagle Forum.

  29. SounDemon says:

    This study is so scientifically unsound it makes me want to bang my head against my Chemistry Lab table.

    Here is my evisceration:

    1. There is a clear conflict of interest: I found this after 1 second of googling the name of the university:

    "Brigham Young University (BYU), located in Provo, Utah, United States, is a private,coeducational research university owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(LDS or Mormon Church)."

    The religious in Utah are the ones pushing for Legislation, and the Mormon Church has been known to oppose anything that isn’t directly related to their religion. Also, the newspaper reporting it, which portrays games in a highly negative light?

    "The Deseret News is owned by Deseret News Publishing Company, a subsidiary of Deseret Management Corporation, which is a for-profit business holdings company owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (colloquially known as the Mormon or LDS Church)."

    Notice also the high degree of pot-smoking in "Utah’s largest Religious College", which brings me to my next point:

    2. They do not check for variables: Have you noticed they don’t make a connection between pot-smoking and worsening relationships? Cannabis is well-known as making people lethargic and apathetic. They also don’t make a connection between the traditional Mormon view of Women as disposable baby-making factories and a "lower self-esteem".  You’d think they would have eliminated these blaring variables. That is, if they were COMPETENT SCIENTISTS. 

    3. Atrocious sampling: Using 500 women and 313 men seems to be a clear-cut case of stacking samples to comply with observer bias. They most certainly used more women to accentuate the "self-esteem" thing. If they didn’t use more women, the results wouldn’t be very politically expedient.




    5. THE STUDY IS NOT PEER REVIEWED: Any COMPETENT AND HONEST scientist would have his work peer-reviewed. To do otherwise is a crime against academic honesty and science in general.


    I hate bad science. I hate bad science with ulterior motives more. And I hate religiously influenced bad science masquerading as good science to support an ulterior motive more than anything except Sarah Palin.


  30. Chaltab says:

    I seriously find the idea of a correlation between gaming and pot-smoking far fetched. I’m a more avid gamer than my brother; he smokes pot, and I’ve never smoked anything.

    I’d say the real correlation here is that people who have low self esteem and feel stress more intensely are more likely to:

    -Play video games constantly to take their minds off their problems

    -Experiment with drugs to relieve their stress

    -Have problems with their family relationships

  31. Wolfemann says:

    He doesn’t argue that this is a causal relationship (yet), which is a good thing… not that it’ll be treated like that in the end, of course.

    I think another factor that needs to be considered is that this research came out of BYU… I wonder how much of his research is affected by the standards of a strict religious school.

    At any rate, another piece of research to wish they’d give us more info on the methodology… funny how that never matters when the study comes out against games, but it’s screamed about when they come out in favor of them….

    Politics, Religion, and Particle Physics

  32. Geoff says:

    Yeah, I snickered at that part and thought "I wish it was like that."  Oh there were plenty of gaming girls in college, but us men outnumbered them at least 2 to 1 if not by a larger percentage.

    Maybe they considered you a gamer if you played a few rounds of Wii bowling?


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  33. ElfyEikal says:

    Smoke Pot? yeah rite..Marijuana is Illegal here..that means these researchers must be REALLY stupid..smoking Marlboro..yes i do that..then again, my life’s good! and i am still in college..never smoke POT at ALL!, never did any crimes, have lots of friends, good relationship with family..and goes out alot..seriously..

    Vitality Before Violence

  34. Nekowolf says:

    Utah is dead to me. Well…it was dead since the Proposal 8 thing, but now, it’s dead, and I want it blown out of the entire world. Make it a massive lake or something.

  35. Solipsis says:

    Why such a large percentage of females? I’m all for having women represented in gaming (being one myself) but when you pull 500 women and 313 men, that’s not an accurate representation of the gaming demographic.

    61.5% of college students who game are women? Nope.

  36. Praetorian says:

    Wow! This is a big load.

    I’ve been gaming since the Atari! I’ve never smoked pot, commited any violent crimes, and have a great relationship with my folks, infact, a better relationship now that I’m older!

    I am amazed that they used a college demographic considering they have NO control group so they wouldn’t have an accurate cross section of how these people function normally…come to think of it, people don’t function normally in college, do they? College level students are the most unpredictable group of people they could have picked as they are prone to long hours of various activities depending on their motivation level!

    In school I was the person that was picked on, so, I suffered from self esteem and trust isses and did not develop friends quickly and chose to stay behind the PC and/or console to forget about the daily grind.

    I haven’t changed much, still haven’t smoked pot, graduated college, still talk to my parents, hold down a job that requires a state/federal background check, have great relationships with people I trust and still don’t get out much. So, I guess that makes my life terrible.

    I know plenty of girl gamers that don’t have self esteem issues, but are very willing to stand up for what they believe.

    Come to think of it, I’m kind of like Vork from The Guild.


    "I’ve been told I’m the resident skeptic, but I wouldn’t believe that."

    ECA Seattle Chapter

  37. Geoff says:

    EDIT: Alright, what the hell?  I made a post but for some reason the only text that showed up what my little tag line on the bottom.  Does GP’s site not like Firefox?  Because I just had to switch from IE to Firefox here at work and have run into all sorts of quirkly problems since then.  Meh, for now I’m gonna blame Firefox, though I’ve always disliked the browser so I’m kind of biased.

    Anyway I’ll repost what I put before, though with less words and less snark.

    -Of course people’s relationships degrade the longer they spend playing video games, it’s a simple issue of time.  If I spent the majority of my waking time on a particular task, like say lumberjacking, we’d get the same results!

    -Video gamers don’t become pot smokers, pot smokers just play video games like everyone else, it’s a medium that’s surpassing movies in terms of preferred entertainment.  And by the Gods consider the group you’re studying.  College students have been notorious for smoking pot for decades, it’s neither new nor surprising. 

    -People with low self-esteem look for ways to escape or for some hobby to enjoy because, more often than not, their life sucks.  Hence the reason they have low self-esteem.  As this little nugget of "fact" singles-out women, I’m gonna up the ante and say maybe if society didn’t give women such contradicting, confusin messages about how they "should be" we’d have a lot more females with a better outlook on life.  I’m a guy and thankful that I don’t have to deal with the mounds of crap advertisement and social norms heaps on women. 

    "You’re not wearing the right clothes!" "Your boobies aren’t big enough!" "You’re too fat!" "You’re too thin!" "If you give it up to easily, men will think you’re a whore and not respect you." "If you don’t give it up easily, men will think you’re a prude and not want to date you." "Your clothes still suck." "Dress like a slut and men will think you are one." "Don’t dress like a slut and men won’t notice you." "Marry for money and you’re a bitch." "Don’t marry for money and you’re an idiot." "Again, your clothing, they suck."

    And so on and so on…no wonder so many women are insane.  I’d lose my mind too if I had to deal with that shit.  Sorry, got off topic there. 🙂

    This will still be used as ammunition by anti-gaming fools.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  38. GoodRobotUs says:

    It does bring two questions to my mind…

    How large a percent of the people tested were regular game players, if there were 2-3 times as many regular gamers as non-regular gamers, then I wonder how they got the ‘2-3 times as likely to smoke pot’ result?

    Secondly, are they really surprised that gamers have trouble with self esteem with the kind of stereotypes and prejudice that people throw out about them, tell someone you are a gamer and people automatically get images of a fat kid in his parents basement, and that particular stereotype has been thrown around by Thompson and others for years, did this research consider that it’s entirely possible that the low self esteem doesn’t come from the games themselves, but by the vicious attacks and prejudices of those who would censor them that have wormed their way into public perception?


  39. reverandspaniel says:

    Wow…that’s impressive work. /sarcasm

    They managed to create a bit of research on a sample demographic of one group of gamers – mainly European American, unmarried people who’ve moved out of their parents homes. Ever thought about people who are married? divorced? engaged? still living with parents? from other backgrounds? One of the first things I learnt in psychology class was to pick a sample that REPRESENTS THE ACTUAL POPULATION. Being professionals who are paid by large institutions, you’d think they’d know about this sort of thing. You just know the media are going to latch onto this and generalise it to the entire gamer population…

  40. ChrowX says:

    That’s an impact bias if I eve saw one. The issues I’m seeing with this study, at a glance, is that they didn’t look at the big picture when it came to who they were testing. For instance, college kids around age 20 living away from their parents are a pretty small demographic. These are people who have been out on their own for a year or two at most and on top of that, they’re college kids. So I can fully understand them playing videogames and doing drugs to relieve stress. The big thing that bothers me is that your average gamer is in their 30’s and not in college. That changes just about everything for their poorly guided little experiment.

  41. sirdarkat says:


    I have discovered the end all of end all; the correlation of correlations.

    Notice that the number of shark attacks across the world have increased over the last couple of years … you know what else have increased GAME SALES … thats right gaming has increased over the last couple of years too.

    Therefore Sharks are behind Video Games, they lure us in with video games, making us weak and then BAM they attack us.  But heres the thing they didn’t see coming due to video games their attacks are useless and more often then not we survive the attack (hence the number of fatal attacks are lower than the non fatal ones).

    That’s right with two seconds I found a correlation between Shark Attacks and Video Games, you know what it means it means either a) my correlation discovered a secret plot between Sharks and the Video Game Industry or b) I am a complete idiot and correlations are completly pointless because they don’t show you a damn thing.

    Im going with b because personally I know the guy who discovered this correlation and frankly he is an idiot.


  42. Avalongod says:

    In fairness to the study, I doubt the timing had anything to do with any legistlation going on in Utah.  Academic journals don’t typically try to time things like that.  That’s probably a little too paranoid.

    I would be curious if their correlations controlled for other "third" variables.  For instance, did their study control for gender (lets face it, males both play more video games and engage in more naughty behavior than females).  If they didn’t control for gender, all this study could really be talking about is ways in which males and females differ. 

    I’ll have to get my hands on the study and see…


  43. imroadkill2 says:

     I don’t nor ever have touched pot.  My relationship is great and I play video games from the second I get home from work till about 11 everynight.  Good ole FFXI again after a 2 years away :).!!!   Lets do quick math.


    Gameplayer(me) smokes 3x the non-gamer.  So 3 x 0 = 0.. Non-gamers don’t smoke.

    Gameplayer(me) smokes 2x the regular-gamer. so 2 x 0 = 0.. So regular gamers don’t smoke.

    Now I’m sure one of you math nuts will show where i’m wrong in my math but in my equation I prove that the world doesn’t smoke pot using the PROVEN study of this great man (or group)..

    Oh and I work 2 very good jobs. (Database admin, and for fun Gamestop Employee) so I can afford my very very addicting gaming nature.  

  44. GoodRobotUs says:

    ‘those who play video games daily smoke pot twice as much as other players and three times more than those who never play’

    I’m certainly calling Bullshit on that one. I can almost understand concerns about relationships with family etc if the games are played obsessively, but then, that’s a problem with an addictive personality, not the games themselves, but smoking pot is a problem across the board, and is more a symptom of peer-pressure/social environment than anything else.

    That, to me, just sounds like Eagle-Forum pressured stereotyping.

  45. hellfire7885 says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t throw in a "This is only saying what we with working frontal lobes have been saying all along"


    At least he’s already doomed the legislation to fail by getting involved.

  46. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    You might get annoyed, but TBH Jack amuses me.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  47. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    I use Safari b/c otherwise I can’t use the shoutbox.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  48. boesy31 says:

    im sorry. but this is complete BS.. in the past 11 months. i have over 30 DAYS of play time on Call of Duty 4. yes. 30 days. and guess what. i havent smoked pot. ever. im 18. never drank either. guess what?? i go to a school with about 1600 people. i only know about 4 people that have never drank, or smoked anything. you saying that they all play video games??? hahaha. wow. i hate when people compare drugs and alcohol to video game play. TAKE A LOOK AROUND WORLD!!!! like 95% OF HIGH SCHOOL KIDS DRINK AND SMOKE!!! video games has nothing to do with it.

  49. sortableturnip says:

    "Those at BYU who play video games daily smoke pot twice as much as other players and three times more than those who never play"


  50. aydae says:

    As a woman, if video games lower my self esteem, then I should quit doing everything that I do for the same reason that I play video games, right? I should stop watching movies, or TV. I should stop listening to music. In fact, I should REALLY stop reading so much!

    Why should I stop these things? Because they all provide me with a small escape with which I can spend a little time not thinking about work, or my grandmother that has cancer, or paying bills, or planning my upcoming wedding. Video games, films, television, music, reading, they all give me a little relaxation, and for that, my self-esteem is lower?

    Not to mention, I remember when and why I began playing video games in the first place. Middle school is not the place for high self-esteem, especially when one isn’t necessarily considered "popular". My interest in video games developed out of the interactivity and the fact that I could have fun alone, because at that stage in my life, I had no friends to speak of. It was easier to learn to be alone than get poked and prodded and rejected simply to interact with my peers. So where did my low self-esteem come from? The REAL PEOPLE in my life.

    This is such crap.

  51. Soldat_Louis says:

    As you’re here, I’d like to congratulate you for your excellent blog, which deserves to be better known. Thanks to you, I understand video game research much better.

  52. AusPower says:

    Yep, yep they seems to say that we smoke it like a chimney, despite the fact that i know a few non-gamers who want to (and some have) smoke it, whereas i havent and havent got the urge. like ffs, you cant demograph the gaming population nowadays, cause like they say in a saturday morning cartoon ‘everybodies different’. They can range from anyone to anyone. Like i know a bunch of guys at my school (last year) who are the standard punks who beat up gamer nerds (in the 80s) and take their money, but really they play COD 4 more than i do.


  53. hayabusa75 says:

    That part is poorly worded, it implies that all everyday gamers smoke pot.  They’re really saying that the gamers who play every day are twice as likely to be smokers compared to other gamers and three times as likely as non-gamers.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  54. Kincyr says:

    actually, I’d probably say that going by the fact that the study was aimed at single white college students, BYU probably doesn’t yet admit blacks. I mean, the Mormons didn’t allow blacks into their religion until 1978, when the IRS threatened to cancel their non-profit tax-exempt status

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  55. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    "Those who play video games daily smoke pot twice as much as other players and three times more than those who never play"

    I call bullshit. I play whenever I can, and I don’t even WANT to smoke pot, let alone cigarettes, like most of my family.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  56. PHX Corp says:

    Here’s what i have to say about Video games and this study

    There are healthy benefits to Video games(improves hand-eye coordenation, and various other benefits)

    But such entertainment is not without it’s own risks(Violence, Abuse, soreness of thumbs or If you play the wii, Arms)

  57. TBoneTony says:

    I was thinking.

    Wasn’t drugs popular in the 60’s amongst the youth culture?

    And the same thing in the 70’s and 80’s?

    That was long before videogames so you might say that Drugs are part of the school culture for a long time that it is impossible to suggest that Videogames are the cause of it if they had not considered all the other influences that happen in the school yard.


    Also there is that Extreme Group there with JT that might have influenced the media coverage and exagerated it beyond what the research really had.


  58. Zevorick says:

    In their defense, I think by federal law it is a crime punishable by five years in prison to take a photo on a college campus without looking pretentious or utterly retarded.

  59. HarmlessBunny says:

    As for your information, I indeed have never tried pot or any drugs what-so-ever. Now alcohol…that is a different story all together!

  60. Werrick says:

    "It is quite interesting that this study would appear in conservative Utah"

    NO! REALLY?!

    I wonder what their findings would be if they focused on Mormonism…

  61. TBoneTony says:

    I agree…


    I was teased badly at school… all because my footy team lost 4 grand finals in 7 years and the kids at school teased me about that ALMOST EVERY DAY!!!!


    So I took videogaming as something enjoyable and something that helped me not to listen to those bullies.

    The study also needs to take into account that school bullying exists not only in the school yard but also in the work place where college students needed to work to pay for school fees and sometimes they can also be subjected to being bullied by their own workmates.

    Low self esteem was never related to videogames, but more towards the fact that people are being teased in real life and also family troubles.

  62. TBoneTony says:

    I think that when it comes to these stydies, it is not the stydy itself, but it is how the Newspaper and the Mainstreem News twist it into something negative towards gamers that makes it newsworthy.

    In the end, it is the same old story.

    People who sell the news will try and twist it into their opinion and newsworthyness. And Antigamers would have ammunition to attack us and discriminate against us because they don’t understand us gamers.


    At the end of the day, it is the parents who suffer from anxiety.

    I have never smokes pot, and I still maintain a good relationship with my family.

    I have a girlfriend who is also a gamer. And we chat online.

    I go out for walks every late afternoon.

    I wash the dishers at home.

    And at the end of the day I still find time to play Videogames.


    I also did not like how the guy in the newspaper quit playing his favorite game Madden just to trade it in for Mario Party so he could play it with his wife…


    This is more towards the discrimination against Videogamers… and in a married relationship, I don’t see this as being a fair partnerdship if someone has to give up something he loves just to please the wife.




  63. Soldat_Louis says:

    And just one example of what I said about (mis)interprets : the coverage from the Provo Daily Herald :

    "BYU study says video games cause a host of problems"

    "When it comes to relationships with friends and family, there’s really nothing good to say about playing video games, according to a study in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence."

    Now let’s pick up a quote from the authors of the study themselves (taken from the Daily Telegraph) :

    "Prof Walker said that it was still unclear whether playing computer games caused other social problems, or were merely a symptom of them.

    "It may be that young adults remove themselves from important social settings to play video games, or that people who already struggle with relationships are trying to find other ways to spend their time," she said. "My guess is that it’s some of both and becomes circular."

    So once again : let’s all read the study, draw our own conclusions and compare them with media coverage.


  64. MrKlorox says:

    Oh? Are there a large number of black, hispanic, or asian young people in Utah? Do you think including a smaller percential of white folks would be any more accurate of a sample? They would have to go out of their way to disqualify a lot of folks based on the color of their skin which would actually be racist.

    I guess your comment was a self fulfilling prophecy.

  65. MrKlorox says:

    Rather than the studies themselves, the real problem lies in their media coverage.

    Agreed, the real problem lies in the sensationalist news media outlets and the ignorant fools who take what they say for face value. The sensationalist news media will be the downfall of society.

  66. Soldat_Louis says:

    To me, the problem isn’t the study itself (kudos to Zevorick for explaining it to us and keeping us from knee-jerk reactions). The problem is the way it will be interpreted by mainstream media. Have read the Daily Telegraph, for instance ?

    "Although "gamers" have long denied the accusation that they are anti-social loners, scientists believe they have proof that long hours spent attempting to better "top scores" could have far-reaching consequences".

    Same thing for most video game research. Rather than the studies themselves, the real problem lies in their media coverage. This is why I urge all of us to  : 1/ read this study thoroughly, 2/ draw our own conclusions, 3/ compare with the way it is interpreted here and there (especially in the mainstream press), and 4/ confront the (mis)interprets wherever they are.

  67. MrKlorox says:

    Utah = snowboarding  = pot use. Also, it’s a VERY common thing to do, especially in universities. The students aren’t the programmed fascists their parents were… yet. But then again, they haven’t graduated yet.

  68. MrKlorox says:

    I doubt anybody will scroll this far down to read this comment but most of you, have "never tried pot" (which is a straight up lie) in conjunction with a videogame and therefore have absolutely NO perspective.

    Using cannabis while playing increases immersion exponentially. And those that have a bowl loaded ready for a toke tend to take one after a victorious moment (i.e.: won the match online, scored the highest trick combo, etc…). Those that play videogames all day, every day, tend to have more of those moments than those that go outside or work for a living.

    Then there’s the people with OCD that ritualize virtually everything they do. It is quite easy to adopt cannabis into daily rituals (i.e.: smoke when one sees 420; be it the time, a score in the game, a combination of scores lined up correctly, etc…). But it’s pretty shitty to lump cannabis use into negativity.

    Sure, breaking the law is not generally good, but what about when the law is based on bigotry and lies, and the rest of the populace allows themselves into being brainwashed that it will ruin your life with no hope of recovery. THAT is the true crime.

  69. JoshuaOrrizonte says:

    Without having read all of the comments, I’m going to risk being unoriginal and saying: "Chicken or egg?"


    I don’t have many friends. However, the friends I have are very close- and I like it that way. 

    Also, low self-esteem here. But I’d think that’s more related to shitty childhood events. I went to the games to get away from my asshole classmates. You mean to tell me that being spit on at lunch didn’t screw up my sense of self worth, it was the video games?

    I would have never guessed.

    Can’t say much about the pot thing, except that I wouldn’t be surprised that that’s bull too. They pulled the other two negatives out of their asses…

  70. Kincyr says:

    I’d put some remark on how them picking only young white college students is somewhat racist but it’d probably backfire and make me sound racist instead.

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  71. sortableturnip says:

    "Participants included 813 undergraduate students (500 young women, 313 young men, M age = 20, SD = 1.87) who were mainly European American (79%), unmarried (100%) and living outside their parents’ home (90%)"

    So their study consisted of….young white college students….could they have pigeon-holed this study any further???

  72. Zevorick says:

    He’s a fanatic, and fanatics rarely look at anything with an unbiased gaze. If so, he’d realize that this study is nothing to add to his "aha, i gotcha" repetoire.

  73. magic_taco says:

    Nope, I guess im gonna stay away from this topic for awhile, Apparently, Since Den Den gave us some news awhile back to the soon-to-rot-in-hell thompson reading this article, i need to look at some things, And if he is reading this, I hope he can actually think, instead of having a stroke.

  74. GoodRobotUs says:

    Personally, I wonder if Mr Thompson realises that, even if his unconstitutional law got passed, not one person interviewed would have been restricted in any way as to what games they could buy, since the median age of the people interviewed was 20?

  75. Kincyr says:

    the fact that Thompson has called us ‘potheads’ before confirms my suspicions that he payed these clowns off

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  76. Meohfumado says:

    Yes, because surveys are the most reliable of research techniques….

    "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

  77. Cecil475 says:

    Been playing videogames since 1986. Haven’t touched Pot, or another illigal substance at all. And, it would be someone from UTAH making this up.

     – Warren Lewis

    R.i.P GamePolitics 2005-2016

  78. Waffles says:

    "Junk Science" immediatlely clicked as soon as I read the pot comment.

    If you were me and you know my brother, you’d say its the other way around 😛 

  79. TBoneTony says:

    The trouble is that the sample size came from one small area in a school.

    If they took the sample from a larger protion of society, they will find allot more different results.


  80. janarius says:

    I finally finished writing my post at vgresearcher and there are a lot of caveats in the study, but as the researchers contend, this is only an exploratory study and let’s not get overblown by its findings.

    There is some interesting things to know that’s not in the press, which is the differential results from the student pool they sampled.

  81. Luvian says:

    I think the problem is that at least as it is presented here, it gives the impression they are actually claiming all these things are caused by video games.

    I grant you that individuals who would rather play video games than say, hang out at the club every night might be less social and have lower self esteem, but claiming video games were responsible for that would be ridiculous, in my opinion. Especially the self esteem part. Your self esteem isn’t suddenly going to leech out just because you start playing World of Warcraft.

    I can’t really comment on the pot part because I’ve never smoked any, but I’m guessing the kind of mood it produces is probably more conductive to sitting around than going out dancing.

  82. JustChris says:

    I actually saw this news story on TV, from the local ABC news station. The closing statement was that it is not clear whether video games were the cause of all these social problems, or if the social problems just lead to more game playing. So the only conclusion is that there is a correlation only between the two things.


  83. Neeneko says:

    Since many people go to games when their IRL life already sucks (poor relationships, low self esteem, etc), I wonder how much of this is ’cause’ rather then ‘effect’.


     edited to add:

    Ok, it looks like the researcher was explicit in saying that this is correlation NOT causation and that more research would be needed to dig into that issue.  I quote:

    The study didn’t allow Jensen and Walker to determine whether video games are drawing college-age adults away from social settings or if they are a way for those already struggling with relationships to spend their time. Walker guesses both are at play.

     Looking over it, this really is not a bad study and I think people are overreacting to it. This is a pure gathering data piece and does not claim to show causation, prove anything, or even claim which dirrection the connections go in.

    I think many of the reactions in this thread make gamers look pretty bad actually.  Someone finds some negative connections and people immediatly jump to the conclusion that it is BS.  This is no better then when JT picks which ones to believe and which ones to dismiss as not fitting with his world view.

  84. DarkSaber says:

    Yeah, the main problem is a spliff keeps going out because you keep getting absorped in playing the game!


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  85. MrKlorox says:

    Somewhat off track question: is the term pothead a stigma for pot users?  As in, do you not like it, or feel it shines a negative light on you?  The ones I knew didn’t seem to mind the term.

    Only if it’s used in a negative way. Much like when people say "I’ll pray for you" after telling them you’re atheist. It’s generally meant to be a slight to cannabis enthusiasts.

  86. Ambiguous says:

    Same here.

    Honestly though, most of their conclusions have nothing to do with games themselves, but rather with the culture of the people that often surround them.

    "the more the students play video games, the worse their relationships are with friends and parents (although this effect is modest)" – Thats just a huge DUH right there.  Anytime you spend on something is inevitably taken from something else.  If you happen to spend lots of time gaming, you have less time to build and maintain relationships, or at least those that aren’t explicitly involved with said acts of gaming.  The same could be said of studying.  But no one complains about that.

    "those who play video games daily smoke pot twice as much as other players and three times more than those who never play" – This is also somewhat of a no brainer.  Plenty of gamers I used to know also happened to be potheads, not that pot is anywere near as bad as any other drug on the market, though I never used it or any other substance.  If you are around potheads, you have an increased risk of becoming one.  Somewhat off track question: is the term pothead a stigma for pot users?  As in, do you not like it, or feel it shines a negative light on you?  The ones I knew didn’t seem to mind the term.

    "young women who play often have lower self-esteem" – This one is a huge no brainer.  Ever play any game online, and see people’s reactions when they discover someone is a girl?  I’ve seen all kinds of stuff, ranging from trying to arrange a meeting time to have sex, to asking for naked pictures, or just bombarding them with rude/crude language and "a/s/l?’s".

    But still, none (or rather, most.  The first one could be construed to be a direct effect of gaming too much) of this involves the games at all.  Just the people around them.


  87. sortableturnip says:

    I have NEVER smoked pot and am a avid gamer…

    I have a good relationship with my friends and family…

    I think this researcher was on the pipe when he came up with this nonsense…

  88. mr_mlk says:

    Home grown? That is quite cheap to get started and then can be used to fund your gaming habit.

    (puts on flameproof underpants)

  89. MrKlorox says:

    Exactly. I know a fair number of cannabis enthusiasts and only those aged 35+ do not engage in videogames. However they tend to to play guitar or go on walks or lie back and watch TV when they dose cannabis. These are all forms of unwinding like Zevorick said. The combination of cannabis and a favorite or relaxing activity make that activity that much more entertaining or relaxing. I don’t see why people are getting so offended.

    The link is there.

  90. Zevorick says:

    Why? He doesn’t state that video games cause pot smoking or that smoking pot makes you play video games. He is merely stating there is a correlation, and to be honest I can see it too. Of all the pot smokers I know, only one does not play video games regularly. She’s a D&D and is active in the SCA.

    He isn’t saying the majority of video game players are potheads. Far from it actually.

    Think about it. Most poeple smoke pot to either unwind or self medicate. Why do people play video games? A large percentage play video games to relax or unwind… destress.

    Remember, a small percentage multiplied by 3 or 4 is still a relatively small percentage in the grand scheme of things.

  91. Geoff says:

    Yes, but the issue there is the fact that it’s child molestation and endangerment, not the fact that it’s polygamy.

    Also the FLDS is a fringe group.  Trying to equate them with mainstream Mormonism is like trying to equate the KKK with mainstream Baptist or al-Queda with mainstream Islam.  Extreme, fringe groups are not accurate representatives of the religion as a whole.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  92. magic_taco says:

    Yeah, But i found that stuff sick, Considering last’s years raid against the FLDS ranch in texas that made people question some things about polygamy marriage and so on, And i really hate to get off topic of the discussion considering i really do love this site.

  93. Neeneko says:

    Unfortunatly a classic problem of groups that have been stereotyped (like here, gamers) tend to be even worse about stereotyping then the general population (rather then better about it like one would think they would be).


  94. MrKlorox says:

    I was a gamer LONG before I became a cannabis enthusaist. One of the reasons I continue to enjoy games is because I play them while high. Otherwise I lose nearly all immersion and patience.

    Also smoking, vaporizing, and eating cannabis all have different effects and side effects. Smoking (combustion) tends to release compounds that lead to longer high but with more lethargy. Vaporizing releases compounds that give more of a shorter heady euphoria that will allow one to continue being active. Eating lets the body use every compound and removes the "ceiling" that lung absorption has and tends to last longest and give the biggest body high, leading to more lethargy.

  95. Geoff says:

    That’s what I was thinking.  It’s not that gamers become pot smokers, pot smokers just like to play video games like the majority of the generation.

    I mean when you’re stoned you want to be entertained (with the exception of the rare breed of stoners who actually become more active or creative high) and just hang out in your dorm room.  If it’s not video games it’s movies or TV or music.  Pot makes you lazy (for most, anyway) but enhances visual and audio stimuli.  That boss at the end of the game while not on drugs?  Freakin’ cool.  The same boss while high on weed?  OMG THIS IS THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER!!! (sorry for the caps).  Pot just enhances the experience of the game.

    Or, *ahem*, so I’ve heard.

    That smell?  Oh, it’s sage.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  96. Neeneko says:

    The big question would be, how was the sample choosen?
    It is quite possible that the method they used to collect people pulled in a cluster who skewed the results.  It is also possible that mindless games are one of the news to do when high thus if one does smoke one could gravitate twards games while doing so… but playing games has no connection to making one smoke.  One way connection.

  97. MrKlorox says:

    Utah also has the best snowboarding mountains. You cannot deny the link between "board sports" and pot use.

  98. Geoff says:

    So?  I got no problem with polygamy.  If it’s between a group of consenting adults and there is a legal framework in place to make sure no one gets screwed out of benefits or other perks of the marriage contract I don’t see a problem.

    Those arranged marriages with 12-yr old girls on the other hand I do have a problem with, but that’s because I find it to be akin to slavery and is also child molestation, not because some of the sects that do it are also polygamists.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  99. Neeneko says:

    I would be surprised if this were actually true.  I can see the highest per-capita of non-secular polygamy, but I doubt anyone tracks the secular cases since those people try very hard to stay under the radar for the most part and are less ‘intersting’.  Last time I talked to a lawyer who delt with such cases she did not even believe that secular polygamy existed,…

    Always be suspsious of statistics or news articles about poly.  After the whole ‘gays are evil pedophiles’ meme fell out of favor with the general public they have been trying to attach it to a new group, and poly seems to be latest flavor.

  100. Doomsong says:

    It would also be interesting to note that Utah has the highest per capita population of practicing polygamists in the US.

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" – Benjamin Franklin

  101. MrKlorox says:

    But I joke with her that part of the reason I’ve never smoked pot or drank alcohol is because since I’m a gamer, I wouldn’t be able to play as well if I did.  "Gotta keep the gaming reflexes sharp!" I tell her.

    It’s quite the opposite. If you can play very well when very innebriated, you’ll be that much better when you do so sober. It’s like training in water for the resistance.

    Also cannabis increases immersion exponentially and often leads to thoughts that this life could be simulated and our bodies are merely a complex controller. I’ve heard much more ridiculous things from stone cold "sober" theologians.

  102. Zevorick says:

    That certaintly wasn’t my intention. The last thing I want to do is disparage gamers because I am one.  The intent of my post was to spread a little bit of knowledge. This study isn’t as flawed from a methodological standpoint as people want to believe.

    People have got to get over this knee jerk reaction if they want to take part in debate. It does nothing but make us all look bad.

  103. Zevorick says:

    To me it doesn’t matter how the study was done, it’s just another worthless study that doesn’t amount to any proof.

    You are expecting too much from this study. It’s intentions were not to determine proof of video games doing anything bad. It was to study the correlation between video games/gamers and varying risk factors in life. The purpose was to see how they were correlated, not how one causes the other. Due to the nature of the research design he had no choice but to go about it this way. Researchers do not have this vast freedom people think they do. There are internal review boards and ethics committees that oversee everything that is done. If they don’t approve it due to inherent risk to the participant, they can not do it. With certain restrictions the only ethical way to continue with a study is to do it by survey, and even then the survey must past the IRB.

    The correlation is insulting to the gamer population

    It is only insulting if you actively interpret his words as insulting. If anything he was shocked by the results and even states that it is no reason to get up in arms and panic. People are making mountains out of molehills and it’s silly to do so. Furthermore, all he did was report the numbers SPSS gave him. He did not disparage gamers with this study. He talked about the real correlations that are present. Nothing more.

    I still stand by what I said

    And you are free to do so.

    but I believe the tone of your article is a bit sharp on the population in this forum.

    It’s not my article… I didn’t write the thing nor did I get it published. I WISH I was head PI in a published article but alas, I am not that lucky.

    Even I was modestly affected.

    Again, you are misinterpreting the vocabulary used.

  104. shady8x says:

    Considering this is college students…

    I think he means they ALL SMOKE POT… and those who have time to play games also have time to smoke more pot so the two correlate….

  105. black manta says:

    Like I said in my above comment, I think the whole link between gaming and pot they found could be attributable to the fact that A) The subjects studied were young college students and as such, statistically speaking, drug experimentation is pretty…uh…high among that demographic and B) Gamers, like pot smokers, tend to embrace a noncomformist lifestyle (at least I do, anyway).  So it’s reasonable to assume at some point you’d find a percentage of people who do both.  So people who smoke pot also play video games, but not everyone who plays video games also smokes pot.

    Me, I’ve never touched the stuff (although I admit to being curious).  I have a friend who is both something of a gamer, as well as a casual pot smoker (she goes to an Ivy League college, BTW, is an excellent student and is looking to be editor of the newspaper, which shoots a big hole I think in the idea that people who smoke pot achieve nothing).  But I joke with her that part of the reason I’ve never smoked pot or drank alcohol is because since I’m a gamer, I wouldn’t be able to play as well if I did.  "Gotta keep the gaming reflexes sharp!" I tell her.

  106. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Taking a look at the full Deseret article, He did not go into this study expecting any negative results.

    He also talks about how they only studied single player games and wants to expand the study by comparing the results of a similar study on multiplayer games.

    For the relationship thing, I would have to agree. But the same is true with all hobbies. If you are doing anything to the extent that you neglect relationships, of course you are going to have worse relationships. I would say that if he look into the effects of multiplayer games, he will see the opposite effect.

    AS for the pot thing, that seems odd. I guess he means they aer more likely to smoke pot not that they smoke more pot.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  107. shady8x says:

    Considering that over 100 million adult Americans admit to having smoked pot and that most people below 25 at least try it… finding any group of people that don’t have a correlation with pot smoking would be impossible… (Though it is more prevailant amongst higher income families than lower income ones…)


    So if there was a study than bible reading or donating to charities could also be correlated with pot use… My point is, the pot smoking bit is to be expected in EVERY STUDY OF ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING…

    Also considering that pot kills a lot less then aspirin or penicillin or coffee… I don’t see how it really matters whether people are smoking it or not… I don’t see why people would want to alter their mind state or give up control of it for any period of time but to each his own I guess…


  108. black manta says:

    Oh, don’t you know?  JT already made that assumption years ago.  Remember how he’s always said we were on drugs, smoking crack or weed and that our frontal lobes were all fried from a combination of drugs and gaming?

    That having been said, the logic in this study sounds so flawed it’s astonishing.  Yes, people who smoke pot also play video games.  But not everyone who is a gamer is also a pot smoker.  Gamers, like pot smokers, tend to embrace a noncomformist lifestyle, so it’s inevitable at some point that these two would intersect, though not to the degree this study would suggest.  Also, yet again, they make it sound like smoking pot is such a baaaad thing when it really isn’t.  (I’ve said this before, but for the record I’ve never smoked it, although I have a few friends that do, and they’re responsible people, and I am with them in feeling it should be at the very least decriminalized.)  Considering that these were undergraduate students, could it be that both gaming and pot use could be attributed to the fact that they were…I dunno…young college students? 

    Yes, it is funny how this comes out shortly after the other study that refutes the link between games and school shootings.  It’s just like thay say, for every argument for, there’s one against.  Although it wouldn’t surprise me if JT or his friends in the Eagle Forum were somehow involved with this one considering this just came out of Utah where JT and some of his friends just happen to be right now.


  109. Praetorian says:

    To me it doesn’t matter how the study was done, it’s just another worthless study that doesn’t amount to any proof.

    The correlation is insulting to the gamer population and people don’t like being insulted. When they do get insulted they can lash out and be vicious. They can also get quiet let it fester inside of them leading to other emotional problems. They can also write the whole thing off and never come back to GP again. When people feel threated, they will offer a defense from their own lives or situations.

    I still stand by what I said but I believe the tone of your article is a bit sharp on the population in this forum.

    Even I was modestly affected.



    "I’ve been told I’m the resident skeptic, but I wouldn’t believe that."

    ECA Seattle Chapter

  110. magic_taco says:

    I’ve got little to complain or worry about,If they want to study or look more into a hypothesis in their reasearch, Then let them, Second of which, I want to know what was BYU smoking when they got to theory.

  111. Zevorick says:

    Wow. Knee Jerk reaction much?

    If you guys actually took a moment to think about the study, none of the results should surprise you. First of all, a "modest effect" means that the results were not all that compelling. In fact, that’s psychological jargon for saying "not quite statistically significant", or "statistically significant but the effect was hardly noticable"

    When you’re dealing with a huge sample size, it is very easy to get a statistically significant result. Unfortunately, it is MUCH harder to get an effect size that is worth a darn. The results garnered probably reflect minimal impact on the individuals lives and the lives of their families.

    Furthermore the "young women who play often have lower self esteem" shoudlnt surprise anyone at all. Be honest with yourself… what kind of body image do video games portray? You RARELY, and I do stress the rarely, see video games portray individuals with a realistic body. The men have bulging muscles and the women have bountiful cleavage with less than 2% body fat. Women are more affected emotionally by the portrayal of body image than men are. This is one of the main causes for eating disorders and is hardly anything new. Of course there is going to be a statistically significant result when it comes to self esteem. When you surround yourself with negative images all the time it is hard not to compare yourself to them!

    Furthermore, all this "I never did this so the study is bullshite" is just garbage and shows an ignorance of the statistical process. There is a reason why they studied 813 students instead of 1 person. You garner more data from a large number of people than a small number of people. This is a peer reviewed journal, and as thus I am 95% confident with the methodology within the paper. These articles are reviewed by a panel of licensed and qualified psychologists and psychiatrists whose entire job is to authenticate the methodology and legitimacy of the papers submitted to their journal.

    Finally, quit breaking the poor guys balls. He is reporting what the numbers gave back, and even stated that they did not expect these kind of results. You guys are cherry picking which statements to get upset about instead of taking the entire article into account.

    I’m a gamer too, but I’m also a student of psychology and when you know how to actually read a scientific article, it is hard to get upset about things such as "modest effect". These results are not damning and the author takes that into consideration. Of course the results will be used out of context, but that is no reason to bury them.

  112. Meohfumado says:

    Glad somebody has studied research methods and statistics.

    "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

  113. Zevorick says:

    They did read the full study, but the problem lies in their ignorance of psychology. There truly is a certain way you have to read these articles. The APA sets up regulations and procedures for those writing articles to follow and most journals reflect that. Unfortunately some researchers take it for granted that their main audience are those who have taken the proper courses and have the prerequisite knowledge to interpret their results accurately.


    "A number of univariate analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were conducted to determine whether mean levels of electronic leisure differed as a function of gender, living arrangement (living with parents vs. not), and ethnicity (African American, European American, Asian American, and other). In regard to gender, seven of the ten analyses conducted were statistically significant (see Table 2), with young men reporting more video game and violent videogame use than did young women."

    You’re telling me you expect a journalist to understand what the honest heck this is supposed to mean? This wasn’t taken from an unimportant section either… This was straight from the results. I’m not saying the journalists are stupid, it’s just that most people aren’t exposed to this kind of vocabulary and without knowing what an ANOVA is or what "Statistically significant" means, you can’t really take anything into proper consideration. They can only really gather second hand information from the Discussion section which does not adequately inform the reader if that is all they are focusing on.

  114. Good Lord says:

    "If a person plays videogames daily he’s not going to have time to smoke pot."

    You can’t multitask?

  115. Bennett Beeny says:
    • the more the students play video games, the worse their relationships are with friends and parents (although this effect is modest)
    • those who play video games daily smoke pot twice as much as other players and three times more than those who never play
    • young women who play often have lower self-esteem


    Firstly, the more a person does ANYTHING that takes a lot of concentration, the worse their relationships with parents and friends will be.  That’s hardly news to anyone with an ounce of reasoning ability.  Surely it doesn’t take a scientific study to figure out that spending time away from folks adversely affects a relationship.

    Secondly, like many others here, I call BS on the pot-smoking thing.  If a person plays videogames daily he’s not going to have time to smoke pot.  I play every day and I smoked one joint, back in the 1980s, and at the time I didn’t even own a videogame console.

    Finally, ‘young women who play often have lower self-esteem’?  Even if it’s true, what does that prove?  Is the author of the study really suggesting that games have some negative influence only on the female psyche?

    Notice the wording used – they don’t say ‘women with low self-esteem tend to play games more often’.  No, they use their words carefully in a way that makes it seem like the game-playing is causing the low self-esteem.  The bias is clear.

  116. Geoff says:

    "If a person plays videogames daily he’s not going to have time to smoke pot."

    Sorry, but from personal experience I can say you’re wrong about that.  Games have a pause screen for a reason…even unintended ones. 🙂


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  117. sortableturnip says:

    Is this study also showing that, if you’re white, and you play video games, you’re a pot-head?

    Also an FYI to the people that did this study…very little of the population has a high self-esteem…and your median age is 20??

  118. Zevorick says:

    Read the article, specifically the Methods section as that will tell you everything you need to know.

    I do have to question the validity of their chosen self esteem inventory instrument "The Self-Perception Profile for College Students" considering it only has 10 questions. from a psychometrics standpoint it is very hard to have a measure with strong enough convergent validity and internal reliability with less than 15 questions at the minimum.

  119. Artificial Selection says:

    I wonder what kind of device they used to measure womens confidence… And in the relationship with friends and family did they just count the subjects family members and friends (did they count internet buds, and clan members?). Or did they just use a friendship measuring device? 


    This study proves nothing, except maybe that gamers smoke more weed than the average person.

  120. d20sapphire says:

    Although your pun is quite clever, I’m sure it’s the new fashionable way to say caucasian.  

    It bothers me that there were more women than men in the study, by almost 200.  Is this saying more about female gamers than male?  I hope not.

    Also, repeat these results with random participants, not just a bunch of college students who are the same in so many statistical brackets.  I think the data would not be as damning.

  121. sortableturnip says:

    Participants included 813 undergraduate students (500 young women, 313 young men, M age = 20…) who were mainly European American (79%), unmarried (100%) and living outside their parents’ home (90%).

    Well, there’s your problem  😉

    And what the hell is a European American???  An American that likes to pee on things???

  122. Seiena_Cyrus says:

    I don’t care if it’s data collection or not, it’s kinda insulting that list of things.

    I play Video games daily, when I’m not doing my homework I game,

    My friends come over and we chat while I play, my mom comes in sits down chats while I play, it’s not like it’s really interfereing, mom or friends call me for something I drop the controller and go running. So to keep being told I’m anti-social annoys me -alot- because to make generalizations like that is to make oneself look ignorant.

    Two I tried Pot in High school after my friend Harrassed me into it and I went one time won’t kill anything…and it nearly killed me (Allergic to it >_> ) so no, I’m not more likely to smoke pot or any other drug just because I play video games, I did smoke Methampetamines back from June 2004 to July 2005…but that had nothing to do with Video games and everything to do with the man I loved being killed and my now ex-friend putting my emotions to the backseat of hers and feeling no support I did something stupid…wasn’t anything to do with Games

    And most importantly, this idea that a woman’s self-esteem issue comes from playing Video Games? Please…mine I know for a fact comes not from Video games but from being LD (Learning Disabled…hate that term -_-; ) and always treated like a special ed kid when if given the chance I could run circles around the entire class…but instead was told to my face by my teachers since Elementary school and other students that I was stupid, retarded, and worthless.

    If anything maybe he shoulda been checking for people like me where Video Games helped me become less mute and more talkative with people, thus raising my Self-Esteem enough to actually make friends (kid you not thats why I’m so anti-social in my College classes, I have issues with teachers and students so instead of potentially being laughed at like always I just stay quiet…)

  123. M. Carusi says:

    I can’t even begin to point out how many holes are in this study.  Say lots of people wear Crocs and have low self-esteem.  Bingo, wearing Crocs leads to low self-esteem!

    …Yeah, I chose that analogy on purpose. 😛

    M. Carusi

    Capitol Gaming

  124. GoodRobotUs says:

    ROFL So so true, I’m sure kids that lived in the 60’s never took drugs or listened to music their parents didn’t approve of, or, indeed, attend massive festivals that celebrated that fact….


    Oh wait…

  125. sortableturnip says:

    Homer : I don’t know, Flanders, having two wives could have its advantages.

    [Homer’s imagination conjures up himself lying in a hammock while Marge and the cocktail waitress chop wood and dig a hole, respectively]

    Homer : Chop, chop, dig, dig, chop, chop, dig, dig, chop, chop, dig, dig …

    Marge : You know, Homey, there’s so much more two wives could do for you …

    Homer : I hear digging, but I don’t hear chopping!

  126. Neeneko says:

    It will probably be a long time before we see any legal framework for polygamy.  Right now the gay community is using poly as an example of ‘at least we are not them!’, and the media is building a strong public association between polygamy and pedophillia.  Right now being openly poly is still grounds for being fired or having your children taken away.  Poly is the new gay.

    Maybe in another 20-30 years we will see some change, but I’m not holding my breath.

  127. Buckeye531 says:

    I agree. I played video games almost every day throughout my college years and I never even had the urge to smoke anything. The timing of this study and where it came from also puts the credibility of it in question.

  128. Hitodama says:

    "those who play video games daily smoke pot twice as much as other players and three times more than those who never play"

    Is that so? Funny, I play games daily and I’ve never even considered smoking anything. Perhaps it’s more along the lines of, those who smoke pot and play video games daily, have thier hands free to smoke more pot?

  129. magic_taco says:

    Wow, My parents didnt give a shit if i played video games as long as i had the money to pay for them and a continuing education,and the education thing is what im doing.

    Another bit of B.S reasearch from a state that legalized underage child marriage. 

  130. Alevan says:

    That is a load of BS.

    Mom and I are very close. We played video games together and she would read the RPG dialogue for me when I was a kid. My self esteem issues then was because the kids picked on me. I had this even before I picked up a controller, and I’m a woman. :/

    Maybe it can be the case of some, but not all. I hate how they like to put things in a category when it isn’t always the case.

    Amy Levandoski

  131. BearDogg-X says:

    Wow, yet another B.S. study. The timing is rather questionable.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  132. axiomatic says:

    I knew this was questionable science the very second I read it was from Brigham Young University (BYU).

    Seriously… no one thinks there is a alterior motive to this science coming from such a bigoted college?

  133. Wolvenmoon says:

    Yet another ‘study’ done by people who don’t really use any scientific method.

    All of these are qualitative findings, which can NOT be measured by any form of science. NOT quantitative.

    The pot smoking thing is utter bullshit, they may just have a problem in utah that they’re afraid to address. Maybe they should stop drinking out of that salty lake. I hear salt water causes hallucinations and delusions when consumed.

  134. Adamas Draconis says:

    Including moderation. Gotta know your limit somehow.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

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