Children and adolescents who spend less than an hour playing video games on school days are "better adjusted" than those who don't play video games, according to a study by Oxford University.
Dr. Andrew Przybylski surveyed 5,000 young people 10-15 years old, 75 percent of whom said they play video games every day. Questions for Electronic Gaming and Psychosocial Adjustment gauged how well they got along with their peers, how likely they were to help people in trouble and their overall satisfaction with their lives. Compared to other groups, gamer minors who played less than an hour a day were most likely to report satisfaction and suffer less from "emotional issues" and hyperactivity.
"Low engagement was associated with higher life satisfaction and prosocial behavior and lower externalizing and internalizing problems, whereas the opposite was found for high levels of play. No effects were observed for moderate play levels when compared with non-players," the study's abstract reads.
"In a research environment that is often polarized between those who believe games have an extremely beneficial role and those who link them to violent acts, this research could provide a new, more nuanced standpoint," Przybylski told The BBC.
"Being engaged in video games may give children a common language.
"And for someone who is not part of this conversation, this might end up cutting the young person off."
The study is the most recent in an ongoing series of video game research projects that have variously concluded that games can increase brain size, affect real-life perception and behavior and that multitasking video games help improve brain functions.