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Gamers are smarter


The stereotype of of gamers as isolated, socially awkward losers hiding out in their parents' basements is wrong, according to a March study in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

Using psychological and game-playing data from more than 3,000 European kids between the ages of 6 and 11, a team of psychologists led by Viviane Kovess-Masfety of Paris Descartes University reports that "video games seem to be linked to better intellectual functioning and academic achievement." Fears that playing might have negative consequences on cognition were not born out: "High video game usage was not associated with an increase of conduct disorder or any externalizing disorder nor was it associated with suicidal thoughts or thoughts of death."

The researchers acknowledged that they haven't looked into what happens when gamers become adolescents. But based on their data, they conclude that "video gaming is entirely beneficial for cognitive functioning as well as for some aspects of mental health." In fact, more play was generally associated with better outcomes.