New Study Reveals Video Games Seed Misogyny in Men, Obesity, More (APRIL FOOLS)

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For years there has been a massive fight over the effects video games can have over the individual. Many researchers claim that video games can show significant benefits to a person’s mental health, either through catharsis, or by teaching co-operative skills. Other researchers claim that this isn’t the case, and that there are extreme mental and physical health issues that can come from an over-exposure to games. One such researcher is Dr. Andrew Feldstein, and his ten-year study might finally put this argument to rest.

In this study, the effects video games had on individuals were examined from multiple levels to support the hypothesis that an over-exposure to video games might lead to significant health issues. At the age of ten, participants were chosen based on the amount of video games that were played on a regular basis. Participants that showed a significant amount of play were placed into the hypothesis group (aka the gaming group), while participants that showed a lack of exposure to video games were placed into a control group, or non-gaming group.

The amount of participants was fairly robust. In each group there were roughly 500 children participating. In terms of gender there was a fairly even split for those in the non-gaming group, while there were only 200 female participants in the gaming group. Racial demographics for the gaming group were fairly noteworthy as only 20% of the participants were either of African American or Latino descent. Further testing is needed to determine whether or not this is relevant.

These two groups were given extensive examinations to determine their levels of mental and physical health. These examinations ranged from observing oxygen levels, to depression scale analysis, to problem solving tests. In the gaming group, the amount of video games the participants played was recorded, and over several years any participant that was no longer playing video games was removed from the study.  These results were recorded and participants were asked to come back for further testing every year.

After ten years of study, the final results for these participants have finally come in, and the results are quite shocking. 20% of participants in the gaming group showed increased signs of depression and anxiety about the world.  15% of the gaming participants failed to pass Milberg’s Interpersonal Communications Examination (M.I.C.E.) which suggests that they might be at an increased risk of being secluded and ostracized. 45% of participants showed an increase in violent aggression.

Participants were also shown to have an increased hostility towards females playing video games. In one of the tests, participants were asked to play a first person shooter with a group of 3 others. 2 were other participants, while the 3rd was an actor. When the actor was male, most of the participants would display aggressive or rude remarks, however when the actor was a female, many of the aggressive or rude remarks were of a sexist and bigoted nature. Out of the entire group of gamers, only 10% of participants did not display these tendencies.

The results of the physical examination were even more disturbing and should cause many of those in the gaming sphere to seriously reconsider their favorite hobby.  Out of the 500 participants that had shown a tendency for playing video games, over 75% showed increased heart palpitations. This is often a concern for those with a history of heart disease, as heart palpitations are one of the biggest warning signs of a heart attack.

Another cause for concern is that many of the participants showed a significant increase in lethargy. In a running examination, roughly 65% of gaming participants ran significantly slower than their non-gaming counterparts, and on endurance tests quit far earlier than their non-gaming counterparts. Dr. Feldstein asserts that this is due to the participants’ overall lack of energy and enthusiasm. It was also determined that gaming participants walked far fewer steps than non-gaming participants on a day to day basis. While most non-gamers walk an average of 7000 steps a day, 35% of participants walked just 3750 steps a day. This can also increase the likelihood of heart-attack and other health issues.

Perhaps due to this fact and a poor diet, gaming participants also showed an increase in weight, often between 10- to 50 pounds greater than their non-gaming counterparts. When asked what their diets mainly consisted of, many non-gamers would claim a home-cooked meal and coffee from Starbucks, while gamers showed a preference for chips, soft drinks, and fast food. While it would be important to know if this was due to a lower financial status, or due to laziness, one thing is certain–marketing these products to the gaming community has worked fantastically.

From a scientific standpoint this study has a few flaws, but overall, due to the extreme length of the study and the fairly large amount of participants, it seems to check out. Most gamers, according to Dr. Feldstein, have problematic anger issues focused towards women and minorities. As someone enthusiastic about gaming, the results make me sick, and it’s forced me to take another look at myself. While I know that I’m not like that, and I would never insult a woman while playing a multiplayer game, I can’t help but be reminded of how disgusting gamers can be.

If this study is anything to go on, game developers have a long way to go before any woman or minority can actually feel safe online. Some things Dr. Feldstein suggests in order to make the gaming community safer would include:

  •  An increase in female main characters, to make women feel much more relaxed and comfortable.
  • A vocal trigger on certain bigoted, anti-Semitic, anti-migrant, misogynistic words that would lead the player to have their chat privileges removed.
  • An increase in developers speaking out against the men’s rights activists that plague their communities.
  • A decrease in sexualized female characters.

Dr. Feldstein argues that if these things were to occur, many of the mental health issues discovered would slowly dissolve, making the video game community a whole lot healthier in general.


I am a research student with a history in psychology. I am a fan of tactical rpgs and I love to travel. I hope to one day be a clinical psychologist.

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