In the United States alone, an estimated 99 percent of boys and 94 percent of girls play video games with 97 percent playing at least one hour per day. The revenue from the video game industry topped $25 billion dollars in 2010 alone (compared to Hollywood's box office sales of $10.8 billion for the U.S. and Canada) and video games have become an important part of popular culture.
Media stories continue to warn about the potential dangers of video game playing, including potential addiction, violent behaviour, and depression, usually in the aftermath of a violent incident linked to video game use (such as the revelation that Sandy Hook Elementary School gunman, Adam Lanza, regularly played shooter games). After decades of research into the negative effects of video games, the results remain controversial despite a rise in treatment programs intended to wean young people off excessive video game use.
But is video game playing necessarily harmful? A new review article published in American Psychologist suggests that we need to look at the positive aspects of video game play, as well as the negative.
To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.