A new study published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine concludes that while gamers tend to spend less time on their homework, they spend the same amount of time socializing as non-gamers.
This flies in the face of the conventional (and misguided) wisdom that assumes gamers to be part of the trench coat mafia, holed up in suburban bedrooms, listening to Marilyn Manson, gothing-out their faces with make-up and piercings, getting ready to commit the next school shooting because nobody likes them and their only friends are pedophiles who chat online (okay, maybe I laid it on a little thick there).
In fact, (and I know this is ground breaking), kids who play video games are, well, kids. And, going further, the report found that only 36% of tweens and teens play video games.
While that may sound odd, that was exactly my experience. Going to high school in the early '90s I was exposed to the SNES, Sega Genesis, and the Playstation. Despite the ubiquity of these devices amongst high schoolers at the time, we were all simply too busy to do anything other than have a quick go at Street Fighter II.
Between sports, homework, school itself, and hanging out with friends, there just wasn't time for games.
Fast forward into college and that's when you begin to have some free time and that's when I began my love affair with Tecmo Bowl and NHL '94.
What people who don't play video games need to know is that they are part of life, just like watching TV or a movie, surfing the net, or playing some pick-up basketball.
So, all of you people who think games are evil, or addictive, or are ruining our youth, well, get over it. They're not.
If you really want to help kids, then refocus your drive into making sure that they have enough to eat, give them early childhood education, and make sure they have health insurance. The lack of those things is what is really ruining the next generation.
Oh, and then there is the insurmountable debt that each child is now born with thanks to our government's fiscal policies.