Video games positively affect teen’s social lives


Emmit Whalen, Staff Writer

It’s 5 a.m. on Saturday morning. You would think you are waking up ready to start the day, but that is wrong.  You are playing “Call of Duty: Warzone” with your friends and having the time of your life. You are “catching them dubs” and “winner winner chicken dinners.” You hear your parents waking up as you die in “Warzone” and yell: “One v. one me you bot!” Suddenly your mother in her morning hair and robe yells at you saying, “It’s 5 a.m. This is why you don’t have any real life friends!” You stare at your mother before sipping your G-fuel and simply tell her, “It’s for the boys. I am having fun, Mother.” 

Parents and scientists right now are discussing whether or not video games impact teens’ social life in a positive or negative way.

The Child and Family blog website analyzed a survey done of 8, 10 and 12 year old children. Duncan Fisher said that kids that play videogames are linked to being less socially competent two years after they start playing video games.

Video games negatively affect girls more than boys according to the survey. This is linked to girls not socializing over video games and instead more about other topics. This causes some girls to fall behind socially according to this survey. Specifically stating that for boys and girls, video games lead to people being not as good at socializing compared to kids that don’t play video games.

However, many studies are out there on the internet to rebuke this singular study.

In an article by the American Psychological Association, Dr. Lisa Bowen wrote, “More than 70 percent of gamers play with a friend, and millions of people worldwide participate in massive virtual worlds through video games such as ‘Farmville’ and ‘World of Warcraft.’”

This quote debunks the statement that video gamers don’t know how to talk to people as more than 70% of people are socializing the entire time while playing.

Some argue that teenagers are missing out on many chances including romantic relationships, but this isn’t necessarily true. 

In a survey that was done by Mark Griffiths, a professor at Nottingham Trent University, over 11 thousand gamers who played the game “Everquest” were surveyed on romantic relationships and friendships they have while playing the game.. A quarter of the 11 thousand people that played the game mentioned that their favorite part of “Everquest” was connecting with people online. Griffith’s survey found that gamers still have good relationships with other people while still playing video games.

Bryan Lufkin in a BBC survey on gaming said, “Ten percent of those in the survey actually ended up forming romantic relationships outside of the game.” 

Fast forward to 2020, and Griffiths says that when lockdown began and people had nothing much to do, ‘maybe they’re gaming for the first time, and they realised this was an outlet you can naturally socialise in.

One argument left from critics is one gamers have heard time and time again, “Gamers are spending too much time playing games and are locked in their rooms all day.”

However, that statement is incorrect. In a survey done by Limelight Networks said, “Gamers play for 1 hour 22 minutes at a time on average.” Not the stereotype of 5 to 6 hours at a time.

Next time you think to grab that controller or hit the on button to your computer, don’t hesitate. You aren’t destroying your social life at all, in fact you are being more social and have the opportunity to reach out to people around the world.