Washington, DC – The average age of adult computer game players in the US is 35, belying the image of gamers as spotty teenagers.
But some of the stereotypes hold true: gamers are fatter and more depressed than the general population and reliant on the internet for finding friends.
A team led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysed survey data from 500 people aged between 19 and 90 in the Seattle-Tacoma area. Their playing habits and internet use were recorded, as were self-assessments of depression, personality, health status, physical and mental health, body mass index (BMI), and quality of life.
Those surveyed also estimated the time they spent during a typical week surfing the net and watching television, videos and DVDs.
Nearly half – 45 percent – reported playing video games. Female players were more likely to be depressed and in poor health than female non-players.
Video-game players also reported lower extraversion, supporting previous research on adolescents that linked video game playing to a sedentary lifestyle, a greater likelihood of being overweight, and mental-health concerns.