Video games are bad for children but not for the reason you think

Video games can be bad for children - but not for the reasons you might assume, according to new research from academics at the University of Oxford.

Researchers looked at teachers' assessments of the behaviour - academic and otherwise - of 200 pupils aged 12-13 at a school in south-east England. The students were also given questionnaires to ask how often they played video games and the type of games they played.

While the study found playing more than three hours of video games per day was linked to hyperactivity and less interest in school, it found no such link between playing violent video games and violent behaviour.

The research also found that playing under an hour of day of games can actually help children's behaviour, and those who played video games with a cooperative or competitive element had fewer emotional problems or issues with peers.

Lead author Dr Andy Przybylski, of the Oxford Internet Institute, said: "We can see links between some types of games and children's behaviour, as well as time spent playing. However, we cannot say that game play causes good or bad behaviour. We also know that the risks attached to game-playing are small."

The full findings are published in the journal, Psychology of Popular Media Culture.

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