Gamers Old, Fat, Sad: Disease Control Study Says

Dennis Faas's picture

What do you think of when you imagine the typical video gamer? A pre-teen hopped up on 7-Eleven slushies and processed cheese nachos twiddling his PlayStation 3 controller in front of the boob tube at 3am?

You might be wrong.

A recent study found that the average age of gamers is surprisingly high, and that the average player might also be overweight and understandably unhappy about it.

This most recent study was launched by researchers from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. They examined approximately 552 adults between the ages of 19 and 90, most from the Pacific Northwest, specifically the Seattle and Tacoma, Washington area. (Source:

Gamers Tech Savvy, but Not Happy

Just under half of the sample respondents (or 45 percent), admitted to playing games frequently. Just over half, or 56 percent, were men.

Here's what they found: the men who admitted to playing games were more likely to be overweight. They were also more likely to use the Internet, suggesting they may also be more tech-savvy than the non-gamer.

The average age of gamers in the study was 35.

Women who played video games regularly were reportedly more likely to suffer from greater levels of depression and poor health than women who did not play games. Gamers of both sexes, the study found, were also more likely to be introverted and to spurn social events.

Gaming is 'Self-medicating'

The latter finding, that involving depression, has led some of the researchers involved in the study to suggest that gaming could often act as a self-medicating drug for those who play them -- in other words, a form of escape. "In short, they literally 'take their minds off' their worries while playing a video game," the researchers announced. (Source:

Few of the study's findings will truly shock the American public. However, it's unlikely to harm an innovative and increasingly mainstream industry.

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