Just a rain shower ago, I highlighted a stunningly surprising piece of research suggesting that video games feed the male need to dominate.
My Sunday has been infiltrated with news from yet another bunch of huge brains. This time, it's the chaste scientists from Brigham Young University in Utah, who have spent money to discover that the more you play video games, the more your personal relationships will suffer.
The researchers crunched their numbers simultaneously with their granola to reveal that increased video game participation brings with it increased involvement in something called "risky behaviors." These seems to include things such as the abuse of alcohol and illegal substances.
For example, those of you who play video games every day apparently smoke twice as much as pot as those who indulge their Grand Theft Auto demons only occasionally--and three times more than those for whom video games are a mortal sin. That could mean that you pot-smoking gamers are, perhaps, 21 and male.
Naturally, the big Brigham brains didn't just emit portents of, um, doom. They also offered some hope--that's what researchers are supposed to do. They suggest that the link between gaming and behavior of a less than social nature is only "modest." And they are living the dream that family-oriented video games like Wii will somehow prove not to be antisocial. So, kids, give up killing people on screen, and take up tennis.
Please forgive me if I find this research a touch difficult to swallow with my blueberry muffin. If I put the two pieces of work together, I find that gamers have a desperate need to dominate, and therefore smoke a lot of pot and have bad relationships. It all seems a little fanciful.
So, because this country needs all the money it can get, I would like to save these scientists' time, money, and brains. Here are the results of my multibillion-dollar research, undertaken all over the world.
Some people play video games; others don't. Some smoke pot; others don't. Those who play video games include silly little boys, slightly less silly little boys, men with large responsibilities for whom video games are the only release after they've put the kids to bed, women who--guess what?--just enjoy playing, and millions of other people who play them because they find them fun.
Yes, my friend Cristiano is very pale because he starts gaming at midnight and doesn't finish till 6 in the morning. He is still a nice man. And he doesn't appear to smoke pot. But his girlfriend is getting a little annoyed. Less because he sleeps at the wrong time of day and more because he is so pale and putting on weight. There's is also the fact that he has started to speak in a strange Martian-like language.
Unfortunately, no research will ever prove that gaming is a threat to society. Because it isn't. Unless you want to believe that Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney behaved as they did because of an uncommonly excessive affection for pinball at the arcade in their youth.
We are all weak. We all need something to take our minds away from the sad elements of reality. Some choose video games. Others choose Brooke Hogan or the fabulously pretty cast of Twilight.
Please, dear scientists, will you just put your brains to solving the world's economic crisis? Because if none of us has jobs, we won't be able to buy any more video games. Thank you so much.