Video games have virtually no effect on sleep (unless they're boring)

16 April 2010

Video-Games-PostersIdiots claim that video games are evil. They turn children into dead-eyed would-be mass-murderers, intent on numbing every single twitching nerve ending in their hallow little skulls with a dazzling array of gruesome pixelated deaths, holed up like smack-heads in their bedrooms.

Remember when everything was glorious fields? Me too. It was shit.

Such is the worry about video gaming that periodically, people furrow their brows and try and pin down what it is they don't like about our collective children's fascination with them.

If adults confessed that they just Didn't Get It, that would be fine. However, that's far too flimsy. They need something more startling. So while the murderous potential seems a little too far fetched, they nail the humdrum. IT DEPRIVES OUR TEENS OF MUCH NEEDED SLEEP! BINGO!

Well, the bad news for sadsacks is that a recent study has shown that computer games have pretty much piss-all effect on a person's sleep.

This preliminary study says that teens who played a violent video game took marginally longer to fall asleep than those who watched a relaxing nature film. To test the theory, researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, recruited 13 males (14-18 years old) with no existing sleep problems. On one night they sat beneath the duvet playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare for 50 minutes... the other night, watching March of the Penguins.

The difference between nodding off was seven-and-a-half minutes.

"We purposefully chose a very tranquil film to contrast against the very stimulating effect of playing a violent video game in the hope of producing the greatest effect on sleep," said Michael Gradisar, a senior lecturer in clinical child psychology who led the research. We were surprised that playing the violent video game did not lead to a much longer time taken to fall asleep."

Of course, to make this study more thorough, you'd have to compensate for the amount of crisps and pop that a teen goes through when watching a film or playing video games. This initial study shows that hand-wringing boobs worried about those nasty consoles need to find a new angle. Maybe they should look toward games like this and get flustered?



  • Wonkey H.
    Muscle March looks like the best Wii Game EVAH!
  • Joanne
    this study is a pile of mad dogs wank
  • PaulH
    Why hasn't this game been released for the Xbox...I demand answers!
  • Chris
    That video is disturbing...
  • Steve B.
    This looks like just the other Sunday when I drove past the Vauxhall Tavern. Except there were slightly more leather-clad bears in attendance that day.
  • Nobby
    It looks a bit homo-erotic to me.
  • Nobby
    1.15 is the British competitor. Is that a he or a she?
  • Guy G.
    I think the only way a video game would have an effect on my sleep is if I allow myself to get addicted to them and I stay up all night playing.

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