Parents unfair to gamers of the fairer sex?


10 Oct 2007

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If you’re a girl gamer who lacks the killer instinct when it comes to playing video games you can blame it on your parents. That’s if a recent study by PopCap Games is anything to go by.

The games company, based in the Digital Hub in Dublin, found that when it comes to video games, it appears that parents can be decidedly sexist.

Some 60pc of parents or grandparents surveyed did not allow their female offspring aged 14 and upwards to play hardcore video games – a responsible figure until it turned out that only 37pc forbid boys in this age group from playing these kind of games.

“Parents tend to be somewhat more protective of their daughters in what they do than they are of their sons, allowing for a bit more independence and leeway for the boys,” says Dr. Carl Arinoldo, a New York-based psychologist of 25 years, commenting on the study.

“Despite this being somewhat outdated thinking, it is a perspective still shared by many parents. But most experts agree that exposing children and adolescents to graphically explicit content should be avoided, and this applies to both genders.”

While adolescents are given somewhat more leeway it seems that nearly three quarters of parents and grandparents to those under 14 completely ban these games with strong content.

Hardcore gaming aside, it was also found that playing games online for just five minutes a day helps to lower stress levels by reducing blood pressure through slower breathing and heart rate.

PopCap joined up with the Stress Management Society to create a stress test at http://www.popcapstresstest.com for people to test their stress levels and get tips to manage it in their everyday lives.

This writer would have thought that blowing pixilated people to pieces or other such hardcore gaming activities would be the perfect form of stress relief.

By Marie Boran