video game

Photo courtesy of CenturyLink

In honor of National Video Game Day on Saturday, CenturyLink released a new survey analyzing the effect of video games on relationships.

The survey found that nearly one in three 18- to 24-year-olds reported video games having a positive influence on their romantic relationships. That number increased to 52% when asking 18- to 24-year-old gamers.

“Video games can help people work together for a common goal, share challenges, compete, joint problem-solving and more,” said Dr. Ryan Earl, a therapist at the Chicago Center for Relationship Counseling.

“Video games, like anything else, can be a shared activity, and shared activities can foster intimacy between people.”

The relationship benefits of video games seem to fade among older adults, however.

Less than 10% of respondents ages 55 and over said video games positively influence their romantic relationships.

Professor and video game developer Dr. James Gaskin believes this has to do with generational differences, rather than individuals growing out of the benefits.

“Romantic partners from the millennial generation grew up with video games as a large part of their lives. Therefore, gaming is simply more natural and accepted,” Gaskin said. “Whereas with older generations, a partner who played video games was perceived as juvenile and irresponsible.” 

Only 4.2% of respondents said gaming has led them to a breakup.

The top three video games that were found to most positively affect relationships in order are Mario Kart, Call of Duty and Skyrim.

The full survey results are available on CenturyLink’s website.

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