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Gamers are also grafters

Pupils who play video games for a moderate amount of time are more likely to do their homework than children who do not play.

The discovery is one of several findings in a new advice paper on video games for parents and teachers by Mark Griffiths of Nottingham Trent University The psychologist said "moderate" users of video games are "more likely to have friends, do homework and engage in sporting activities than those who played no video games at all".

Dr Griffiths warned that one of the first signs of video-game excess was neglect of homework. Other signs include playing video games for more than three or four hours at a time, sacrificing social activities and attempting to cut down on games without success.

Dr Griffiths could not say how much more likely game-playing pupils were to complete homework, but said an earlier survey of 700 pupils had shown it was significantly greater than the non-playing group.

Videogames: advice for parents and teachers is published in the journal Education and Health (21:3), www.sheu.org.uk

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