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Majority of Russians think video games do more harm than good – poll

Majority of Russians think video games do more harm than good – poll
Video games might be the most popular and profitable form of modern entertainment, but many Russians still consider them a waste of time, merely damaging health and provoking aggression, a new poll has revealed.

Some 58 percent of those surveyed expressed the belief that video games harm those who play them, state-run pollster VTSIOM announced on Tuesday. They contended that gaming causes addiction (26 percent), and impaired vision (13 percent), as well as aggression (10 percent).

“Representatives of all generations over 25 years of age are equally convinced that video games are detrimental,” VTSIOM said, adding that younger respondents didn’t see any problems with them.

There were also those, who defended time spent with the controller, saying that it helps develop logical thinking (10 percent), increase reaction times (six percent), and boost attentiveness (4 percent).

Another eight percent considered gaming a great way to achieve personal growth and expand intellectual abilities.

An earlier survey by VTSIOM revealed that a whole 48 percent of Russians have never played video games at all, while 33 percent used to do it in the past, but have now given up on the hobby. Around 19 percent of the country’s population are active gamers, with the majority aged between 18 and 24, the poll said.

In 2001, Russia became the first country to officially recognize e-sports as a sporting discipline. The country's Federation of Cybersports has organized more than 1,000 tournaments, in which thousands of players took part.

Russia cyberathletes and teams have collected numerous wins in international events, earning more than $23 million in prize money.

Russian-language gaming channels on YouTube are also going strong, with the most popular blogger Kuplinov having more than 7.4 million subscribers.

But many in the country still don’t see video games as equal to more traditional forms of entertainment, like movies or music, which completely contradicts the global trend. In the US, video games have been earning more money than the movie and music industries combined for almost a decade.

Last year, they generated around $135 billion, while Hollywood’s revenue stood at $43 billion, with record labels grossing another $10 billion.

Also on rt.com E-asy money: Fortnite teen twiddles his way to $3mn… but is he ‘an athlete’?

Maybe that’s the reason why games were chosen as a scapegoat after 22 people were killed and 24 others were injured in the shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas in early August. In the wake of the tragedy, Donald Trump claimed that “gruesome and grisly video games” contributed to “glorification of violence.”

Video games were also linked to shootings is Russia. A perpetrator who killed 21 people and injured almost 50 others at a school in the Crimean city of Kerch last October was described as a fan of Doom and other first-person shooters. However, there have so far been no studies that could establish a link between gaming and violent behavior.

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