The moral panic around video games is similar to previous entertainment-driven panics such as those around rock music and TV. The evidence isn't there

According to media reports, the perpetrators of mass shootings from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s were avid video game players. The reports found that participants punished opponents for longer, gave taste testers larger amounts of hot sauce, and were more likely to guess aggressive words after playing violent games. The effectiveness of these studies at measuring violent behavior has been questioned.

There was no evidence for a long-term link between aggressive video games and aggression. It found that lower quality studies were more likely to exaggerate the effects of games on player aggression than higher quality studies.

The same pattern has been repeated with respect to studies linking video games to poor mental health, which tend to report smaller effects once they use objective data on game duration.

He says that a new study can help draw a line under the question of whether video games are good or bad for us. Asking if food is bad for our body is similar to asking if food is good for us. It's a dumb question.

He hopes that we can get better at not thinking about video games in the same way. That is where all the interesting things are.

A group of academics wrote to the WHO in 2016 arguing against the inclusion of gaming disorder in its ICD guidelines due to the low quality of the research base and the fact that scholars had failed to reach a consensus. Six years ago, not much has changed, and researchers are still divided over the extent to which being addicted to games can be compared to addiction to drugs or gambling.

Tony van Rooij is a senior researcher at the Trimbos Institute in the Netherlands who focuses on gaming, gambling, and digital balance. He believes that predatory business models that game makers use to exert pressure on players' behavior, including encouraging them to make microtransactions to skip frustrating levels, play at fixed times, or log in daily to avoid missing out on something, is a worthwhile area of study.