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Yale Study: “Recreational Gaming Is Relatively Harmless”

Yale Study: “Recreational Gaming Is Relatively Harmless” (photo)

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With the Supreme Court hearing on Schwarznegger v EMA, the public consciousnessjust rounded yet another bend on the perpetually winding road of video game demonization. Part of the argument that politicians like Leland Yee use to back their alarmist logic is the constant imminent threat video games pose to our children.

Now, a new study by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine suggests that video games may not be so deleterious after all. Professor Rani Desai and her partners surveyed more than 4,000 young people about their gaming habits and how they relate to their health and wellness behaviors. Surprisingly, aberrant social behavior was found to be more prevalent in girls who game regularly than in boys. From Yale’s Public Affairs site:

They found that 51.2% of the teens played video games (76.3% of boys and 29.2% of girls). The study not only revealed that, overall, there were no negative health consequences of gaming in boys, but that gaming was linked to lower odds of smoking regularly. Among girls, however, gaming was associated with getting into serious fights and carrying a weapon to school.

As for the claims of addiction that dog video games, only 4.9% of the sample group gave answers that suggested they had problems controlling their usage. This study probably won’t quell the outcry from hyper-anxious pundits who see video games as a socio-cultural boogeyman. But what it points towards is far more important than that. The work of Dr. Desai and her colleagues places video game entertainment–and the problems that it may sit next to–in a more well-rounded context, instead of blaming games as the root cause for behaviors like drug use, depression or fighting. It may be comforting to pin troubling tendencies on a game a kid might be playing but that kind of thinking doesn’t get to the core of what might be wrong. Children deserve better than that.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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