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Alcohol and tobacco content in UK video games and their association with alcohol and tobacco use among young people

Cranwell, J.C.; Whitamore, Kathy; Britton, John; Leonardi-Bee, Jo

Authors

J.C. Cranwell

Kathy Whitamore

John Britton

JO LEONARDI-BEE jo.leonardi-bee@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology



Abstract

Aims: To determine the extent to which video games include alcohol and tobacco content and assess the association between playing them and alcohol and smoking behaviours in adolescent players.

Design: Assessment of substance in the 32 UK bestselling video games of 2012/2013; online survey of adolescent playing of 17 games with substance content; content analysis of the five most popular games.

Setting: Great Britain

Participants: 1,094 adolescents aged 11-17 years.

Measurements: Reported presence of substance content in the 32 games; estimated numbers of adolescents who had played games; self-reported substance use; semi-quantitative measures of substance content by interval coding of video game cut scenes.

Findings: Non-official sources reported substance content in 17 (44%) games but none were reported by the official Pan European Game Information (PEGI) system. Adolescents who had played at least one game were significantly more likely ever to have tried smoking (adjusted OR 2.70, 95% CI 1.75 to 4.17) or consumed alcohol (adjusted OR 2.35, 95% CI 1.70 to 3.23). In the five most popular game episodes of alcohol actual use, implied use and paraphernalia occurred in 31 (14%), 81 (37%) and 41 (19%) intervals, respectively. Tobacco actual use, implied use and paraphernalia occurred in 32 (15%), 27 (12 %) and 53 (24%) intervals, respectively.

Conclusions: Alcohol and tobacco content is common in the most popular video games but not reported by the official PEGI system. Content analysis identified substantial substance content in a sample of those games. Adolescents who play these video games are more likely to have experimented with tobacco and alcohol.

Citation

Cranwell, J., Whitamore, K., Britton, J., & Leonardi-Bee, J. (2016). Alcohol and tobacco content in UK video games and their association with alcohol and tobacco use among young people. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 19(7), 426-434. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2016.0093

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 31, 2016
Publication Date Jul 18, 2016
Deposit Date Jul 10, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jul 18, 2016
Journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking
Print ISSN 2152-2715
Electronic ISSN 2152-2723
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 7
Pages 426-434
DOI https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2016.0093
Keywords Video games; Tobacco; Alcohol; Adolescent exposure; Content analysis; National survey
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/34054
Publisher URL http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/cyber.2016.0093
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0





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