New research released by French business school ESSEC claims that there is a significant overlap between those who play sports-based video games and those who engage in real-life sports.
"There is a strong correlation between playing video games and participating in real sports," said ESSEC's marketing department head, Thierry Lardinoit, according to a press release issued by UK trade body TIGA
. "Watching television is a threat to physical activity. Video games are not, however."
According to the study, 38 percent of male sports video gamers under the age of 21 play their favorite video game sport in real life as well, and 75 percent engage in some kind of sports activity. The study found that, as adolescents play more sports games, they become increasingly likely to pursue sports.
"Video games are frequently demonized," Lardinoit added. "We now know that these fears are unfounded. While it is difficult to fight against the consumption of video games, which has become more and more widespread among youth, we can use this consumption to further the realistic goal of encouraging physical activity among adolescents."
The study was conducted by students in the International Sports Marketing department at the Ecole Superieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales. It was not stated, however, whether the sample of gamers used to construct the data was exclusively French, or whether it was drawn from other regions.