GOT GAME?

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College students are playing a lot of games, and not all of them involve Tequila shots. Computer, video and Internet games are hot among today's college crowd, with 65 percent of students reporting that they are regular gamers, according to a nationally representative survey of 1,162 college students by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in Washington, D.C. If you think all these gaming fans are geeky boys holed up alone in their dorm rooms, think again. Nearly half of students (46 percent) who play video games (games played on systems such as Nintendo or Sega) say they play multi-player games with their friends. And 1 in 5 goes so far as to say that play time actually helps them make new buddies or improve their existing relationships. While about the same number of male and female students report playing video games, more women than men (60 percent versus 40 percent) play computer games (solitaire, etc.) and online games (Internet-based games against other remote players). Researchers say that part of the reason the gals aren't as keen on video games as the boys may be because many of these games tend to be violent in nature. Also, some women may be put off by video game characters that often exaggerate and stereotype gender roles, whereas computer games generally don't require players to choose a character and online games offer more options to disguise and manipulate their identities.

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