A new US study claims that college students that enjoy playing violent videogames are more likely to partake in risky behaviour such as drug experimentation and having lots of casual sex.

"This does not mean that every person who plays video games has low self-worth, or that playing video games will lead to drug use," said researcher Laura M. Padilla-Walker told Reuters.

Padilla-Walker is an associate professor at the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Journal of Youth

Her study looked at gaming and internet habits of 500 female and 313 male undergraduates, with an average age of 20.

The findings are reported in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. They also claim that they found "stark gender differences in video game and Internet use," Padilla-Walker said, with the guys playing violent videogames nearly eight times as often as the girls.

The males in the study used the internet for entertainment, daily headline news, and porn, while the women used the Internet for email and schoolwork

The researchers noted clear correlations between frequent gaming and more frequent alcohol and drug use.

Damn! We miss those halcyon days of carefree college life...