Playing games online can improve young people's attitudes to foreign cultures, a new survey has found.
In a poll of Irish Students conducted by the Integration Centre, 50 per cent had a favourable or very favourable perception of individuals from other countries. However, this figure rose to 62 per cent among the respondents who play games online.
A similar number of gamers said they have friends from different cultures, compared to only half of students as a whole.
Ian McCafferty of The Integration Centre told the Irish Independent this difference is "significant".
"Academics and researchers are now beginning to focus on the potential positive impacts of gaming on young people," he added.
Online gaming can be a particularly useful means of social interaction for children and young people who live in isolated, rural areas. Satellite broadband can provide the fast and reliable connection needed to play games over the internet in even the most remote locations.