Spending hours playing violent video games stunts teenagers’ emotional growth, a study has found.

It is thought that regular exposure to violence and lack of contact with the outside world makes it harder for them to tell right from wrong. They also struggle to trust other people, and see the world from their perspective.

Researchers from Brock University in Ontario found that those who spend more than three hours each day in front of the screen are particularly unlikely to have developed the ability to empathise.

It is also thought that teenagers who play games regularly did not spent enough time in the real world to learn to take other’s thoughts into consideration.

Researcher Mirjana Bajovic said: ‘The present results indicate that some adolescents in the violent video game playing group, who spent three or more hours a day playing violent video games, while assumingly detached from the outside world, are deprived of such opportunities.

‘Spending too much time within the virtual world of violence may prevent [gamers] from getting involved in different positive social experiences in real life, and in developing a positive sense of what is right and wrong.’  Read More: Daily Mail