Gaming Behaviors among Polish Students with Visual Impairment
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The access of people with disabilities to digital solutions promotes their inclusion and participation in many aspects of life. Computer games based on hearing or haptic devices have been gaining popularity among persons with visual impairment (VI), and players tend to display improved spatial and abstract reasoning skills, as well as better social interaction and self-confidence, after playing these games. However, a recent survey suggested that excessive gaming could represent a public health concern as a harmful form of behavior in young people associated with risk factors of negative psychosomatic and physical complaints. Young persons with VI are regular users of various technologies, but little is still known about their media patterns. This study aimed to determine the characteristics of the variables associated with gaming for adolescents with VI. The participants were 490 students, aged 13–24 years, from special schools for students with VI. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. The current survey indicated a tendency towards excessive gaming in a significant proportion of young persons with VI. Sociodemographic variables are important in predicting gaming prevalence or screen time, but further research focused on establishing possible mediators (such as parental attitudes towards media) are necessary for identifying problematic gaming behaviors among students with VI.
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