Those companies knocking around at the ECTS games show in London will be pleased to hear that computer games, it would seem, are not turning our nation’s offspring into a tribe of anti-social psychopaths. At least that’s what respondents to PC Advisor’s latest poll say.

A mere 17.1 percent agreed that children who play computer games are more likely to grow up violent and anti-social. More than half (50.7 percent) of the 1,342 poll participants disagreed that this was the case, while just over a quarter (25.9 percent) reckon it depends on the type of game.

The results of the poll fly in the face of findings from a study in Japan. According to research carried out by Professor Kyuta Kawashima, children who play computer games can suffer from arrested development of the brain.

However, the fact that your child is bludgeoning axe-wielding pixies to death with a claw hammer in the latest shoot-em-up is completely irrelevant. The problem is one of cerebral stimulation.

The thought processes required to play computer games, says Kawashima, are so simplistic that only parts of the brain associated with vision and movement are stimulated. The vital front lobe, which is responsible for self control, is ignored.

Hundreds of teenagers took part in the Japan study, which compared game-playing children with peers subjected to regular maths exercises. The latter group were found to exercise greater self control, as their front lobes had been fortified by mental arithmetic.