The American Academy of Pediatrics has published a new study that concludes video game use may be affecting the mental health of children worldwide.

According to the new study, prolonged and excessive use of video games was shown to have a link to depression, anxiety and poor grades among school children.  The study observed children who played video games in many different countries.

In the study, approximately 9 percent of the students observed in elementary and middle school were found to be addicted to gaming. Over a two year time span 84 percent of those addicted to the games continued with their addiction. This led to the conclusion that gaming is more than a passing phase for most kids.

The children who played video games excessively also had higher rates of depression and other mental health concerns than those who were not addicted and played less often. Of the children studied, the ones that dropped their gaming habits also reduced their depression, anxiety and social fears.

The Entertainment Software Association issued a statement disagreeing with the conclusion. They touted that games had never been proven harmful and were even helpful. “Games are being used to improve our lives through education, health and business applications.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be limited on their game time. They suggest no more than one hour a day for elementary children and two hours for high school kids.