Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Role Playing (Games)

Gamers Are Fitter (and Sadder) Than You Think 341

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the crying-on-a-treadmill dept.
missb writes "According to NewScientist.com, online gamers are no 'couch potatoes'. US researchers quizzed players of the role-playing game EverQuest II, and found adult gamers to be in better physical condition than the average American. The downside, however, was the gamers reported more cases of depression and substance abuse than their compatriots."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Gamers Are Fitter (and Sadder) Than You Think

Comments Filter:
  • Truth. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davidangel (1337281) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @07:53AM (#25053331)
    MMORPG is a substance.
  • That reminds me... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by red star hardkore (1242136) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:01AM (#25053421)
    I need to get more diazepam for my next clan battle in counterstrike.
  • Re:Erm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:02AM (#25053437)
    "Hey, answer this questionnaire and get mad 3p1c wepp0nz!"

    "Sure. Multiple choice, excellent. A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A Now give me my sodding purple."
  • Re:Everquest 2? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nicolas.kassis (875270) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:03AM (#25053457)
    I must admit that the demographic for EQ2 is very different then for say GTA. Even WoW has a much younger audience.
  • by the_skywise (189793) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:04AM (#25053471)

    They never WIN...

    YAAAYYY!!! I'm level 8...

    ooh... but I'm not level 9...

    Games like that are a sharp contrast of what you have/haven't achieved until you top out the game... and then it's on to the next game.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:08AM (#25053519)

    It's a shame, because it affects the conclusion. IMHO it should be -

    Gamers disaffected with society, resulting in depression, supporting evidence consisting of substance use...

    When what we'll get is

    "Gamers depressed! Turn to drugs!" or "Games depress people and are a gateway to drug use!" or "Drug use causes depression and can lead to gaming!"

  • heyho. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by apodyopsis (1048476) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:18AM (#25053623)
    so people suffer from depression and substance abuse when they spend most of their time indoors by themselves and most of their friends are virtual?

    in what fashion is this news?

    any doctor from the 50s could of predicted this given the symptoms/way of life of a hard core gamer. they'd of been horrified to learn that most of us sit in a chair for hours at a time hammering like poor possessed souls on little rows of buttons. as for junk food and long range commutes - who knows what they would of thought?
  • by flonker (526111) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:40AM (#25053917)

    or "Depressed people more likely to self medicate with drugs and computer games!"

    Correlation is not causation.

  • Re:heyho. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oxidiser (1118877) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:46AM (#25053973)
    I've often wondered why gamers are the pariahs of the home entertainment world. It's much more acceptable to society if you lay on your couch all night and stare at the idiot box. I'll bet if you described the two activities to a doctor from the 50s he'd be slightly more concerned about the person doing literally NOTHING than the gamer who has to at least use his brain and move (albeit very little). I play MMOs and I'm not "hammering like [a] poor possessed soul" on my keyboard. What the hell does that even mean? People who don't play MMOs sure have a funny view of those that do. I'd wager more than 99.9% of us don't waste all of our time playing games, don't live in basements, aren't virgin, aren't fat, etc. But then again, probably most of the people who pick on gamers are TV watchers I mentioned above and they want to feel better about their sedentary activity of choice.
  • by arth1 (260657) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:58AM (#25054139) Homepage Journal

    Speaking of other games -- who made the erroneous extrapolation that what applies to Everquest II players will necessarily apply to "gamers"? The "researchers", the slashdot submitter or the editor?

    Perhaps there is a common cause for depression, playing EQ2 and being "healthy" (or did they mean "not overweight", and made another erroneous extrapolation?), and perhaps not.

    In any case, this doesn't say anything about gamers in general. To use a car analogy for a change, this is like studying a group of people who own a Ford Explorer, and then extrapolate this to draw conclusion about drivers.

  • Note (Score:2, Insightful)

    by soast (690658) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:58AM (#25054153)
    depression and substance abuse = better physical condition
  • bullshit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon AT gamerslastwill DOT com> on Thursday September 18, 2008 @09:04AM (#25054257) Homepage Journal

    because we all know how well players of MMORPG games, especially eq2, represent themselves as truthfully as possible.

    they're all lying about their fitness. They're playing these sort of games because they're unhappy about their body image. So they create a new one in-game.

    The study is bullshit, it is completely worthless. The researchers might have thought about that before investing the time and money.

    This is like studying how many monkeys would fling poo if given the chance.

  • Re:Erm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sinbios (852437) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @09:27AM (#25054657) Homepage
    I don't think you understand how statistics work.
  • by james_bray (188143) * on Thursday September 18, 2008 @09:31AM (#25054747) Homepage

    Many gamers are socially inept...
    Gamers want GF/BF so they keep themselves trim...
    Gamers dont get GF/BF so they get depressed/abuse substances.

    QED

    James (A Single Gamer)

  • I agree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by koan (80826) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @10:13AM (#25055429)

    I am fitter than most of my co workers and I game quite a bit, FPS only these days as RPG's are to addictive.
      I can see why there would be more depression and substance abuse, after all they don't call it "Evercrack" for nothing, and video games are just another escape like drugs or alcohol for some people.

    I think it stems from lack of control / feelings of powerlessness in real life and when they game (especially RPG'S) there is a feeling of control and power, escapism at its finest.

    In either case I chose to only play quake style FPS (TF2, Quakewars, ETC) instead of RPG's, because in an RPG I wind up putting more effort into the game than I do my own "real life".
    FPS I just shoot characters for a few hours and I am done no character to worry about.

  • has become a self-reflexive meme, especially on slashdot, used without thought

    well guess what: finding a correlation is the first step in establishing causation, and it is entirely logical to conjecture a causative arrangement once a correlative conneciton has been established

    so in the future, i would suggest that you, and anyone else reading this comment who loves vomiting "correlation is not causation" as a substitute for actual thought, to spell out exactly why you think there is no causative arrangement here, or in any other discussion

    because i, and many others i think here on slashdot and elsewhere are pretty sick of the smarmy "correlation is not causation" kneejerk response

    its nothing more than intellectual laziness at best, but most usually intellectual dishonesty

  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquar ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday September 18, 2008 @10:45AM (#25056013) Homepage Journal

    where all drugs were 100% legal, including meth, heroin, cocaine, etc., the use of these substances would still be seen as a mental health issue

    because it is not mentally normal to need a foreign substance to support your brain chemistry

    it may be harmless, yes, but look at any cigarette smoker and you pretty much have a compelling picture of the parasitism that is substance addiction

    anyone who doesn't NEED drugs understands what i am talking about

    and if you say you don't NEED a certain drug, and are right now formulating a rationalization against these words of mine, then congratulations: you are probably an addict. an addict needs a hard, reactive wall of rationalization to convince themselves to constantly need a foregin substance for their brain chemistry

    in fact your words above "an indicator that the person has little regard for this area of law, and may be disconnected from society/not buy into its values" screams rationalization

    using drugs has absolutely nothing to do with being countercultural. there are many people who buy all of a society's questionable values who become addicts (rush limbaugh) and there are plenty of counterculture icons who don't use drugs at all

    or, put another way, when it comes to being counterculture and using drugs, correlation is not causation ;-)

  • by Conficio (832978) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @10:48AM (#25056067) Homepage

    "US researchers quizzed players of the role-playing game EverQuest II"

    To conclude from a random quiz of a single game anything about a much broader community "gamers" is a far stretch.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @11:30AM (#25056705)

    "where all drugs were 100% legal, including meth, heroin, cocaine, etc., the use of these substances would still be seen as a mental health issue"

    Those ones you mentioned, perhaps so. Other substances less so, clearly depending on whether people are exhibiting addictive behaviour.

    "because it is not mentally normal to need a foreign substance to support your brain chemistry"

    Agreed. Where exactly was "need" mentioned?

    "anyone who doesn't NEED drugs understands what i am talking about"

    I don't understand what you're talking about and it's been years since I transgressed the law in this area. You've jumped straight from me saying "not all drug use is abuse" to accusing me of being an addict.

    "and if you say you don't NEED a certain drug, and are right now formulating a rationalization against these words of mine, then congratulations: you are probably an addict. an addict needs a hard, reactive wall of rationalization to convince themselves to constantly need a foregin substance for their brain chemistry"

    You're barking up the wrong tree mate. My complaint was the immediate anti-drug stance (i.e. no qualification of the word abuse) taken by the media. You're the one coming up with talk about addiction, habits etc.

    "in fact your words above "an indicator that the person has little regard for this area of law, and may be disconnected from society/not buy into its values" screams rationalization"

    Please explain. It is now very commonplace for people to smoke weed, however doing so implies a disregard for the law of the land. It does not necessarily imply addiction, any more than going for a beer with your buddies after work implies alcoholism.

    "using drugs has absolutely nothing to do with being countercultural."

    Didn't say it did, I said it implied lack of respect for that area of law and not buying into society's values, notably the ones that brought that law into being and keep it in place.

    "there are many people who buy all of a society's questionable values who become addicts (rush limbaugh) and there are plenty of counterculture icons who don't use drugs at all"

    Again with the addiction! I would also suggest that Rush does not buy into the crap he spews forth.

    "there are plenty of counterculture icons who don't use drugs at all"

    So?

    "or, put another way, when it comes to being counterculture and using drugs, correlation is not causation ;-)"

    Yes, but when it comes to taking illegal drugs you are breaking the law, this shows explicitly that you don't respect that part of the law or the social values that brought it into being and keep it there. It's pretty simple.

    I'm not trying to paint some sort of counterculture mystique here, just say it is possible to use some of these things without being or becoming an addict or an "abuser", and that if you do you probably don't fully buy into the values of the society you find yourself in as you are going directly against them.

  • by TerranFury (726743) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @12:25PM (#25057711)
    Hello? Are you his unpleasant ex-wife?
  • Re:Erm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Omestes (471991) <omestes@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Thursday September 18, 2008 @01:07PM (#25058533) Homepage Journal

    I'm a relatively happy and healthy (not athletic, but 6'4"/185lb), and I play MMOs mostly to socialize, not hide. Some of my old friends from high school play who I haven't actually seen in person for 12 years, so its a nice way to get together and hang out, especially when distance and schedules keep us from meeting in person that often. Probably still healthier, since we'd probably be meeting in the local pub.

    If your definition of gaming includes the idea of hiding, then you have an unhealthy relationship with games. I've been playing video games since I was 6, and using the internet since I was eight, these are increasingly just becoming a way of life, much like television and books, to an increasing amount of the population. Is watching 2 hours of TV after work escapism? Is reading a novel? What about a nice solitary hike (not as exercise, but just to blow the stink off)? All of these are somewhat escapist, I suppose, but not necessarily unhealthy when taken in moderation. All of them have about the same value, and the same purpose.

    Though I admit, sometimes I use both the hike and the games as an escape mechanism, not often, but sometimes they make for a good, cheap, vacation from stress. If I still read much fiction, it too would be a good mini-vacation, but sadly I don't think technical manuals and philosophy tomes are very relaxing.

    As in all things, moderation is key, and your relationship with whatever activity. I've seen people be far more self-destructive with exercise than I have with gaming or reading. To be honest, I find sports more unhealthy than gaming most the time, since it is MORE stressful to the participants.

  • Re:Erm... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 18, 2008 @03:08PM (#25060679)
    It has been my observation that starting your post with "Wrong." really makes you sound like a nerdy 13 year old.
  • Re:Erm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by plague3106 (71849) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @03:19PM (#25060841)

    Life is pretty boring though if you don't go to excess occasionally though.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

Working...