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Study Claims 8.5% of Young Gamers "Pathologically Addicted" 296

Posted by Soulskill
from the put-the-controller-down dept.
schnucki brings word of new research which claims roughly one in twelve American children between the ages of eight and 18 are "pathologically addicted" to video games. The study, conducted by Douglas Gentile, director of the National Institute on Media and the Family at Iowa State University, says that "pathological status was a significant predictor of poorer school performance even after controlling for sex, age, and weekly amount of video-game play." However, Professor Cheryl Olson, who has conducted her own research into video game use, questioned Gentile's methodology, saying, "The author is repurposing questions used to assess problem gambling in adults; however, lying to your spouse about blowing the rent money on gambling is a very different matter from fibbing to your mom about whether you played video games instead of starting your homework."
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Study Claims 8.5% of Young Gamers "Pathologically Addicted"

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  • by American Terrorist (1494195) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:00AM (#27672337)

    lying to your spouse about blowing the rent money on gambling is a very different matter from fibbing to your mom about whether you played video games instead of starting your homework.

    Wrong. Parents and taxpayers sacrifice money, time and effort to pay for education; if students are too addicted to X to learn anything then it's money down the drain just like gambling.

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:11AM (#27672383)

      I guess the difference is in the psychology instead of economy. After all, it is a psych study, right?

      Lying to your spouse that you gambled away the money for the rent and that you'll now face eviction is probably a little further up on the totem pole of big lies than "nah, mom, I did my homework, yeah right...".

      C'mon, you never lied to your parents about your homework because Timmy had this really cool new action figure and you wanted to go there to play with it? Does that mean you were (or are?) addicted to action figures?

      • by American Terrorist (1494195) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:25AM (#27672435)
        The difference is of degree, not kind. Losing $200 that you had planned to spend on a nice dinner with your wife at a poker table is more analogous to occasionally lying to your mom about homework. Borrowing $30K from a loan shark and blowing it all on Baccarat is like failing out of MIT's EE program because you couldn't be bothered to pick up a textbook or attend any lectures.
        • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:51AM (#27672611)

          In all seriousness, what are we comparing now? If I got TFS right, we're comparing little Timmy telling his mom he made his homework so he can play his video games to a husband lying to his wife over the eviction-threatening loss of his income.

          I can see your comparison, and it's a lot closer to home than the one in TFS.

          There, one is a minor "yeah, go to hell and leave me in peace" lie. You can get that from me any day, as a coworker, when I got something better to do than format your spreadsheet because you're too dumb to do that yourself. Whether what I got to do is "more important" is up for debate (technically, posting here is not really more relevant for the company than formating the sheet, but personally, it certainly fills me with more sense of accomplishment... yeah, my work's THIS dull at times).

          The other one is a lie over an existance-threatening problem that, if not resolved, will result in disaster. Family being kicked out of their home. Would you lie about that, knowing the consequence is dire, at best?

          Maybe if we compared apples with apples, like in your example, we could find a conclusion that isn't flawed.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            Maybe if we compared apples with apples, like in your example, we could find a conclusion that isn't flawed.

            Exactly, I think we can all agree here. The summary quotes the study:

            "pathological status was a significant predictor of poorer school performance even after controlling for sex, age, and weekly amount of video-game play."

            So basically after controlling for everything, pathological status is a predictor of poor school performance. This should surprise no one, as people with mental problems tend to do worse in school.

            My point was that all severe addictions are bad. The study was about video-game addictions, and the summary writer seems to have a pro-video game bias, ignoring the fact that everything, even video games, are bad when done to the extreme.

      • by jambox (1015589) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @05:46AM (#27672797)
        Old people are pathologically addicted to using the word "addiction" to make anything they don't like sound scary. The brain can adapt to virtually any stimulus and once removed, will not function as well without it. So if you go for long countryside walks every day and enjoy it, then you get injured and can't do it for a few months, you'll miss going for those long countryside walks. That's completely different to chemical addiction you get from heroin or nicotine, but then most people can't tell the difference.
        • by juiceboxfan (990017) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @07:31AM (#27673355)

          Old people are pathologically addicted to using the word "addiction" to make anything they don't like sound scary. The brain can adapt to virtually any stimulus and once removed, will not function as well without it. So if you go for long countryside walks every day and enjoy it, then you get injured and can't do it for a few months, you'll miss going for those long countryside walks. That's completely different to chemical addiction you get from heroin or nicotine, but then most people can't tell the difference.

          Not sure why you felt the need to make a dig against "old people" but whatever.

          An addiction is an addiction. You seem to mostly be talking about withdrawal and, yes, there are differences between chemical and psychological withdrawal.

          What we are talking about here, using your analogy, is; you go for long countryside walks every day and enjoy it. You enjoy it so much that you choose to go for a walk instead of going to school or work. Then when asked, you lie about ditching school/work.

          • by jambox (1015589)

            Not sure why you felt the need to make a dig against "old people" but whatever.

            No offence, Granddad! Just kidding. I'm sure there are lots of cool old people around.

            It's an absurd analogy of course but I don't think it's impossible, just rather unusual. At any rate the point I was making is that there is a definite chemical mechanism involved in nicotine addiction or similar, whereas video games are just an enjoyable passtime. People like to say words like "addiciton" as it conjures up an image of junkies in flop houses shooting needles.

    • by Another, completely (812244) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:31AM (#27672475)

      The difference in what you can expect as a result. If you didn't do your homework, you might think it will have some tiny effect on your final grade, which doesn't bother you much. If you blew the rent money, somebody is definitely going to notice, and you are lying to yourself when you think you can win it back before it comes home to roost.

      She's not saying that skipping homework is a good way to spend your time; just that the student in question doesn't need to be "pathologically addicted" to think it's not a big deal.

    • by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:38AM (#27672507)

      Wrong. Parents and taxpayers sacrifice money, time and effort to pay for education; if students are too addicted to X to learn anything then it's money down the drain just like gambling.

      People have a voluntary choice whether to gamble or not. Teenage students and school, not so much. Furthermore, they are not face with the bill as a consequence, simply a bad grade.

      Everyone pays school taxes, either directly or indirectly via rent, so it's not even like they are saving anyone money by studying. In that instance, they are more like a national investment. Some investments pan out and some don't.

      In that POV, the most logical thing to do would be to try strategies to maximize real payoff (not just pushing them out the door with a degree no matter what) which is structuring the system in the best fashion for them to learn something (of value).

    • by Draek (916851) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:38AM (#27672517)

      Accidentally dropping ice cream to the ground is also money down the drain, however much like gaming it's various orders of magnitude less money than most forms of gambling.

      • Depends only what you drop your ice cream on.

        The ground? A few bucks for a new cone.
        Your pants? From a couple bucks for cleaning to a new pair of designer pants.
        Your car? From a fistful of bucks for cleaning to a load of bucks for new seat covers.
        On your boss' pants right before a meeting with your most important customer? From a load of bucks because you can say good bye to your next raise to ... well, whatever you made per month before you got fired.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mirshafie (1029876)

      Certain parts of education are money down the drain anyway. You can't blame the children for not opening up their heads to what adults sometimes perceive to be "their jobs"; kids function and learn differently from how industrial workforce production is designed.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MBaldelli (808494)

      lying to your spouse about blowing the rent money on gambling is a very different matter from fibbing to your mom about whether you played video games instead of starting your homework.

      Wrong. Parents and taxpayers sacrifice money, time and effort to pay for education; if students are too addicted to X to learn anything then it's money down the drain just like gambling.

      Right.. So show me where an 8 year old understand the value of money when it comes to an education... Hell show me an 8 year old that can demonstrate anything beyond me and what money can buy the 8 year old, and I'll show you an 8 year old that has been trained like a monkey to answer the questions the right way.

      Really, all you're doing is being a cranky old crotch that's tired of paying taxes.

    • by the4thdimension (1151939) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @07:02AM (#27673173) Homepage
      Even if I assume that the study is true (which I don't) lets look at what kids are up against:

      Studying, homework, school, and teachers.
      vs.
      Playing video games on the internet with friends.

      Which would you have picked when you were 8-18 years old? I know what choice I would have made (actually, the choice I did make). Kids don't really think out into the future and realize that their choices have long-term effects, especially at the age of 8. You can't expect them to understand the need to study to get good grades to go to school. Furthermore, lulz @ high school... who cares. Just make it out of that shit and you are straight. High school is a joke and colleges know it.
      • by Acer500 (846698)

        Even if I assume that the study is true (which I don't) lets look at what kids are up against:

        Studying, homework, school, and teachers.
        vs.
        Playing video games on the internet with friends.

        You can't expect them to understand the need to study to get good grades to go to school.

        I don't know how it is in the US, but over here, they don't even care about your high school grades anyway... if you passed, it's enough to get you to University, although, in neighbouring countries like Brazil, I believe there are some entrance exams - "Vestibular" - which you DO need to study for).

    • by rgviza (1303161)

      My x's brother blew a years worth of university tuition playing WoW. He's now "recovering" and going to community college. That is permanent damage and a significant chunk of (directly out of his parent's pockets) change down the drain.

      -Viz

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:02AM (#27672345) Homepage Journal

    "The author is repurposing questions used to assess problem gambling in adults; however, lying to your spouse about blowing the rent money on gambling is a very different matter from fibbing to your mom about whether you played video games instead of starting your homework."

    I disagree. I would argue that there is no real difference. Both are falsehoods designed to misdirect the most important woman in the subject's life on the subject's activities, which are not only counterproductive but guaranteed to raise the woman's ire when/if discovered. There is a difference in the severity of the consequences but both lies are essentially the same. Lying liars and the lies they tell — souls in need of correction whether young or old. There's times lying might be justified, but neither of these are those times.

    And yes, I do remember being a kid and lying about playing video games, and that I knew the difference between lying for a potentially justifiable purpose, and just lying to avoid getting in trouble. Thanks for asking.

    • by cjfs (1253208) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:15AM (#27672399) Homepage Journal

      Lying liars and the lies they tell — souls in need of correction whether young or old. .

      True, and we all know that video game lies are just gateway lies that lead to gambling rent lies.

      Put down the controller and stop the dishonesty while you still can!

    • by xaxa (988988) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:40AM (#27672531)

      There's a very important difference:

      1 hour spent on video gaming is easy to recover -- do the homework tomorrow.
      £300 lost in a bet is a week's wages gone.

      When I used to lie to my mum and say I'd done my homework when I'd actually been playing games (or reading Discworld books) I knew I'd just have to make up the work later.

      A similar lie from a child might be claiming to have gone to school, but in reality drinking cider in the local park.

    • by clarkkent09 (1104833) * on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:56AM (#27672635)
      Lying liars and the lies they tell -- souls in need of correction whether young or old.

      Gee, you are being a bit too harsh there. A child lying to parents about what he/she is doing at a given time is often simply a defense mechanism for obtaining some privacy and a degree of control over their own life and therefore making themselves feel more adult, even though the parents might in fact know better. I would say it's a perfectly normal and even sometimes a desirable part of childhood if the parents are more protective and intrusive than appropriate for a child of a given age, as parents often are. In fact I can't think of any child I ever met who didn't do this to some degree, and they still tend to grow up to be responsible adults. It is just not even in the same category as a guy lying to his wife about blowing their rent money on gambling who is a seriously irresponsible and probably an immoral person.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Bakkster (1529253)
        This hits the nail right on the head. Children acting like kids and lying to spend more time playing is natural. Adults acting like children and lying in order to gamble (or have an affair, do drugs, etc) is pathological. And why compare to gambling addiction? Apples and oranges. They should be comparing to something like "pathological movie addiction".

        Let's face it: children and adults are different psychologically. A good question to judge an adult's state of mind will likely not be accurate for
    • by gadget junkie (618542) <gbponz@libero.it> on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @06:00AM (#27672859) Journal
      I'd discipline my son when he lies about homework, if only I could quit playing COD4.
    • by Asic Eng (193332) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @07:02AM (#27673167)
      Reminds me of a friend's daughter. Once her mother asked her: "Why do you have to act so childish?" Her answer? "Because I'm a child!"

      Measuring a child's behaviour with adult criteria is inappropriate. When you bring up children you need to teach them to become responsible adults, they are not born with these skills and it's normal for them not having them yet. Also the parent-child relationship is nothing like being married - it is not and should not be equal. It's a lot more similar to the relationship of an adult to their employer than their relationship to a spouse.

    • I've lied plenty of times to my parents about not having played dungeons and dragons, but then again she used to think that it would drive me insane and make me dress up in plate mail armor before jumping off a building. She would have freaked if she'd ever found out.
  • Pfff (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AlterRNow (1215236) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:04AM (#27672353)

    Hey, how about maybe the poor school performance was due to the fact that school is boring ( it is pretty much just memorising facts and figures ) and the more bored the child is, the more likely he is going to do something interesting/exciting like, I don't know, gaming?

    Seriously, why does the blame always go one way?

    • Re:Pfff (Score:4, Insightful)

      by American Terrorist (1494195) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:13AM (#27672391)

      Hey, how about maybe the poor school performance was due to the fact that school is boring ( it is pretty much just memorising facts and figures ) and the more bored the child is, the more likely he is going to do something interesting/exciting like, I don't know, gaming?

      School is boring. Work sucks. Life's a bitch and then you die. If we all just played video games and poker (or better yet, online poker!) instead of doing boring things like putting food on the table then we could all just escape from reality and starve to death!

      • Re:Pfff (Score:4, Insightful)

        by cjfs (1253208) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:20AM (#27672417) Homepage Journal

        School is boring. Work sucks. Life's a bitch and then you die. If we all just played video games and poker (or better yet, online poker!) instead of doing boring things like putting food on the table then we could all just escape from reality and starve to death!

        Some people get inspired, find learning enjoyable, get interesting jobs and make good money doing it. Others went to public schools.

        It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.

      • Re:Pfff (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Draek (916851) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:54AM (#27672621)

        Gee, if the alternative is living a boring, dull life where I'm treated like shit, starving to death playing videogames doesn't seem too bad, does it?

        Thank God some of us have the ability to find areas where we enjoy our work, and the skill to succeed at it. Sincerely, someone who prefered playing videogames over doing homework and, all things considered, is doing quite well on his life. Sucks to be you.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Dare I say it? Learning is boring for the feeble minded.

      School !== Learning, I know. But you still have opportunity to direct your learning to some extent. Geeks may be more interested in the algorithms used in Egyptian calculation techniques than in the types of candles they used; or the method of production of black powder rather than who was using it, etc..

      If nothing academic interests you try and steer yourself towards practical subjects.

      If you're not going to play the school game then you should spend

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      Hey, how about maybe the poor school performance was due to the fact that school is boring ( it is pretty much just memorising facts and figures ) and the more bored the child is, the more likely he is going to do something interesting/exciting like, I don't know, gaming?

      We could go farther and say that a good number of kids just won't go anywhere academically. That's not an indictment, some kids work well with their hands, some are destined for prison, and some are entrepreneurs who break the rules of the

    • Re:Pfff (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DeadDecoy (877617) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:37AM (#27672505)
      I think the article isn't saying that all poor scholastic performance are the fault of games but that games can be addictive and due to that and their time consuming nature, games are a factor. Kinda like how not all people who drink alcohol are alcoholics, but some are and this causes them to drive poorly or become violent. If this is the case, they might need some kind of social support structure to control their addictions lest they ruin their lives. On that note, I've actually witnessed a few college-mates, even smart ones, nearly flunk out because they had to get some item of power from an Everquest raid. Consequently, they lost sleep, didn't study, failed tests, etc. If they had some kind of support structure, they might be doing cooler things instead of working at the local Gap.

      Yes, school work may be dull and difficult but there may be some merit to the argument that games addictive and draw our attention away from topics no matter how interesting or uninteresting they are. I think this study is not about blaming video games but in realizing that people have low self control and need help.
      • That's exactly correct. Any addiction needs a support network for a succesful "disintoxication" and "continued state of sobriety", including game addiction.

    • Didn't Einstein say, that it's a wonder, that creativity and free thought survives modern school systems, or something like that?

      I, for one, think that games are the better education. Schools focus nearly entirely on the left hemisphere of the brain. And some sports.
      Well done games (and this includes things like team sports) require social skills, quick reflexes, creativity in problem solving, fitness, analytical skills, etc, etc, etc.
      Everything you do in a school, can be told trough games. But not everythi

      • "I, for one, think that games are the better education. Schools focus nearly entirely on the left hemisphere of the brain"

        Yeah , because you're really going to learn newtons laws or how to solve quadratic equations from playing super mario.

        Perhaps the arty farty girly crap could be learnt better through games , who knows, but subjects that actually require you to THINK and LEARN require being TAUGHT.

        And if you think those subjects are irrlevant you might want to go find out how the computer you wrote your p

    • it is pretty much just memorising facts and figures

      And this form of teaching is, as any researcher in the field of studying and teaching will tell you, is just WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

      Facts are meaningless. Facts are also something you can look up easily, now easier than ever before. Worse, learning facts means that, over time, your knowledge is declining over time, because you forget parts of it.

      Modern aspects of teaching put more focus on learning and enabling the student to study. Sounds redundant, but it i

      • People do not look up facts anymore, one click away is one click too far for wast majority. Not being exposed to them in school means not being exposed to them at all. That is especially important to fields they will never pursue. Not when they learned that they can make up stuff (aka, be creative).

        You can not understand context without information.
        You can not judge relevance without information.
        You can not synthesis without information.
        You can not think critically without information
        etc ...

        Learning is impo

    • by krou (1027572)

      Exactly. Woodrow Wilson outlined exactly how the US school system should work: [thememoryhole.org], "We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forego the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks."

      Sure, that quote was from a different time, but today the same principles apply. Remember: "Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education." (Bertrand Russell) Generally, school is meant to

  • by Ifandbut (1328775) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:06AM (#27672361)

    "The study, conducted by Douglas Gentile, director of the National Institute on Media and the Family at Iowa State University, "

    Ya, that is a totally impartial source when it comes to video games.

    /scarsam_off

    • by Poorcku (831174) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:47AM (#27672579) Homepage
      please find some faults in the methodology, like range restriction, sampling errors, wrongly applied methods or faulty conclusions. then come back to us and do not act like some leftie with an agenda. Please be a leftie with facts written down. That I can respect and then i'll allow for my ideas to change. I know, there goes my karma....
    • by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker&gnu,org> on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @06:23AM (#27672977) Homepage

      "The study, conducted by Douglas Gentile, director of the National Institute on Media and the Family at Iowa State University"

      Ya, that is a totally impartial source when it comes to video games.

      How do you infer bias? Because it has the word "Family" in the name? Suppose they came out with a study showing that watching movies with your kids and discussing them afterwards strengthened their attachment to you and vice versa; or suppose they came out with a study showing that playing computar gamez with your kids does the same thing.

      Would you then accuse them of bias? I think the kind of studies that could (potentially) show those conclusions could very well fall under the heading "Media and the Family".

      Or am I missing the unwritten rule that "and the Family" means "Think of the children!!1!eleventybang!"? Or do they have a history of misrepresenting facts in their studies (i.e. committing scientific fraud)? Or do they historically have a selection bias in what kind of thing they study (i.e. only "is there a negative effect of [media behavior]")?

      Or is it just that you find the conclusion uncomfortable and want to argue against it? You know, even if you're biased you can still be telling the truth.

      • by Ifandbut (1328775) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @06:44AM (#27673089)

        From Wiki:
        "It is a nonsectarian advocacy group which seeks to monitor mass media for content that it deems is harmful to children and families."
        Define "harmful to children and families" and I might let this one slide.

        "The 2005 MediaWise Video Game Report Card criticized the Entertainment Software Rating Board's system of rating video games for age-appropriate conduct in its annual series of report cards, noting the scarcity of "Adults-Only" rated games and citing the perceived inadequacy in retailer enforcement."
        They forget to mention that AO games would not be sold in stores by any major retailer. If a game can not be sold then it will not be made.

        "In 2005 the NIMF made the controversial claim that the video game industry was promoting cannibalism after analyzing stills and video clips from a zombie-themed game titled Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse."
        How is playing a zombie and doing zombie things like eating humans promoting cannibalism?

        I'm sure I could find more if I tried. Also TFS states:
        ""The author is repurposing questions used to assess problem gambling in adults; however, lying to your spouse about blowing the rent money on gambling is a very different matter from fibbing to your mom about whether you played video games instead of starting your homework.""

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        How do you infer bias? Because it has the word "Family" in the name?

        No, because they're a well-known group [wikipedia.org] and we've heard all their shit before.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:08AM (#27672365)

    My grades sucked and there were no addictive computer games in my youth (or if, no addicted youngster had the money to feed the machines). Some study...

    • by Ardeaem (625311)
      People are modding the parent insightful? I thought it was supposed to be a joke, the reasoning is so far off.

      Here's a car analogy for you. Suppose someone comes out and says "A tire blow out may cause car accidents." Then I say "That's stupid. I've been in car accidents, but never had a tire blow out. Some study..." then clearly my reasoning sucks. That argument is isomorphic to the one made by the parent.

      I haven't read the study in question yet, so I can't comment on the merits, but come ON, use your br

    • My grades sucked and there were no addictive computer games in my youth.

      So based on a sample size of one, you conclude the exact opposite of the study presented?

      Pardon me for not being convinced; you do get that the study doesn't say "every single kid in the room will be hopelessly addicted to games and get the worst grades possible if there's as much as a single game available", right?

      A single data point which disagrees with the study doesn't disprove its conclusion. A healthy lump of data points, from a reasonable sample size, might. Emphasis: might.

      I'm no statistics whiz-

  • by cjfs (1253208) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:10AM (#27672375) Homepage Journal

    'Video games' is an extremely broad category, especially when talking about addiction. The differences between a mmorpg, a fps with no artificial progress indicator, and a puzzle game need to be noted.

    Most of these studies just seem to take a few random popular titles and assume the results apply to all.

  • Awesome. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Flurf (1285882) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:20AM (#27672413)
    So, 91.5% of young gamers are completely fine and video games in no way have altered their academic or social habits? Cool.
  • A study has released figures suggesting 99% of US kids regularly brush their teeth. Said the researchers desparate for research funds "it is clearly outrageous that kids are spending so much time in the bathroom!!11"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Instead of this silly polarization of school vs. games, maybe the educators ought to support the positive aspects of gaming instead of turning generations of gamers against them. I personally have benefited from video games with regard to my education. I would never have learned English at such a young age (I am not a native speaker) if not for all those hours spent playing adventure games. Puzzle games have a definite positive influence on a child's logic skills. Even social skills can be developed through
  • by Shrike82 (1471633) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:28AM (#27672453)
    Even if it is true, games cannot be villified by these findings. Addiction as described by TFA is used as a means of escape, it even says so in the body of text, and if games didn't exist then some other medium would fill the void.

    Before the widespread popularity of computer games (yes I'm that old) it was TV that my parents were sure I was addicted to. Now my loved ones are sure it's games, and to a lesser extent alcohol. If you ask me I'm just finding things to pass the time...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kaaposc (1515329)

      Addiction as described by TFA is used as a means of escape, it even says so in the body of text, and if games didn't exist then some other medium would fill the void.

      One of the other mediums definitely is Slashdot's comments..

      • by Shrike82 (1471633)
        Exactly. We've all seen news of the Internet addiction clinics in Asia, and I can honestly see how people would get addicted to the Internet. Hell, I get withdrawal symptoms when I go on holiday or to visit my parents. The difference is that way fewer people are claiming the Internet is an evil invention than those claiming that games are evil.

        In some ways I'd be highly amused if games, TV, films, comic books, rock and roll and so on had all been banned when they were labelled as corrupting the "youth of
      • by Ifandbut (1328775)

        Exactly. I'm at work with no video games. What do I do to fill the void? Slashdot.

    • Like fining means to escape reality is really that good of an idea. People who realize their problems in their lives and pro-actively fix them. Vs delaying them by some other means, are usually much happier overall.

      Not that there aren't alternatives that one can escape to and many of those alternatives are far worse then Video games. However the issue isn't Video games or the alternative it is the culture that seems to make it seem healthy and OK to escape whenever life gets a bit stressful vs. facing your

  • A study performed by a [self-proclaimed] scientist revealed that all computer games are good, even the most violent ones. The study originally appeared on Slashdot, a very popular source of news for nerds:

    All games are fun and entertaining and they don't have any negative side-effects. 100% of the tested players [me] confirmed it.

  • Is pathological addiction when you get lower than average grades, or is it when you sell your body for the next 15 minute rush from an illegal neurotransmitter mangler? I know a young lady who was addicted to crack for a while, ended up living in a crackhouse (and you can guess the rest) and she would probably object strenuously to the characterization of "pathological addiction" for low-school-grade getting because a kid spends time on a leisure activity instead of doing homework.
  • by aepervius (535155) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:42AM (#27672549)
    How does that compare to general addiction exposure ? For example to people doing gambling how many % are addicted ? To those doing drug from time to time, how many % are addicted ? How many doing any hobby fall into an addicting loop ? Or evena re addicted to TV ? If the aforementioned % are lower or higher maybe it would tell something, but 8.5% EVEN if the methodology was correct, is a nonsense absolute number telling us nothing.
    • by vlm (69642)

      Look at addiction rates for tv, newspaper reading, pro sports, repetitive formulaic movies, reading infotainment/complimentary copy magazines, shopping for Chinese junk you dont need, and listening to top40 music.

      Those are supposedly mainstream activities (although far less than a majority participates in each) so they are not classed as addictions even if they have very severe negative consequences. Gaming is now a mainstream activity, therefore by popular definition it can't be an addiction. Making the

  • Makes sense to me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SpzToid (869795)

    Wouldn't a certain percetange of the general population be susceptible to such an addiciton anyway?
     
    So now we're trying to measure the impact.

  • Rubbish (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Karem Lore (649920)

    And you can tear my fingers from around my controller from my cold dead hands if you disagree...

    Seriously, its up to parents to make sure that this doesn't happen, not Government. The problem is that there are too many lazy parents that prefer to keep their kids quiet with TV and Video Games than actually play together...Eductation doesn't stop at school, parents have an equal, if not more important, role in educating their children.

    • by deraj123 (1225722)

      Seriously, its up to parents to make sure that this doesn't happen, not Government. The problem is that there are too many lazy parents that prefer to keep their kids quiet with TV and Video Games than actually play together...Eductation doesn't stop at school, parents have an equal, if not more important, role in educating their children.

      Did the article say something about Government intervention? (I didn't read it, but the summary sure didn't.) I have been led to understand that parenting is not an easy task - it seems to me that any additional information that might help one do it better should be welcomed.

  • The final study conclusion will be that Fukitol [fukitol.com] (the new shizzy wonder drug from Smith-Kline-Glaxo-Bayer-Bendover) will alleviate all symptoms...for a mere $6.66 per day.

  • I'm more concerned (Score:3, Interesting)

    by clickclickdrone (964164) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:50AM (#27672609)
    That a professor can use words like 'repurposing' TBH.
    Back on topic though, I was probably addicted to them when I was a teen. I even used to hop on my moped and whizz over to the arcades in my lunch break when I was at work then spend hours on my Atari 400 in the evenings. All my money went on games (and when I wasn't playing video games I was probably shaking the D6's in a Traveller game). OTOH, I had peers who just spent all their money on getting drunk or buying new albums. Almost everyone, especially at that age has something that they really get attached to. That's not the problem. Making sure you ALSO do the important stuff is the key.
  • by CyberSlammer (1459173) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @05:06AM (#27672667)
    I played video games as a teenager and it never affected me at all HEAD SHOT!!! as a matter of fact my grades were above average MULTI KILL!!! and I feel that it's totally fine for kids to play video games as long as they get their homework done WICKED SICK!!!!
    • I played video games as a teenager and it never affected me at all HEAD SHOT!!!

      Flawless victory^Wargument.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @05:25AM (#27672743)
    Jack Thompson must just love that this has come out just after his appeal was rejected without hearing...
  • Is this the same National Institute on Media and the Family that concluded that the gaming industry was trying to promote cannibalism?

    Who'd care to bet that Dr. Gentile has an Xbox 360 hidden at the bottom of an old golf bag in his basement?

  • It isn't surprising that 8.3% of American teens are addicted to video games, especially since some video games such as Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs) require vast amounts of time to be invested in order to progress and compete. In the majority of MMOs you progress by gaining levels, usually by killing X amount of enemies for X amount of experience creating extremely time consuming and repetitive gameplay. As MMOs are by definition massively multiplayer the competitive element means that in ord
    • You know, lots of people who play video games don't play MMOs. In fact, quite a lot of people who are long term video game players really don't like MMOs at all. In fact, most MMO players don't even play other kinds of video games! They haven't got the time!

  • Sweet Judas Priest, this is bullshit.

    Parents (or spouses) get lied to because they LET themselves be lied to. It is the parents responsibility to manage (and zOMG!!!111 participate in perhaps) their children's time and activities.

    If kids are playing games 24 hours week and fall into (or perform poorly in) the risk categories defined in TFA, then there is clearly no adult paying attention. This is not a pathological condition, this is a case of stupid parents.

    Children want to be entertained. Games are entert

  • From TFA:

    The primary limitation of this study is its correlational nature. It does not provide evidence for the possible causal relations among the variables studied. It is certainly possible that pathological gaming causes poor school performance, and so forth, but it is equally likely that children who have trouble at school seek to play games to experience feelings of mastery, or that attention problems cause both poor school performance and an attraction to games.

    I guess "may be pathologically addicte

  • I've been playing for years and I ain't hooked yet!

  • Hello, my name is Mishotaki and i'm addicted to using the computer...

    By that, I mean that all my spare time goes to using a computer to entertain me. Therefore, i spend all my week-ends on the computer...

    Are they trying to fool us into telling us that playing videogames is less interesting to kids from 8 to 18 than studying? because i'm sure that it seems that the people sponsoring the researchs wants us to think so... videogames are fun, studying isn't. Kids prefer to have fun than not to... nothing new in

    • I wake up and I check the news and personal email on my computer.
      I go to work and I check my work email on the computer.
      I write scripts on the computer.
      I browse /. on the computer.
      I check the backup tape using the computer.
      I read about the unscheduled shutdown using the computer.
      I go home and I watch some iPlayer on the computer.
      I do some more work towards my Law degree on the computer.
      I play some games on the computer.

      I guess I must be addicted too.
  • Come on....come on! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hesaigo999ca (786966) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @07:39AM (#27673429) Homepage Journal

    Please, this is now as useless as doing studies to see how much tv is being watched in each household....in the 70s ok, it was when it was become the staple for home entertainment.
    Now we all know the TV is as much a part of a household as the toilet. No need to review any more
    studies about how TV is this or that, we have all accepted it as normal part of our American culture.

    Now , we move on to computers, since the 80s it has become more and more popular, to the point now of having multiprocessors at home (mini mainframes if you will). Even if you do no play games, but you download mp3s or listen to music, or download movies or watch them on your computer, or email, or read the news, or read up on specific information for homework related stuff, you will still have a sh*t load of time spent on the computer per week.

    It does not need any more studies about what it does, we know what it does, it educates the masses with controlled information. If I were to get you hooked on a game about learning special ops techniques, and warfare, and masked it as a regular game, guess what you could be a NAVY seals (yes they have their own game/war simulator).

    So it all depends on how we apply ourselves, and what we teach our kids about the use or pitfalls of computers. DO not blindly give a kid a computer, instead learn with him what is possible for his age, and let him see the possibilities that are there other then playing mario kart!!!

    The onus falls on the parents, and also teaching the kid the difference between fun and practical.

  • Wait, a Craig Anderson cronie finds something bad about videogames? That's amazing!

    There's no story here. Gentile has published lots of papers with Craig Anderson (here is Gentile's list of publications http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/~dgentile/publications.htm [iastate.edu] ). Anderson has never met a form of media that didn't have negative effects. This is like Jack Thompson saying videogames are murder simulators.
  • I agree with Olson's issues with the study. But I think a lot of folks are overlooking the fact that Gentile wasn't claiming causation.

    The report found that poor school performance and a pathological addition to video games were strongly linked, but Dr Gentile warned that the research had not investigated which came first.

    "It is certainly possible that pathological gaming causes poor school performance, and so forth, but it is equally likely that children who have trouble at school seek to play games to

  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @08:10AM (#27673729) Homepage Journal

    Where is the superficial study that links the pathological addiction to sports with low grades? 'Cause I think you'd find more data in that one.

  • I just type sequences of Dwarf Fortress commands in random text boxes periodically to maintain my uber micro. bwz bTl dbd mvt

Nothing happens.

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