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Medicine Entertainment Games

The Real Story Behind Gaming Addiction 300

Gamespot is running a feature looking into the facts behind gaming addiction: what it is, whether it exists, and why the need still exists for objective research into the issue. Quoting: "[Richard M. Ryan, a psychologist and professor of psychology, psychiatry, and education at the University of Rochester in New York] thinks the lack of quality research into video game overuse will be rectified with time as games become more sophisticated in the ways they satisfy people's psychological needs. 'We have a lot of people, some in the media and some in the sciences, who are too ready to make very strong claims about video games, whether we are talking about aggression, addiction, or cultural estrangement, based on very little evidence. I think that is especially how the media often sells stories. Some commentators exaggerate risks, and on the other hand there are defenders of games who deny any and all problems and attack any perceived bad news. Games are relatively new in our culture, and such vacillation between hysteria and denial I suspect often greets any new phenomenon, from hip-hop to the Internet to video games. Both sides usually have some part of the truth, but it may be a while before at least we as scientists, much less as a society, have a coherent understanding.'"
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The Real Story Behind Gaming Addiction

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  • Pls not to feed teh trolls. Kthxbai.
  • by Skuld-Chan ( 302449 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @06:36AM (#27595737)

    Drop by a 24 hour gym I guess...

  • Exercise bulimia (Score:3, Informative)

    by 93,000 ( 150453 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @08:50AM (#27596877)

    How common is sports addiction anyway?

    Exercise bulimia [] could be an example. Granted, it's a bigger, more complex problem than just 'really liking exercise', but thought I'd throw that out there for the sake of argument.

  • if you poll a thousand random americans about the population of china, the answer will be a statistical bell curve centered on the actual population of china

    the idiots cancel each other out, to each degree of idiocy, in either direction

    Absolutely, completely and utterly wrong! You cannot obtain information from disinformation, no matter how much disinformation you have. There is no mathematic, or numerological trick that will allow random baseless estimates, no matter how many, to lead to a concrete one. Here's a relevant anecdote from the physicist Richard Feynman.

    This question of trying to figure out whether a book is good or bad by looking at it carefully or by taking the reports of a lot of people who looked at it carelessly is like this famous old problem: Nobody was permitted to see the Emperor of China, and the question was, What is the length of the Emperor of China's nose? To find out, you go all over the country asking people what they think the length of the Emperor of China's nose is, and you average it. And that would be very "accurate" because you averaged so many people. But it's no way to find anything out; when you have a very wide range of people who contribute without looking carefully at it, you don't improve your knowledge of the situation by averaging.

    Sometimes I think it might be best if statistics was left out of most curricula altogether.

  • and it makes sense. like i said before, the answers will bell curve. idiocy is random, it does not skew in a particular manner. the idiots randomly cancel each other out, and become noise, while anyone with the real answer will stand out as a signal against the background noise. involving quantities like a population count, they simply bell curve to the right answer

    Totally wrong. Moreover, provably wrong. Poll a random set of individuals on the age of Planet Earth, which is an estimated 4.55 billion years. In the US at least, the answer you are likely to get by averaging is closer to 2.5 billion years, as quite a lot of people will say 6000 years. In fact, if you decided to cheat by restricting your sampling to academics or scientists, your answer now would be different from answer obtained 100 years ago, and will probably be different to answers obtained 100 years from now. Why? Because this is no way to determine the age of the Earth.

    In fact, poll people about the number of planets in the solar system. You'll probably get an answer between 8 and 9. But I guarantee you it will not be an integer value, say 8.713452, which will be a fairly strange answer for the number of planets. Moreover, any answer you get will have much less to do with the idea of a "planet" that you might think.

    Again, go back to the Emperor of China's nose. Let's take the Last Emperor [] as an example. Suppose I went around asking people what they thought the length of his nose was? Would the average of the answers somehow converge on the length of his particular nose? Why not someone else? In fact, would they converge on the length of of the nose of anyone who was ever alive?

    Now finally go back to the population of China itself. Suppose I asked around. What will people's guesses average to? Say it's 1.3 billion. Am I to take this as a good value for the population of China, which is again an integer? It's only accurate to at best within 50,000 people or 3.8% of the total. That's a pretty wide margin when it comes to such an important number. Do I hope that the answers somehow converge after yet more guesses to the correct one. Will the overestimations cancel out the underestimation? On what basis can I make this claim? The answer is, none at all.

    As I said before, I think statistics should probably be taken off most curricula. They seem to induce a rather misguided faith in the primacy of the Gaussian bell curve, and have lead to it application in areas which it is totally inappropriate. Here's a small fact which is completely and totally overlooked in 99.9% of all statistics courses taught. The Gaussian Bell curve is the result of Central Limit Theorem []. This theorem states that if one averages the results of sufficiently many random, uncorrelated measurements, then the results will approximate a Gaussian Bell curve.

    Random. Uncorrelated. Measurements. If one of these conditions is not satisfied, then no Gaussian Bell curve will result, and the average of the results is meaningless. The answers you get when asking about the population of China, the age of the Earth, or the length of the Emperor's nose will be neither random or uncorrellated, and there will be no accuracy from averaging them. You are in what Nassim Taleb calls the fourth quadrant, and are essentially engaged in numerology. There are very real limits to statistics [] which everyone using them should be ware of.

    its really quite a simple concept, i don't know why you can't grasp it. perhaps you don't need to brush up on your statistics, you just need to brush up on your grasp of common sense reasoning

    It is not a simple concept. It is a naive and very dangerous one. I do not accept it because I have studied statistics and I know its power and its limit

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340