Study links pathological gaming to depression, anxiety in kids

Iowa State professor says research shows "hints of causality" between problem gaming and mental health issues; ESA decries study as flawed.

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Research into the effect games can have on growing children has been a point of much debate in recent years, but that debate typically erupts after the research is released.

Dr. Gentile has drawn the ire of the ESA.

That wasn't the case this week, as a new study on pathological gaming in the journal Pediatrics was preemptively decried by the Entertainment Software Association in a press release last week. The industry trade group called the study "flawed," taking issue with the researcher's methods and touting his "long anti-video game history."

Defending his research, Dr. Douglas Gentile of Iowa State University said, "A lot of people assume if you talk about pathological gaming, you're talking about something's wrong with games. And that's not at all what's going on here…I don't think it's about the game; I think it's about the player," he concluded.

Gentile surveyed 3,034 Singapore school children about their gaming habits, looking at which children were in his estimation "pathological gamers." He broke the groups down into children who were pathological gamers throughout the study, those who became pathological or stopped being pathological over the course of the study, and those who never had a problem with it.

While gaming addiction is not at present a diagnosable disorder, Gentile adapted a test for pathological gambling to give to the children. He asked the children a series of 10 questions designed to determine if other areas of their lives are suffering due to their game play habits. One question asked if players sometimes skipped homework to play games. Others asked if they unsuccessfully tried to cut back on gaming time, played games to escape from problems and bad feelings, or ever stole money in order to play. Respondents could answer "yes," "no," or "sometimes." Every "sometimes" response counted as half of a "yes." If a child wound up with five or more affirmative responses, Gentile said they should be considered pathological gamers.

The survey was similar to one he released about US school children in 2009, although that test had 11 questions, and six or higher was the threshold. That study deemed 8.5 percent of the surveyed children as being addicted to games. In the new study, Gentile found that 9.9 percent of gamers were pathological at the time of the first survey, with 7.6 percent considered addicted at the third survey. Additionally, he said that levels of depression, anxiety, and social phobias rose in gamers who became addicted and fell in those who had fewer problematic gaming traits.

Gentile is not the only researcher looking into the issue. A similar study was published in Pediatrics in November. That research, conducted by a group of doctors from the Yale University School of Medicine's psychology department, asked three questions to determine if a student had a game-related impulse-control disorder. Of the more than 4,000 students surveyed, 5.9 percent of the boys responded in the affirmative to all three questions (qualifying them as having a disorder for the purposes of the research), compared to 3 percent of the girls.

Pathological gambling parallels are commonly used in gaming research because it is the only medically recognized behavioral addiction, Gentile said. While there are studies about "addictions" to sex and shopping, those aren't medically recognized afflictions. And while Gentile didn't look at gaming as a substance addition in this study, he does see similarities.

"When you play the games, your biochemistry does change," Gentile said, "and it changes in many of the same ways that it does if you take cocaine. Your brain does release dopamine. That adrenaline rush you feel from playing violent games is really adrenaline. That's epinephrine coursing through your veins. You also get other stress hormones--glucocorticoids and catecholamines like cortisol and testosterone. And over time, you get desensitized. You get a tolerance for them, and so you need more new games to get that excitement back again. And that looks an awful lot like a substance addiction."

Gentile said his new study was the first time research has pointed to something more than a correlation between games and mental health disorders, but he stopped short of calling it a causal link.

"We've got hints of causality because we know that something happened before something else," Gentile told GameSpot, "but that doesn't mean we know what caused it."

Gentile also expressed concern about pathological gaming being a comorbid disorder. He said mental health disorders often come in groups, and when someone develops a second one, it makes the first one worse, and so on in a vicious cycle.

"I think this study shows we can't ignore the way the kids are gaming as if it's really unimportant and only the depression is the important thing," Gentile said. "When you take that kid into the therapist to get help, you can try to medicate the depression and work on the social anxiety and the phobias, but if the kid goes home and still spends 40 hours a week playing games, they're not getting experience with other kids, they're not doing their homework, they're still doing things that are going to make treating those other problems harder. That's the sense that I'd like people to take away from this. We've looked at gaming as unimportant in a sense. 'It's just a game.' That doesn't mean the way some kids do it isn't damaging."

As for the ESA's public critique of his work, Gentile dismissed it as the trade group protecting its members' interests.

"They don't really provide any evidence in their statement of anything being seriously flawed," Gentile said. "That doesn't mean all studies don't have limitations; they certainly do. But just having limitations doesn't necessarily invalidate any of the results from it, either."

Regarding the criticism he gets from the gaming community at large, Gentile said the negative response is partly due to a misunderstanding.

"I tend to believe--and there are people who disagree with me--is what we're looking at here is an impulse control disorder," Gentile said. "You know you should do your homework, but you just can't stop playing. You know you have to go to bed, but you have to get just one more level. What needs to be changed is not the game. What needs to change is players need to learn to put it back into balance."

Discussion

606 comments
casey_oo9876
casey_oo9876

This is so true. I was reading a book last night, got really in to it, and missed out on some sleep before work. WE NEED TO REGULATE BOOKS! People like me can become addicted!

Bah-Humbug
Bah-Humbug

I just lost it playing Quake 4 a broke another pair of headphones. After not playing well IMO I became depressed and enraged and ripped the headphones to pieces. I am still in shook about it, my heart is beating faster then normal and I am very tense. Clearly I am mentally ill and playing that type of game is not good for me. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and was disgusted in myself for not being able to aim. Gaming probably is not a problem for mentally healthy people but not for people like me. :'(

Bah-Humbug
Bah-Humbug

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

junglist101
junglist101

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@night-dreamers Yes I do pay attention to reviews and ratings...and then I go watch the games on YouTube and rent them to decide for myself. Frequently I discover something that makes me shake my head at a prior review I've read. And most of the time I don't decide if I'll buy something until after I've given it a try (though I'll admit to falling for the hype of some games without properly "interviewing" them to see if they're worth my time) What many people don't seem to consider is that just because something is fun doesn't mean that it's original, creative or any of the other words most people associate with quality. Yet many people--IMO--don't seem to be able or willing to distinguish the technical mechanical parts of a game from the fun they garner playing it so they just decide, "If I'm having fun then this MUST be of quality." It's almost like they can't accept that sometimes something generic can be a lot of fun and sometimes something beautifully unique can be a complete bore Despite this many of these gamers and reviewers rail and complain endlessly about a lack of originality and how the industry is too obsessed with money like there are clear as day solutions to those problems that people don't use cause they don't care. But for the solutions to be clear there has to be a clear way to define quality and if it's based strictly on the fun someone garners from a game then there have to be clearly distinguishable elements that make something fun. And yet there AREN'T

night-dreamers
night-dreamers

For some games this site lets some people obviously not into the genre rate em, that is wrong on so many levels, my point being you've gotta be into the genre to rate it, those are the ones supposed to be rating and they might be the ones closest to your rating(everyone's rating for a game defines how much they'll be enjoying it ofcourse). And there are certain elemants that increase the rating (therefore the quality)of each game like the plot, character development, gameplay, twists ...etc.

night-dreamers
night-dreamers

@cachinscythe You may be right if what you mean twilight movies arent as good as the books, I never read em nor would I bother (reading was never one of my habits). I gotta say I never enjoyed FPS games for that I can't decide their quality and one of the things I know as a gamer this site's ratings are either too over rating or underratingm I never played Ocarina of Time, Played GTA 4 and giving it a 10 is messed up. "If 80 million copies of the new Zelda title were sold on its first day, would you say that was because of advertisements?" This is what's so called hype and it's one of people's worst traits, anyway don't you see user's ratings for some games or check reviews if you were ever gonna buy a game?

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@night-dreamers Then let your hope be dashed pal. This is what I think and what I've thought for years. I know exactly what the ratings system is, yes. It is--IMO--a flimsy way to present one's OPINION, not some sort of indisputable FACT. If you really think games like Ocarina of Time, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (all received 10 on this site) are somehow "games that everyone can enjoy," then you need to take a step back and remember that everyone has their own tastes. There are plenty of people who will not enjoy THPS3. In fact, I'M one who thinks that score is absurdly inflated. If 80 million copies of the new Zelda title were sold on its first day, would you say that was because of advertisements? Even if it was, would that automatically make those 80 million people overly susceptible to advertising? Something tells me you and many gamers would think very differently under those circumstances. "Quality" is a subjective term, and you have no business deciding whether something "deserves" its fanbase or not. That's what free markets are for. Have you bothered to read the Twilight novels? The story is developed plenty. Might as well say Harry Potter doesn't deserve ITS fanbase.

night-dreamers
night-dreamers

"And I can name several games that got virtually no credit from the gaming community but deserved to IMO" Even if they didn't the ones that played will.

night-dreamers
night-dreamers

@cachinscythe I really hope that you're joking this isn't funny, do you know what's the point of the rating systems? as in games that takes 10 deserves to be played by many, but twilight that only has an intresting idea and developes over nothing(another example a channel that had 80 millions watcher in it's opening day based on what? advertisment) doesn't deserve half the fanbase it has it's all about quality man, that's what I meant :?. I really hope that you're just having a bad day or such to not comprehend such a thing:?.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@night-dreamers Wow buddy. No offense, but I'm not sure what world YOU'RE living in. I know PLENTY of gamers that make fun of Twilight. And I can name several games that got virtually no credit from the gaming community but deserved to IMO. How can you honestly say you know who deserves credit and who doesn't? Do you develop games? Are you in tune with what the rest of the gaming population feels and thinks? There is nothing that elevates us gamers above the supposed "sheep" that you apparently think are going to movies based on advertisements. We are just another community with our own views. Don't kid yourself. We don't have any business saying who deserves credit any more than the rest of humanity does.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@Grovilis Do you really think that because they release a study showing a correlation between addictive gaming and depression that it means they're singling out games? We aren't the center of the universe you know. There is a world outside of gaming websites like this one that is actively working just as hard to stop other addictive behaviors like substance abuse. They are not pointing the finger at us any more than other things that are linked to unhealthy lifestyles.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@admund lol thats me, born lazy (only lazy about work, i dont mind exercise) but yeah i think your right

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@revanknight i agree with you for most but: "And over time,you get desensitized.You get a tolerance for them, and so you need new game to get that excitement back. That sounds an awful lot like a substance addiction." although the whole substance addiction is rubbish, u do actually get desensitized, but that is not abad thing it just means you do not get shocked by things as much (same thing happens to people who watch lots of films (especially horror), they will get used to it and not be scared or shocked by it so much ), but this is not a bad thing as it can actually help people to deal with real life situations e.g. there is a terrible accident which seriously injures several people: someone who is sensitive is more likely to sit there screaming and do nothing, whereas someone who is less sensitive is likely to ignore the horror of it and go and help. so although i agree gaming may (depending what games u play + for how long) make you desensitized, i believe that it is not such a bad thing as he trys to make it.

night-dreamers
night-dreamers

This has gotten to the point where it's disgusting, get a life for a change.

night-dreamers
night-dreamers

what they should really concentrate on is the crap they make movies out of, the super star ate that, did that, seriously just because you're mentally disordered or you're a psycho scintest or a drug dealer or whatever it is, just don't point your fingers at us gaming. We've never made fun of the crap that is Twilight or a series being aired even if it's not aired its popular and you make stars out of poop and thin air, atleast the gaming community is the most honest and appreciative to those who deserve it in the entertainament industry not because they were advertised but because they deserve it, art is art that's what I believe.

Grovilis
Grovilis

Almost ANY addiction can cause this. Why are they pointing fingers?

revanknight
revanknight

The criticisms I have right now...First of all, you can overdo pretty much ANYTHING and it WILL change your body's chemistry. So you can become "pathological" from just creating routines for yourself. Harmful or helpful. The actual test also has plenty of flaws. They didn't ask if they had done certain things multiple times or whether it was just once. The whole counting "sometimes" as half a yes pretty much ruins the accuracy of this experiment(these are all yes/no questions, why include sometimes?)Kids skipping studies to play games? Kids can find pretty much any excuse not to do homework. My favorite part, "And over time,you get desensitized.You get a tolerance for them, and so you need new game to get that excitement back. That sounds an awful lot lik a substance addiction." He acts like a game is something that wears out. NO. People play the same games for long periods of time and sometimes we play the older ones. For fun. A substance addiction is different. You get used to the normal dosage so you increase it to get that high you are used to. Most likely using the same product. In short, a videogame is an entertainment product just like a movie or music, and I doubt these guys have played a single game before. P.S. I can honestly say that gaming CAN cause mental problems, but I think the test and conclusions are flawed and not really anything we haven't heard before

admund
admund

Whatever disorder you scientists* wanna theorize us gamers have, that's fine. But really there is nothing wrong with gamers, as long as they exercise rationality in gaming. Game for 3 days straight? Stealing money to game? Proper gamers don't do that, it is when irresponsible parents just leave their kids to their own (kids can't manage thmselves well enough) that Gentile scientists come up with studies like this. Thr are times whr we skip homework or work, or slack off but that doesn't mean its a disorder. What about born-lazy working ppl? Having a lazy day?

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

'Sigh' Look at the gaming community go. A man suggests a CORRELATION between anxiety/depression and they start spamming crap about him being an idiot, a virgin, a biased douchebag, and pretty much anything else insulting you can think of. People, I own more than 500 games. I am probably more hardcore than many on this site. And even I can see some legitimacy to his claims. All he's saying is there's a correlation. He specifically states it doesn't mean games are the CAUSE. By the way, if any of you have ever taken a look at an actual psychological study, you'll know that they all contain a heading called "LIMITATIONS"--as mentioned in this article--that explains all the potential flaws in the study. Don't be so friggin' hypersensitive. It only proves their point, and it's not like it's wrong to say there's a correlation between sitting on the couch for five hours a day and obesity.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@SamuraiSeven that last sentence... *head explodes* lol nah good stuff man

SamuraiSeven
SamuraiSeven

Part of what the problem with gaming is (And I'm an avid gamer. Don't blast me.) that it has a tendency to interrupt routine wake sleep cysles. Studies have shown that going to bed at sporadic times (as little as one hour later than normal) can cause symptoms of depression the following day. So is it the gaming itself, or the behaviors associated with gaming. Is it the fact that I'll stay up later on a weekend or to finish a quest or that the physical effect of watching Marcus Fenix slaughter Locusts is causing me some type of disfunction? Is it my poor eating habits (microwaving ready to eat food between BFBC2 rounds) and sitting for long hours reducing my health and causing me to be malnourished or is it a hormoal response to multicolored, high resolution graphics. These are good questions. That's why co-relation does not signify causality.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@AlxT91 Thanks for clearing that up so I didn't have to. Gamers so much as see a headline that links gaming to depression and they just rush to the comment section for a quick "nuh uhhh"

Angel_Belial
Angel_Belial

Keyword: Pathological. Of course pathological gaming isn't going to be good for a child's mental health - performing any activity pathologically isn't a good idea.

FreakensteinAG
FreakensteinAG

What was that? 8.5, 7.6, 9.9, 5.9, and 3 percent? Tell you what. I'll take my chances on GTA4 and Fight Night, but you let me know if you find any studies that aren't nit-picky.

johnnybravo87
johnnybravo87

Iowa State professor was born with a religious family and didn't get to do any fun activities nor get laid. He just wants to put a bad name on games for the kids... thats all.

Desulated
Desulated

I don't think gaming causes depression in gamers...outside external factors in life do that. Gamers game because they want to get away from reality. After all, if you had a bad day, you'd want to wind down on the couch and blast your problems away without a care. But, excessive gaming can cause serious mental problems. Gaming addiction is a serious issue, but then, too much of everything ends up ugly as the end result.

AlxT91
AlxT91

A lot of you are missing the point, "Games help people with depression", they allow someone to ignore it for a while but can very quickly become a broken coping skill. It doesn't fix it. Pathological refers to an addiction, and if that addiction is getting in the way of other responsibilities it will of course cause depression. His research is sound and backed up by other similar studies, as the story mentions. It also explains why a chemical addiction can form to an action. There are World of Warcraft addicts that go through physical and mental withdrawal when they're denied the game. And I'll state it again, gaming is not an effective coping skill to deal with your problems. Giving an outlet to rest from them is valuable, but it won't fix the underlying cause. This study is for extreme cases of that.

garathe_den
garathe_den

Games always made me happy and inspired as a kid, still now do the same. I think it depends on genetic predisposition in which case your messed up anyway

isshiah
isshiah

we shouldn't need anyone to tell us that too much of something is a bad thing. drinking too much water can kill you. comparing drugs to games is ludicrous.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@faceless-mask thank you. u have said a lot of what i wanted to (but didn't have time to say). I dont believe that enough people understand what games do for people. they shouldn't be thought of as a cause of depression when it is actually the other way around, games help people with depression (they have helped me huge amounts at depressing times in life, by offering a temporary escape from your problems) and what was he on about comparing games to coke? if any of you have kids, seriously would you rather they played games or took drugs??? i think that is obvious

The_Gaming_Baby
The_Gaming_Baby

I suffer from depression and I love playing games...I'm very sure they aren't related however.

fluffy_051991
fluffy_051991

just cuz you have a piece of paper saying "You are a licensed..........." doesn't mean you know everything. I mean really? comparing playing video games to cocaine? that's b.s. I was born with a mental disorder. ok? you can't say to someone who is 30 years old that "You have a mental disorder." that would need alot of testing going on until you can't take it anymore. If your Psychologists and Thrapists tell you have depressed (or falsely accused, also like me,) That's because they want you to actually go outside and do "actual" work, just so they can make you pay for their "paychecks." if excessive video game sessions are bad, then I can blame pencils for misspell words, i can blame my car for driving drunk, and i can blame spoons for making people fat. YOU CAN'T AND SHOULD NOT DO IT.

tachsniper
tachsniper

anything in excess is bad you effin dolt! Excessive cheeseburger eating is bad, excessive smoking is bad, excessive stupidity is REALLY bad. tell us something useful with your Degree Mr. Professor. Like how to cure cancer once and for all and let us gamers manage ourselves.

franzito
franzito

My bad... Internet harms much more THAN games.

franzito
franzito

Internet harms much more games. Think about lazy parents who leave their kids in front of a computer for hours a day and you'll have a generation of confused, depressed and troubled individuals thanks to all the tons of mixed-bag information that comes from it.

DanteDelacoix
DanteDelacoix

oh yeah, games totally make you depressed. Remember when Sephiroth killed you know who?.....took me a week to get over it, lmao

Slagar
Slagar

@faceless-mask Haha, well said :) You know, as simple and as obvious as it is, I hadn't really considered that angle! It's interesting what you say about depression and your personal experience too. I myself was more the "typical" case - I think likely what this type of research is aimed at on. I went through a lot of depression, and used games as a panacea, but it was more damaging. Years later, I had no choice but to cut back, and realised the problem from all those years still exists, but many good opportunities were missed. On the positive side of things, I now have the tools and means to deal with it, whereas you have no choice when you're a kid (- domestic violence related).

faceless-mask
faceless-mask

That's not to say that excessive gaming is not bad. But all of us know it's bad, and we don't need some psychologist to tell us that.

faceless-mask
faceless-mask

@slagar-it's not that we're sensitive, we just love video games, and when a study like this is reported by the newspapers, our parents may go into one of their little berserker rages where they try to take our games away. AND WE.........NEED........GAMES!!!!!! :P But seriously, it's more the fact that a lot of people here have gone through depression (or been falsely accused of being depressed, like me) and video games were something that we could use to escape. And if we're still going through it, then we'd still want to escape, but because of studies like this being reported, we may not have the opportunity to do so. And also, as stated in the article, the researcher stopped short of saying that games have a causal link with mental health disorders, when a lot of people who do have mental health disorders are able to enjoy themselves using video games,whereas other forms of enjoyment may not be possible. If there's a study like this, then we may lose something we enjoy because some researcher is saying that it can cause mental health problems, or the effects of gaming are similar to those of doing cocaine, and it's kinda pissing off.

Slagar
Slagar

Why do people get so sensitive about this? I love games to bits myself. But I am also a human being that lives outside of games (sometimes:p), and I do see a legitimate concern. If you've ever played any MMO, you know that there are kids out there messing up their lives for their game(s). People seem to think "they're coming after gamers!!". But if there are enough gaming-related suicides, or enough Mum's dragging their kids into clinics, it becomes a very relevant and very important topic for research in their field! Don't believe it's a problem? Take one look at the forums at Online Gamers Anonymous or WoW Detox. As for the article itself, I thought it was well written and pretty free from bias if you ask me: "When you take that kid into the therapist to get help, you can try to medicate the depression and work on the social anxiety and the phobias, but if the kid goes home and still spends 40 hours a week playing games, they're not getting experience with other kids, they're not doing their homework, they're still doing things that are going to make treating those other problems harder. That's the sense that I'd like people to take away from this. We've looked at gaming as unimportant in a sense. 'It's just a game.' That doesn't mean the way some kids do it isn't damaging." I honestly don't think he could have summed it up in a fairer, less threatening way. Thanks for the great article Gamespot.

faceless-mask
faceless-mask

This actually happened to me, but my parents thought I was getting bullied, until I clarified the fact that I was bored, and not depressed. But in most cases, parents (and sometimes doctors too) will think that you're getting depressed, and not bored. My point is, it's because of this misconception that people (and I think this include the good doctor) believe that video games could be a cause of depression, whereas in actuality, it's just a symptom. And yes, by not having much social interaction, depression would be somewhat harder to treat, but still, you can't blame the kid or the game for that, especially if the cause of depression is a bully, or the parent's divorce, or something like that. If the kid has social anxiety, then you should work on that. Not taking away one of the things that takes away his depression for sometime. Especially if the depression has been present for sometime, in which case, even if you take his video games away, the person's not likely to suddenly just get up, run out of the house and start making friends.

faceless-mask
faceless-mask

"I think this study shows we can't ignore the way the kids are gaming as if it's really unimportant and only the depression is the important thing," Gentile said. "When you take that kid into the therapist to get help, you can try to medicate the depression and work on the social anxiety and the phobias, but if the kid goes home and still spends 40 hours a week playing games, they're not getting experience with other kids, they're not doing their homework, they're still doing things that are going to make treating those other problems harder. That's the sense that I'd like people to take away from this. We've looked at gaming as unimportant in a sense. 'It's just a game.' That doesn't mean the way some kids do it isn't damaging." If a kid is depressed and plays a lot of video games, then chances are, he was depressed before he started playing video games, and not after. Unless a person is so obsessed with video games that they can't live 1 hour without playing, then you can't really get depressed by not playing video games. And in a large number of cases, a person who's bored with life and plays more video games may accidentally be labeled as depressed. And since that person would not have displayed any signs of "depression" at any other time, then people would come to the conclusion that they're getting depressed because they're playing too many video games.

faceless-mask
faceless-mask

"When you play the games, your biochemistry does change," Gentile said, "and it changes in many of the same ways that it does if you take cocaine. Your brain does release dopamine. That adrenaline rush you feel from playing violent games is really adrenaline. That's epinephrine coursing through your veins. You also get other stress hormones--glucocorticoids and catecholamines like cortisol and testosterone. And over time, you get desensitized. You get a tolerance for them, and so you need more new games to get that excitement back again. And that looks an awful lot like a substance addiction." What he forgets to mention is that not only does cocaine use cause an ARTIFICIAL production of these chemicals (ie our body forces itself to produce these chemicals when we use coke), whereas gaming, as well as any other sport or recreational activity, allows our body to produce it naturally, but also that cocaine causes an excessive production of these chemicals, causing us to get high, while gaming does not cause our body to produce certain amounts of these chemicals. It's the reason we have fun. Almost all sports and recreational activities cause our body to create dopamine, adrenaline and stress hormones. People get stressed out during important basketball/football/hockey/other sport games. People do get adrenaline rushes while skateboarding, bungee jumping, etc.

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

@ACx7 In your own words. TL: DR. But thanks for taking the time to read a well written article.

ACx7
ACx7

@Phil-teh-Pirate It's the same BS over and over again. If all he meant was that it was the persons fault and in no way linked to gaming, why talk about gaming? He's sitting there comparing gaming to cocaine anything else that can be considered addicting. All because it releases dopamine and can cause an adrenaline rush? So by what he's saying anything that can be considered addictive can be linked to depression and anxiety? Then why come after games? Coincidence with all the Violent Video Game BS and court hearings that have been happening recently? Anything can give you a rush of adrenaline. And then he talks about them desensitizing kids? Give me a break. There are movies out that far exceed any level of violence that one will see in even the most violent video games. Those dont desensitize kids? He's coming after games like so many others are. "Games are bad for our children" BlahBlah. Then dont let them play them. He can say it isn't about the game all he wants, but when he does a study based around games... it becomes about games. You may think I am ignorant. I don't mind. But as an avid gamer I am sick of the negative reputation gaming is getting. I play more games than the average gamer, and if I am not desensitized, or addicted, or depressed because of them... I find it hard to believe that any stable person could be. Cheers, mate.

jrxbond
jrxbond

"You can't state that people are addicted without formal and professional documentation" - My statement I'm referring to a public opinion affect. The general acceptance and social engineering of this topic as though it were as terribly significant as drugs. Thus creating a probability figure that would state the general population, under whatever percentage, could be considered 'addicted' based on this small and abhorrent determination from school children, who undergo dreamy(emotional) world views from their very true lack of world view. Where in reality these affects are completely different in a mature adult, with variable experiences that extend on insurmountable levels. My point, this article 'labels' the general gaming public.

jrxbond
jrxbond

Going to Yale, Harvard or any private institution does not qualify you as a professional either, Dr. or not. That is for laws, standards, and ethics. This is blatant disparity based on personal bias.

jrxbond
jrxbond

Gelugon_baat: Well I agree that a lot of persons on this site see the overall picture very differently. I see it as a capitalization on personal promotion at the beheading of the general gaming public. You do not have to be a consumer to qualify. You can't state that people are addicted without formal and professional documentation, standards under codes of ethics. You also can't relate gaming to drug addictions such as cocaine when there is absolutely no quantifiable data determining the difference of gaming between sports, recreation, drugs or anything of that matter. This situation is purely malpractice.