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Study Claims 8.5% of Young Gamers "Pathologically Addicted"

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the put-the-controller-down dept.

Medicine 296

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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Frozen Post (1, Redundant)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672319)

I would have tried for a Frost Piste, but I was too addicted to Frozen Bubble ....

HA HA DISREGARD THAT I SUCK COCKS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27672325)

Linux just isn't ready for the desktop yet. It may be ready for the web servers that you nerds use to distribute your TRON fanzines and personal Dungeons and Dragons web-sights across the world wide web, but the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with, especially not when they already have a Windows machine that does its job perfectly well and is backed by a major corporation, as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds living in their mother's basement somewhere. The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

Re:Frozen Post (0)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672613)

... or not, as it turns out. Clearly all those commercial games really are more addictive than Frozen Bubble. My first first post! Now I can die happy.

Lies, damned lies, and money. (5, Insightful)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Lies, damned lies, and money. (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Re:Lies, damned lies, and money. (5, Interesting)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Lies, damned lies, and money. (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Lies, damned lies, and money. (2, Insightful)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672735)

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.

Re:Lies, damned lies, and money. (4, Interesting)

jambox (1015589) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Lies, damned lies, and money. (4, Interesting)

Another, completely (812244) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Lies, damned lies, and money. (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#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).

Re:Lies, damned lies, and money. (3, Insightful)

Draek (916851) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Lies, damned lies, and money. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672687)

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:Lies, damned lies, and money. (2, Insightful)

mirshafie (1029876) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672625)

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:Lies, damned lies, and money. (0, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672999)

Ah, the "I am a unique snowflake" theory. Forget things like "a well-rounded education". Hey if the kids won't open up their heads, let's just stop teaching them!

PS education is different from vocational training, I think you have the two confused.

Re:Lies, damned lies, and money. (2, Insightful)

MBaldelli (808494) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672961)

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.

Begging the Question (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672345)

"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.

Re:Begging the Question (4, Insightful)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672399)

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!

Re:Begging the Question (3, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Begging the Question (4, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Begging the Question (2, Insightful)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672841)

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 children, since children are still learning how to behave appropriately. I wouldn't put too much faith into this number, except as perhaps an upper-bound.

Re:Begging the Question (5, Funny)

gadget junkie (618542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672859)

I'd discipline my son when he lies about homework, if only I could quit playing COD4.

Invalid analogy (1)

ZmeiGorynych (1229722) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672913)

But of course there is a difference. 'the most important woman in the subject's life' expression hides the crucial difference in power relations.

One's partner is 'the most important woman in one's life' by choice, one's mother not. One's partner has exactly as much power over you as you agree to give her, one's mother (when one is a child) has quite a lot of power regardless. And when the latter power is abused, it is in my opinion entirely fair game to defend oneself with the means at one's disposal, and yes that includes lies if more savory means are exhausted. If one's mother thinks all computer games are evil for example, yes I think it's entirely justified to mislead her as to what exactly one was doing when visiting a friend.

Not all mothers are control freaks, but enough of those I've met are, to make your simile silly.

Pfff (5, Interesting)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (4, Insightful)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (0)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672401)

Please lead us, oh wise one... by example.

Re:Pfff (3, Insightful)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672417)

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 (4, Interesting)

Draek (916851) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Pfff (-1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672729)

Drop that deity worship now, Christian-boy. No wonder you're in a shitty place in life, playing too many video games and talking to an invisible man - not enough education and READING BOOKS.

Re:Pfff (1)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672821)

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?

People find all kinds of ways to kill themselves, most don't due to their survival instinct. The problem is that addictions tend to override instincts and/or good decision making. Why didn't slaves constantly revolt or commit suicide? Maybe because no matter how much they hated their lives they still enjoyed seeing the sun rise.

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.

I enjoyed playing video games more than doing homework too, my point is that most people can't only play video games and still survive.

Re:Pfff .. use your mind. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27672433)

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 your homework time working, working on what you plan on doing to earn money, contribute to society and feed yourself with. You have to be at school, you don't have to get good grades, YMMV.

Never played a game where you had to churn away at earning rupees?

Re:Pfff .. use your mind. (1)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672617)

you don't have to get good grades

You do if you don't want to be labelled as a "game addict".

Re:Pfff (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672471)

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 system. And many types in between.

But I agree with you on the facts or figures. From what I remember, school drilled a few things repeatedly (certain English and History concepts that I thought were trivially easy to remember), didn't really move anywhere on math the first 8 years, and so on and so farth.

History didn't really interest me until the history channel. And I think more subjects should have some type Rosetta Stone software, if only that you could break from the teacher's pace and go your own - faster or slower as the material and your mind dictates, which is probably 1/2 the tediousness and anxiety of class.

It would be nice to marry video games and school in a more ambitious way than it was done in the past, typically to teach one limited aspect of one subject, and low on the totempole at that (for little kids) or something like Brain Games for Nintendo DS which is general knowledge or just your memory. There have been attempts at the past to present some material in anime/cartoon form but it often turns out lamer than the text book, I would welcome the interaction and experimenting of a true game.

Re:Pfff (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27672633)

> some are destined for prison, and some are entrepreneurs who break the rules of the system

I hear all those people in prison are really 'entrepreneurs who break the rules of the system'.

Re:Pfff (5, Insightful)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Pfff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27672511)

Ummm, maybe if the poor performance was across the board. We're not talking about skipping the last class of the day to play GTA.

Now, if you wanted to attack the methods used in this study, you have something to argue but the people who modded this Insightful should be embarrassed of themselves.

Re:Pfff (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672521)

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 everything you do in games, can be learned at school.
Plus, games are by definition motivating and fun. There's a huge theoretical part, about how to motivate the player the most, and get him to higher and complexer tasks, while still being fun.

I think, good games (including those that you play outside and with friends, and those where you really learn something), will be essential in the future education of our kids.
Of course, completed with good parenting -- The foundation that makes everything else work in the first place.

But it will always be easier for retards, to just blame a scapegoat. Rock'n'roll, games, drugs, TV, whatever you want.
Oh, and if you want a "straight sitting, quiet, always just working on his homework" kid, get a blow-up doll or a robot.

Luckily, we do not have to follow all this. Because we know better. And we hope, that some day in the future, our kids will rule the world, while their kids will be rolling the dumpsters, if you know what I mean. ^^

What a crock of shit (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672949)

"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 post on was designed. It wasn't through a load of emotional discovery bullshit.

Re:Pfff (1)

Poorcku (831174) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672557)

yeah, god forbid we put the responsibility on the parents shoulders. no, no! we are not to blame! blame Canada!

Re:Pfff (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672657)

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 is anything but it. The student should be given the tools to find information and guided to understanding context and relevance of the information he has. This way, in time his knowledge will grow instead of decline, because he is able to put more information he gets into the right context, giving him relevant clues, hints and guides how to further his knowledge.

This also, eventually, enables the student to draw his own conclusions and develop new information and knowledge, which in turn can be used as the foundation of even more study.

Now, if you can somehow teach that to our teachers, we could finally get out of that Pisa slump we're in.

Re:Pfff (1)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672901)

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 important skill, but good initial seed of facts is just as important.

Re:Pfff (1)

krou (1027572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672903)

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 condition children for this purpose.

Ya, totally impartial.... (4, Insightful)

Ifandbut (1328775) | more than 5 years ago | (#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

Re:Ya, totally impartial.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27672515)

ad hominem attacks have no place as a discussion argument.

Criticize the study if you have a problem.

Re:Ya, totally impartial.... (0, Redundant)

politicsapocalypse (1296149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672547)

/scarsam_off You are ending a scarsam_off tag so I guess that means you were not using scarsam? WTF is scarsam anyway?

Re:Ya, totally impartial.... (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672631)

>WTF is scarsam anyway?
They were thinking of 'Scar Sam' - a character in the game they were playing whilst typing. He'd just left the level, hence 'Scar Sam off.'

Re:Ya, totally impartial.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27672829)

ending the sarcasm_off tag would be </sarcasm>.
/sarcasm_off is clearly a command on his IRC client

Re:Ya, totally impartial.... (1)

Ifandbut (1328775) | more than 5 years ago | (#27673051)

Fine. /sarcasm_off

I fail spelling of the wordz.

I am not all hip on proper /. syntax.

/whatever_off infers you were using /whatever prior to the /whatever_off statement.

Re:Ya, totally impartial.... (0, Redundant)

politicsapocalypse (1296149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27673091)

That is a double negative. / indicates the end. So if that is the end of your sarcasm then /sarcasm or Its basic markup language

Re:Ya, totally impartial.... (4, Insightful)

Poorcku (831174) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672579)

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....

Re:Ya, totally impartial.... (0, Troll)

Draek (916851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672645)

Next time you use that smartass answer, do so on a story that doesn't have precisely what you ask linked in the same summary. Thanks.

Re:Ya, totally impartial.... (1)

Ifandbut (1328775) | more than 5 years ago | (#27673033)

Thank you Draek. It is true I did not RTFA but at least I did RTFS.

Re:Ya, totally impartial.... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672991)

ad hominem attacks do have some place, if a source is so skewed that it cannot be trusted.

I don't necessarily believe it to be the case here, but the organisation itself does warrant looking into if you actually care. A track record of bad studies throws this one into doubt, a track record of good ones, some with results contrary to their goal improves it.

I would say the sloppy use of questions pointed out is evidence not only of incompetence, but of intentionally skewing the results.

It would make far more sense to find questions aimed at children acting pathological rather than adults for the purpose of measuring children.

Especially considering we have been selected (genetically) to test the limits of our freedom and independence from our parents are a way to grow up.

Just as I would be instantly sceptical of NAMBLA if they were to conduct a study about how much children enjoy intimate time with their older companions, this study too is suspect. At the very least an agenda is evidence against scientific method being used.

Re:Ya, totally impartial.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27672695)

Do you know what that is? Why don't you do some checking into what the Institute is, and then make a comment.

It's like complaining that a medical school did medical research. Or the APA did a psychological study. Or a cooking school put something out there about FOOD.

This isn't like Dobson's Focus on the Family. They don't think all media is harmful. They recommend parents get involved (isn't that what people here bleat about all the damn time?). They do NOT advocate censorship. They advocate using your brains. And if you read the site's information about dealing with addiction, it doesn't say to stop all video game usage at all, unless nothing else works. Video games are OK, in moderation.

Why anyone modded that comment as INSIGHTFUL is beyond me. It showed no insight nor thought whatsoever.

Re:Ya, totally impartial.... (4, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672977)

"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.

Re:Ya, totally impartial.... (4, Informative)

Ifandbut (1328775) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.""

Fffft, such a load of bull (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#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...

Re:Fffft, such a load of bull (0, Flamebait)

pbhj (607776) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672447)

How old are you?

Guess the blown vacuum tube? Pong? Space Invaders? Tetris? ...

Re:Fffft, such a load of bull (3, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672555)

Guess the blown vacuum tube?

That wasn't just a game, you could get paid for that

Re:Fffft, such a load of bull (1)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672643)

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 brain when commenting, people!

(No, I'm not new here :)

Re:Fffft, such a load of bull (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27672979)

I think grandpa might be pathologically addicted to books. Why just the other day I heard him say "I just can't put this book down." He's even been reading when he should be having dinner or sleeping. Clearly it's having an effect on his quality of life. Time to call the rehab clinic.

Slashdot releases new study (statistics ok, n=1)! (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27673011)

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-kid, but with n=1 you get a confidence in your conclusion that's very low.

What are these video games? (3, Informative)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672375)

'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.

Re:What are these video games? (1)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672411)

Does it really matter which ones? TFA is only about those who are "pathologically addicted". Anyone who is pathologically addicted to anything is bound to suffer in other areas of their life. Certainly MMOGs have a higher addiction rate, but if you play any game 18 hours per day it's going to be a problem.

Awesome. (5, Insightful)

Flurf (1285882) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672413)

So, 91.5% of young gamers are completely fine and video games in no way have altered their academic or social habits? Cool.

Re:Awesome. (1)

amnezick (1253408) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672431)

Wrong
91.5% are yet to be studied ...

And for older gamers, it's not an addiction . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672721)

. . . it's a lifestyle choice.

In other news (1)

symes (835608) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672441)

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"

Video games and education (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27672451)

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 multiplayer games - provided that working against others has adverse effects to the player. Sure, most things simply have to be learned from school books, but the point is that games can support the learning process, not just hinder it.

Could be true...but... (4, Interesting)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Could be true...but... (2, Insightful)

kaaposc (1515329) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672707)

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..

Re:Could be true...but... (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672813)

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 today". Perhaps when entire generations of psychopaths grew up - mentally unblanced by being so bloody bored all day, every day - then the "think of the children" crowd might lighten up a little.

Re:Could be true...but... (1)

Ifandbut (1328775) | more than 5 years ago | (#27673099)

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

Again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27672459)

I'm tired of this story.

I know someone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27672493)

who in her civil service job would ring her mother at 9:00 AM and talk to her to 11:00 AM about Coronation Street and eastenders. Would she be judged to be pathologically addicted to soaps?

A nurse in Saint Vincents Hospital refused a patient pain medication because of what Bella did on Fair City.

Would you want someone like that in charge of your healthcare?

Other news... (0)

jaimegarcia (988720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672501)

Young gamers claim 91.5% of researchers are "pathologically addicted" to absurd and misleading studies.

New study! (1)

dword (735428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672529)

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.

Pathological addiction? (1)

MobyTurbo (537363) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672535)

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.

Gamers (0)

qpawn (1507885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672539)

My research has shown that anybody who refers to oneself as a "Gamer" is addicted.

How does that compare to general addiction exposur (2, Interesting)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:How does that compare to general addiction expo (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672889)

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 original article meaningless.

Controlling for sex? (0, Redundant)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672551)

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

Sounds a bit disturbing they were controlling for sex of 8 year olds.

Makes sense to me (2, Insightful)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672567)

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 (2, Insightful)

Karem Lore (649920) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672575)

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.

It's all about the marketing (1)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672581)

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.

Re:It's all about the marketing (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672761)

Fukitol is old had!

You should try the new wonder drug, "Paracetamoxyfrusebendroneomycin [lyricsmania.com] "

What's funny is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27672607)

... journalists who mindlessly reprint "studies" released by the "National Family Institute of somethingsomething and the Family" one week, and then write articles bemoaning the lack of respect for professional journalism the next.

I'm more concerned (2, Interesting)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

You're Kidding Me Right? (4, Funny)

CyberSlammer (1459173) | more than 5 years ago | (#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!!!!

Re:You're Kidding Me Right? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27673037)

I played video games as a teenager and it never affected me at all HEAD SHOT!!!

Flawless victory^Wargument.

Anything you enjoy can become addicting (1)

Jarvis1188 (1396713) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672693)

Anything you enjoy can become "pathologically addicting". When you do something you enjoy, the happy chemicals in your brain get released, the very same chemicals released through the use, of say, heroin. If we are to villify video games for being addicting, then we must also villify every recreational activity known to, at some point in history, with at least one person, be enjoyed. I'll admit I get very addicted to turn based strategy games. I go crazy if I don't get "my fix". But anyone who passionately enjoys anything also can have the potential to get addicted to their activity of choice. Some peoples' brains are just more easily addicted than others.

Sooooo, this means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27672741)

...it's safe to go back to crack-smoking now?

Oh sweet irony (3, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672743)

Jack Thompson must just love that this has come out just after his appeal was rejected without hearing...

pathological? (1)

autora (1085805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672817)

I am curious why they state "pathologically addicted" - sounds a bit tautological to me? Do they mean pathological as in compulsive, because "compulsively addicted" seems strange. Or do they mean pathological as in a disease? I agree (as does the medical profession nowadays I think) that addiction is a disease in the medical sense of the word, so again tautological.

Re:pathological? (3, Informative)

MoellerPlesset2 (1419023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27673015)

"Pathologically" would mean in this context, like in most health contexts, "having a detrimental effect on your quality of life".

Saying that something is an 'illness' depends entirely on the severity. For instance, my back isn't perfectly straight - I have a very slight scoliosis. But it has had zero impact on my life and its quality. So it's not something you would ever bother to treat medically, even if it's not 'normal'.

People tend to think of medicine in binary terms, like with infectious diseases: Either you're infected or not. But that's not a realistic way to view medicine, and in particular, it fails completely when it comes to mental disorders.

So the bottom line about whether a gaming 'addiction' is a 'pathological' addiction or not, is dependent on whether it's actually an addiction, proper. Does the person have control over it? If they don't, then it's pretty obvious that's a negative for their quality-of-life.

For the same reasons, it'd also be stupid to define a gaming addiction in simplistic terms as "hours played", etc. And I'm skeptical of this particular study; the diagnostic criteria seem pretty simplistic. You can't really evaluate whether someone is addicted or not just from a few survey-type questions. I doubt any practicing psychiatrist would, either.

But I don't see any reason to doubt the actual idea that computer-gaming addiction exists. Heck, I read about a lady who lost her life to Bingo. Yes.. *Bingo*.

Bwa-huh? (1)

Aaron_Pike (528044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672899)

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?

MMOs are the problem (2, Insightful)

Becausegodhasmademe (861067) | more than 5 years ago | (#27672955)

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 order to compete you need to have equal or better equipment/level/skills as other players, which means that the people spending 40 hours a week grinding game content set the bar for the other players. Also there's the social aspect, many tasks in MMOs require players to work in groups, so there's the pressure of playing in order to appease/help out your friends. Combine that with the fact that the game developers are constantly moving the goalposts with every patch/expansion, thus reducing the relative value of your equipment/achievements/money requiring you need to invest even more time to remain competitive, and it's no surprise that hardcore gamers are neglecting work/school/family duties. And the problem compounds itself. Say you get a D on an assignment because you stayed up the night before playing games. Disappointed with your grade, you're likely to go and play the computer game because being successful at a game gives you a sense of achievement and results in increased confidence. However, while you're busy spending hours gaining virtual achievements you're not completing your next assignment, so you fall into a loop of confidence highs and lows. It all comes down to self discipline and good time management. I speak from experience as someone who spent 3 years between the ages of 16 and 19 putting in 35+ hours a week to World of Warcraft and EVE Online, having to retake my A level exams and still ending doing on a foundation year. I don't use games as an excuse of my failure because it's down to lack of self discipline, but I'm sure that the nature of the games I played compounded the situation.

Re:MMOs are the problem (1)

Becausegodhasmademe (861067) | more than 5 years ago | (#27673025)

(Author of the parent) Apologies for the wall of text, There were breaks but apparently they disappeared! that'll teach me to use the preview button!

Helghan Belongs To The Helghast!!!!!!!! (1)

fitash (1368347) | more than 5 years ago | (#27673029)

Another study from those evilish ISA in order that we abandond the trenchs! HA HA HA IT WON'T BE THAT EASY, YOU MORRONS!!

Age Difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27673053)

It would be very interesting to me to see the percentages as stratified across age ranges from, say, 6 to 26. I think folks (like myself) who grew up in the days of Atari and Nentendo were on the "ground floor" (so to speak) of the video gaming revolution. To many of us still, we'd rather spend our free time playing video games than watching TV. I wonder how game time compares to TV time for those who are not "pathologically addicted"? We also can't forget the internet in this modern day and age - are the kids who are not spending lots of time playing video games simply wasting their time elsewhere (on facebook for instance?)

I think it's narrow minded to accuse games like this. If a child is not doing his/her homework - that blame lies at least partially on the parents. Let's quit blaming the "latest thing" culturally and take some responsibility for raising our children!

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