If last night’s post about the study linking gaming addiction to depression and anxiety seemed dismissive, it is only because CNN’s broadcast news coverage left out any specifics that might make the study’s results appear more compelling or convincing. Gamespot, however, goes into much greater detail here about the study conducted by Iowa State professor Douglas Gentile.
What I find most interesting about Gentile’s study is the methodology. He surveyed roughly three thousand Singapore children with questions that were adapted from questions used to uncover gambling addiction. Why gambling? Apparently, gambling is the only “medically recognized behavioral addiction.” (Sorry, sex addicts. Better switch to online poker if you need a good excuse.)
While Dr. Gentile’s findings will probably be used to further attack games, it is important to note that even he himself admits the study says more about the players than the games themselves. He told Gamespot:
“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.”