Nine per cent of gamer kids are 'addicted'
Videogaming is a normal activity for teenagers, but one in 10 are actually "addicted" to the activity, a recent study claims.
A two-year study – details of which were published today in American journal Pediatrics – of more than 3,000 kids at a Singapore school claimed those rated as being addicted to games are also more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and experience a drop in their school grades.
To pinpoint addiction, teachers gave out questionnaires that asked the kids about their gaming as well as other aspects of their lives.
The questions centred on "hypothesised risk and protective factors for developing or overcoming pathological gaming ... including weekly amount of game play, impulsivity, social competence, depression, social phobia, anxiety and school performance".
Based on these factors, the research team were able to spot those kids they believe are addicted.
On average, kids play games for 20 hours a week, and up to 12 per cent of boys and five per cent of girls qualify as addicted as defined by the study.
Dr Douglas Gentile, who heads up the Media Research Lab in Iowa State University and is linked to the college's Department of Psychology, worked on the study and told Reuters that those who played longer hours had poorer social skills and were at a higher risk of becoming addicted over the two-year period.
He also believes that, though the study doesn't show a direct link, such unhealthy gaming habits fuels kids' mental health problems, which could in turn cause them to spend even more time in front of a screen.
Mark Griffiths, director of the International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University, is sceptical. Griffiths, who featured in a recent Panorama programme on the same subject, told the news agency: "If Nine per cent of children were genuinely addicted to video games, there would be video game addiction clinics in every major city."
It remains to be shown if the "risk factors" the study investigated are a cause of gaming addiction or an effect. It has not been shown that all kids who play for what an adult might believe to be an excessive duration are affected this way or become unable to stop playing.
Then again, Griffiths also said that gaming addiction is so new that people don't think it's important enough to invest money into such research. Perhaps this study and ongoing investigations such as Project Massive, will prove otherwise.
The Panorama episode stated that 66 per cent of yoof have a console and asked if this is a "hidden problem building up in homes across the country".
What are your views on the "screenager" generation? Is their infatuation unhealthy, or simply a worthy substitute for our own addictive activities? ®
You could just as easily reverse the argument and say that kids that are poor at school or are simply not interested in school choose to spend their time doing something else and it just happens to be playing video games. If they weren't playing games they'd most likely still be poor in school, just they'd be robbing grannies, setting fire to things, self harming or listening to emo records.
Goes along with the Panaroma show on the same topic which showed that people with addictive personalities become addicted to things. Thanks for that.
The day they ban smoking come back and tell me that games are addictive and bad for me, until then, get some perspective.
How deep does the disease go?
I wonder what percentage of kids are addicted to baseball, football, or other sports, by the same standards?
I trust these studies
About as far as i could comfortably spit a dead rat.
As they tend to be done by interest groups out to generate evidence for their cause.
They also like to sanitize context from their study to produce a more biased result.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if a Kid spent most of its free time doing in door solo activities during the more unpleasant times of year, and went out with mates more during the more pleasant times of year. What kind of home arrangements are there? What house hold pressures and paranoia (the old - I can't let my kid outside because they'll be stolen by the winkle collectors) exist.
I'd be more than willing to believe that kids that aren't allowed out due to parents fear end up more likely to be maladjusted, but game playing is likely more a symptom than a cause.
However game playing being a symptom instead of a cause doesn't fit the model, also even if it was a good study with lots of intelligent questions and good context provided, those who have an agenda beyond research will just take the headline "Study says 1 in 10 kids addicted to games - become serial killers"
same old bullshit....
like when i was younger my mum asked me why i smoked pot. was i addicted? i replied 'if someone asked you to stop drinking cups of tea and listening to the archers, would you? '
they play games because they enjoy them. hell, kids get it shit these days. you cant go out due to paedos etc so they are told to stay inside. and do what? read? draw? kids these days arent able to create fun. i used to be happy with cardboard boxes and sellotape to create bases for my star wars. kids these days dont seem to be able to do such things. video games are here to stay and people need to live with it and not try to alienate the youth any further.
you may also find that kids from poor families in rough areas play more games than kids who have horses etc... shock!
qualify as addicted as defined by the study
so not addicted, at all, to anything then.
move along nothing to see here.
recent studys indicate that 97.45734675684356% of dead-weight wannabe academics will claim group A is addicted to process/substance/state of mind B at the drop of a fat juicy research grant.