CNN Takes On The Child Gaming Addiction Study

CNN Takes On The Child Gaming Addiction Study

Early this morning we reported on a new study that claims one in 10 children are engaged in pathological gaming, prone to serious mental health issues. How does CNN handle the study?

Surprisingly well, if you ask me. They manage to mention that the 3000 children involved in the study were from Singapore, for instance, which is of course a completely different country than the United States with a completely different culture. They touch on the Entertainment Software Association’s assertion that this new study means absolutely nothing at all and was conducted with the aim of proving a negative point about the industry.

The only huge slip up I noticed was calling World of Warcraft a violent video game. Someone hasn’t played any WoW lately.

Thanks RtFusion for the link!


  • The biggest slip up is the same slip up the are all always making, and that’s causality. There are no quotes being presented (I haven’t read the study yet but neither have any of their viewers) to suggest that the games in any way CAUSE the depression or low grades. They can never pinpoint that kind of stuff. Anderson, Gentile et al. never even try to, experimentally, because its incredibly difficult if not impossible to account for all the other factors in a child’s development.

    If a kid has horrible acne and is socially awkward because of it, he is likely to be depressed and have fewer friends than his average peer. Therefore he is less likely to be socialising in the traditional way: hanging out at the shops, having friends over at home, etc. So what does he do? He might read, draw, build model airplanes or play videogames. Whatever he is doing with his time is not causing his depression. It’s the other way around. If all I do in a study is look to see if people play games and are depressed, I simply cannot account for his acne, for example, which is actually the cause of all the problems.

    • Actually Adam, what’s unique about this study is that they were able to predict depression controlling for other factors. Basically, they found that those children who were found to play games at a level described as pathological were more likely to later develop bouts of depression. Similarly, if those children stopped playing games, they tended to recover. Keep in mind, this is not a neat, laboratory controlled study, but the methodology is the same that produced a causal link between smoking and lung cancer. Also, this is an initial result. It certainly requires replication in other countries.

      It’s not as bad as it sounds, it just provides preliminary evidence that pathological gaming, like any addiction, can result in depression. I think the estimate that 10% of child gamers are ‘addicted’ is far more controversial than the ‘causal’ finding, that addictive behavior can produce depression.

  • Well put.

    Too many contributing factors to determine whether videogames can be directly attributed to depression and/ or other serious mental health issues.

    Just another pointless spurt from the idiots looking for a scapegoat for thier children’s developmental issues.

  • Online experiences can’t be rated so perhaps when they played world of warcraft they had a violent experience, even dungeons nowadays quite a lot of abuse going around due to how the dungeons aren’t cake walks. Don’t know the dungeon GTFO.

  • Thinking back to my teen years, if my parents had asked me to stop playing games for a month it would have been no problem. IT would have left more time for porn and dope smoking with my peers.

  • I only really agree with the point of more than 30 hours of gaming per week is unhealthy. I mean, don’t parents make their kids go outside and play? When I was a kid that’s what I had to do. I still gamed but that was usually on a gameboy (outside) or a little before or after dinner. The only exception was when we had friends come over, we were allowed to play games earlier 😀 What’s wrong with parents nowadays?

  • Sheer and utter utter nonsense.

    There is ZERO scientific evidence to show a difference between a healty and a unhealthy brain.

    This is all based on opinion.

    The real dangerous products are the drugs the psychiatrists push onto the people to convince them they are sick.

    • Saying that psychological drugs are a gimmick is flippant, and your off-hand dismissal of psychological diseases (unhealthy brain) as a sales ploy is both ill-founded, and possibly offensive to many people.

      On a side note, check out:
      Self portraits of a schizophrenic artist examining his mental illness under different medicines. Tragically, he ends up committing suicide.

  • “Thirty hours a week of pretty much anything can’t be good.”

    Sounds like I should quit my job. Anyone else work 30 hours or more a week? (OK, so that’s a different context, but it still sounds like a good excuse to change to part-time.)

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