A friend just emailed us a link to news about a *recent study by an international research team including Iowa State University’s Douglas Gentile, showing that video games are addictive for nearly 10 percent of players and that those who were pathologically addicted had higher incidences of anxiety, social phobias, depression, and poorer grades in school.
This study was reported on in more depth, here at PsychCentral.
The study turns on its head previous arguments that those problems caused the video game addiction, and not the other way around however the study also shows that those children and teens with greater impulsitivity and lower social skills were more likely to become addicted. But kids who cut back on playing or quit see their emotional problems lessen.
Video gaming has its supporters and detractors and the evidence on both sides greatly varies. Just a quick search on PsychCentral.com, which always reports on the latest studies, show a disparate collection of articles and topics: Video games improve visual attention, are linked to decreased attention span, help relieve pain, improve decision making, may aid creativity and so on.
*The study will be published in the February 2011 issue of Pediatrics which is the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The basic questions remains: Should we be allowing children and teens to play video games until all the evidence is in?
Photo by Quinn Dombrowski, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.
This post currently has
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.
Last reviewed: 27 Jan 2011