A study based on "a randomly selected sample of 1,178 American youth ages 8 to 18" found that eight percent of the subjects studied "exhibited pathological patterns of play". Titled "Pathological video game use among youth 8 to 18: A national study" by Douglas A. Gentile, the study uses some pretty dubious criteria to highlight video-game addiction among youngsters. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here's an excerpt:
Gentile constantly uses the phrases "pathological gaming" and "pathological gamer", both of which I find terribly amusing. So to use his criteria, I often skipped chores so that I could play baseball with my friends. I suppose I was a pathological baseball player in my youth. I also used books to "escape from problems", which made me a pathological reader. Ultimately, all kinds of youth activities could have been plugged in for gaming and the results would have been the same. Most of my childhood friends used a wide variety of activities to skip chores, escape from the world, and botch tests.
The biggest problem I have with the study is that it paints escapism as a bad thing. It's hard growing up and forming your identity. Sometimes a good book, playing with friends, or sinking into a game offers a nice escape. Certainly some people use those things excessively, but I don't see why escaping from the real world for a little while is bad thing.
What do you think of the study? Do you agree with me that a lot of it is broad and doesn't paint an honest picture? Or do you think Gentile's points are on the mark?
Source via Game Politics