Is Pathological Video Gaming an 'Addiction'?

Living 2011/01/17 21:18:10
Related Topics: Addiction, School, Tennis
Add Photos & Videos
We told you last week that eating too much may soon be considered an "addiction." Now here's another one for you: video game addiction.

A new study found that kids and teens who are more likely to become addicted to video games (which researchers call "pathological" video gaming) are those who spend a lot of hours playing these games, have trouble fitting in with other kids and are more impulsive than children who aren't addicted, HealthDay reports.

We've always had a bit of an intolerance for kids (and adults) who'd rather be playing video games than doing anything else ... even if it's Rock Band or Wii tennis.

But apparently, for some young people, this is a serious "addiction." Once addicted to video games, children in the study were more likely to become depressed, anxious or have other social phobias. Their school performance also suffered.

"It might be that kids who are socially awkward, who aren't doing well in school, get depressed and then lose themselves into games," Douglas A. Gentile, an associate professor of psychology at Iowa State University in Ames, told HealthDay.

"But we found that in kids who started gaming pathologically, depression and anxiety got worse. And, when they stopped gaming, the depression lifted. It may be that these disorders [co-exist], but games seem to make the problem worse."

Also eye-opening: Among the 3,034 participants in the study, the average time spent playing video games was around 20.5 to 22.5 hours a week. That's about three hours a day when they're most certainly not doing homework.

What do you think? Is gaming a real addiction? Or is this just more junk science?

Read More: http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20110117/hl_hsn/videog...

Add a comment above

Top Opinion

  • J 2011/01/18 16:54:04
    Anything done in excess is addiction. But, it isn't an "illness" as much as it is a life-choice. People aren't held liable for their actions and we try to make it easier by blaming everything on an "illness." Just a cop-out.

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest

  • Robo Toaster 2011/01/19 15:16:17
    Robo Toaster
    It depends on the game. MMORPGs are probably the most addicting.
  • 2315217 2011/01/19 15:14:47
    And i am another addict!!! :D :D :D
  • Bill ~PWCM~JLA 2011/01/19 14:39:32
    Bill ~PWCM~JLA
    If the research indicates this, then only further research can suggest otherwise. It's always possible that this is junk science as we have seen in the global warming hoax but I would not call it junk science until other research calls this study into question.

    I myself have enjoyed many computer and video games over the years. I have recognized that some have occupied an excessive amount of my time, time I might otherwise spend woodworking, exercising or even painting the house. At the same time, after I do my exercise, eta and clean the dishes, I do enjoy a game whereas I might otherwise watch the same Hollywood crap on TV. I can recognize some of the things the research indicates and I am inclined to think the science has a basis.
  • Açorda 2011/01/19 14:05:26
    Here in Portugal we say "vou viciar", in English is like "I'm going to get addicted". It doesn't have a direct translation, but we already consider it an addiction, and when we love a game and spend weeks playing over and over we say that we got addicted to that game, but then we got tired of the game... So said the Wiseman
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾ 2011/01/19 13:47:39
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    i have played videogames since back when atari 2600 was the thing to have
    i played for years on various game systems
    i have managed to have life
    i have my real life life
    girlfirend family friends job
    then my game life
    game buddies game foes gamers i chat with
    i can tell the differance bettween fantasy and reality
    i dont think games are addictive for me
    but prehaps for others who dont have the ability to make room in thier life for both prehaps they are addicted
  • Bill ~P... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2011/01/19 14:42:58
    Bill ~PWCM~JLA
    Agree. Some people do seem to be more susceptible to this addiction than others just like some people can drink while others cannot or should not. I enjoy games but I set my own limits. I sure don't need nor want the nanny state trying to set my limits.
  • TheNightFly 2011/01/19 10:50:47
    They've been saying the same thing about TV for decades and look at us now.

    Okay, bad example.
  • Amanda 2011/01/19 09:40:10
    Sounds like that media addiction crap I've been reading everywhere. So they're trying to say that kids who are already socially awkward and depressed start playing video games all the time, become video game nerds, and hence get even more socially awkward and more depressed. Where does the addiction part come in? Seems a straight progression from A to B to me. If you're a nerd, unfortunately most of the time you're also a social pariah, which leads to depression. This doesn't prove that they're addicted.
  • Yes
    Ferηαηdo 夢 ɗəɑʇɦ ɗəʃɪəʀ ʘʃ ρɦɑəʇ
    I'm not a serious gamer. I can't play for hours straight like others do. While I like playing them, after an hour I get bored and do something else. If I feel like it I may go back and play. But I agree, anything excessive is addiction and gaming is no exception.
  • roy 2011/01/19 05:27:54
    i was addicted to video games once, but just like anything it can b controlled.
  • LLL 2011/01/19 04:57:32
    Yes...then it grows to casino and then there are a hole bunch of other problems that go with that.
  • jimmy "In God We Trust" 2011/01/19 04:54:20 (edited)
    jimmy  "In God We Trust"
    I believe it depends on your definition of addiction, "to much" if someone is on a computer / sodahead three hours a day are thay addicted, or maybe you watch to much TV or you read to many books are you addicted to reading.
    I know in my family during the winter months you would say were addicted to video games , TV, and the computer, it's almost like a game of musical chairs rotating from one to the other,but when the weather gets warm then it's archery, fishing, hiking, camping and shooting guns, that were addicted to. at least it's not drugs or alcohol. "a family who plays together stays together."
    I had a friend that got addicted to pron what a sick bastard he turned out to be.
  • Cherie Bomb 2011/01/19 04:33:25
    Cherie Bomb
    No,no, and no!
  • abrowlspecialbrowl 2011/01/19 04:05:12
    i bet it is. th feeling of reward sum ppl get frm gaming must b more pleasurable to them than rewards frm th real world. thats y there r those freaks who jus rot im front of their xbox... escaping to th fantasy world in th tv becomes th most important thing in their life
  • Montana 2011/01/19 03:52:46
    My mom became addicted. She didn't exsist anymore for 5 years while still living in my house. Then she picked up and moved to australia lol.
  • SebaTheSociallyAwkwardPengu... 2011/01/19 03:17:35
    SebaTheSociallyAwkwardPenguin 平和
    at times....
  • Pika 2011/01/19 03:10:01
    Then again maybe... I mean I played my wii for nine hours on saturday, seven and a half on sunday, and five on friday
  • BBoy legacy 2011/01/19 02:55:35
    BBoy legacy
    I think it can be. You have to limit yourself.
  • john doe 2011/01/19 02:43:19
    john doe
    too much of anything is bad for you. being an avid video game player myself I can tell you it is easy to waste away in front of the tv. fortunatly fo me my dad kicked my ass for playing to much. parents don't want to deal with their whiney cry baby kids so they let television and video games raise their children for them . I also play online games that are for adults (18+) and a good majority of 500,000 people playing this one particular game are children under 18. while playing these games you are able to converse with others during the game and believe me, this is not a place for 9 - 16 yr old kids. some of the most hateful, disrespectful, racist, foul mouthed language is heard here. funny thing is the kids are the worst ones. raise your kids parents!
  • charles_1 2011/01/19 02:13:16
    The question is loaded. Putting 'pathological' in the question defines it. Pathological anything is bad. Pathologically volunteering out at a homeless shelter is bad. The issue is how did the "pathological" adverb get assigned to it.

    I work 40-60 hours a week. That's much more time than these kids spend on video games. Is that pathological. Take work away and my stress level drops dramatically. Of course loosing a job would have the opposite affect so optimum work time is something more than zero but less than 40.

    I don't think the number of hours you do something is itself the defining parameter for addiction or doing it too much. It's a matter of whether you have a balanced life with a decent variety. A balance of responsibilities, social interaction, introspection, and fun time.

    I'd write more, but I have a video game to get to...
  • Anar BN-0 2011/01/19 01:30:34
    Anar BN-0
    What kind of answers are you expecting with the way you formulated the question? You put the word "pathological" in front of anything it right away suggests it is an addiction.

    pathological eating, pathological gambling, pathologically answering sodahead polls, pathologically being a pain in the *ss (<== thats mine ^^ )...
  • QueenShebaVIII 2011/01/19 01:18:46 (edited)
    This does really annoy me that video gaming could be called addictive or that children (or anyone else) could become addicted to video games, since I personally think they're just a complete waste of time, money and space... But I can't deny that they can be addictive. Anything can be addictive really.

    I have no idea why eating is mentioned in this - eating is obviously addictive for some people if they can become so obese. You wouldn't eat that much unless you were addicted to eating. To think it can't be called an addiction is idiotic.

    I don't think video gaming should be thought of as a serious addiction that needs rehab and everything for it. It isn't as serious as being addicted to drugs or smoking, where you body makes it difficult for you to give up,, but that doesn't mean it's not an addiction.

    I shouldn't judge others for their addictions, to be honest. I'm addicted to tea and TV. And I bet a lot of you on here thinking it's stupid to call video gaming an addicton have your own little addictions that you're either not aware of or don't want to mention.
  • Curious Pierre Balloon 2011/01/19 01:00:14
    Curious Pierre Balloon
    jah, if you've ever played video games you would know the risk of addiction! lol. you put something on and feels like ten minutes went by but all of a sudden it's 3 in the morning! LOL.
  • masonjoseph16 2011/01/19 00:52:08
    whats next is stupdity going to be the new addiction? oh wait it already is. (see pelosi)
  • Sew 2011/01/19 00:50:55
    Anything can be an addiction. The real issue is detremining when its an addiction and when its a hobby. The two are different.
  • Werewolfgirl1995 2011/01/19 00:29:40
    I have it
  • possiblymaybe 2011/01/19 00:06:22
  • Patrick 2011/01/18 22:46:34 (edited)
    The things said in the above description are true, I played video games all through out high school and as a result I did not live up to my potential accidemicaly. Also I was socially awkward, and had anxiety problems into early adulthood. So the problem is that cognitive and spiritual development are delayed and impaired by tv viewing and video gaming. Im just getting a grip on reality and im 27 years old. I think my spiritual interests in Buddhism and Mooji helped me finaly have a consistent sense of presance in my life, and Im now myself no matter the circumstances pretty much. I still play video games, and love them, especially after smoking weed and playing them, which I dont smoke hardly ever anymore. Its an addiction but I can go for weeks without playing videogames and no withdrawels.
  • Stan Kapusta 2011/01/18 22:45:55
    Stan Kapusta
    Ask the overweight teen who spends 50 bucks a pop of your money on a game that costs 5 bucks to make. It's usually beat by the 3rd day. Now they ask for another game.
  • Patrick Stan Ka... 2011/01/18 22:51:40
    Yea, Overweight, bad eating habits and video games is not a good combination. But you are wrong about videogames costing 5 bucks to make. A huge development team is employed to create a videogame, for example Resident Evil 5. I saw a documentary on the making of that game and it looked more like a movie studio than what I imagined it would be. Thats salaries to pay for those employes, money for the technology and computers, money for advertisment. The copies of the game disk might be 5 dollars a piece, but it cost big money to make games, and thats why we pay 49 to 59 dollars for them.
  • Stan Ka... Patrick 2011/01/22 22:35:37
    Stan Kapusta
    I can't agree with that. The engines [menu code] are used on multiple games. Yes the graphics for some are expensive. Resident evil 5 used the same graphics in how many versions? Ok i'll give you 8 bucks.
  • Patrick Stan Ka... 2011/01/22 23:44:10
    Resident evil 5 was a different game engine than resident evil 4. Some games that use the same graphic engine is Gears of war games, and they rent that engine out to other developers called the Unreal Engine. You still have a development team that work many many hours creating the games. Some games are multi million dollar acchievments. Games probably do cost to much but I think 8 bucks a piece is quite unfair and incorrect.
  • Curious... Stan Ka... 2011/01/19 01:01:03
    Curious Pierre Balloon
    MY LIFE. ^
  • umi 2011/01/18 22:43:51
    Take away my games and I will kill you and your whole family! Ohh
    Have a nice day!
  • Ara 2011/01/18 22:15:07
    Eh, everything's an addiction if you view it from the right angle. Every bad life choice, just label it as an addiction so people can have another excuse to not deal with it and pretend it's not their fault. Nice.
  • Abel Lewis 2011/01/18 20:57:54
    Abel Lewis
    You have to do things in moderation.
  • roxy 2011/01/18 20:46:15
    I rarely play video games and I'm not very good at them either. I don't see why all my cousins and friends love so much about them
  • Wolfs Are Blue 2011/01/18 20:24:39
    Wolfs Are Blue
    people like us love video games!
  • John "BN 0" 2011/01/18 19:43:46
    John   "BN 0"
    I'm addicted to Black Ops and I hate getting beat by these little kids so parents get your kids off the xbox they are getting to good at the games. They need to let us old people win sometimes.
  • Eunice 2011/01/18 19:41:06
    You get soooo into a video game that it becomes another world that you get into and just forget bout everything else around u, you can play for hours and when your not playing all u can think about is when your gonna play again i think that makes it obvious for it to be an addiction.

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.


2016/02/08 23:24:53

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals