Jan 19, 2011 Marcus Hondro
Video Gaming is a pastime for children in many countries and parents worry about how much time their child games. A new study looks at gaming addiction.
A study released Monday Jan. 17, 2011 in the medical journal Pediatrics looks at addiction to video games in kids, specifically elementary and middle school children. Among the conclusions: the greater the frequency of gaming the greater the possibility of reduced social skills, poor school performance and depression.
The study claims to have found that some kids have traits that may point them in the direction of becoming a compulsive gamer. "Greater amounts of gaming, lower social competence, and greater impulsivity seemed to act as risk factors for becoming pathological gamers," the study notes. "Whereas depression, anxiety, social phobias, and lower school performance seemed to act as outcomes of pathological gaming."
The Entertainment Software Assn., a group that represents companies that make video games, says that the study has faults and does not accept it's findings.
Two Year Study on Video Gaming and Youth
The study, titled Pathological Video Game Use Among Youths: A Two-Year Longitudinal Study, was conducted by a combined research group from America, Hong Kong and Singapore and the group of children used were school children from Singapore. Data from over 3,000 elementary and middle-age children over a 2 year-period in Singapore was used.
Their are now hundreds of games on the market and parents are concerned about their child's time spent playing them. However the research shows that a large majority of children who play games do not become addicted. It is, researchers say, not uncommon for parents to think their child is addicted when he or she is not. The study said that 9 percent of children who play video games are what they call "hard-core gamers."
Study authors say these numbers are consistent in other countries and that for the children in the 'hard-core gamers category, their video gaming affects their schooling and their relationship with parents. Many become increasingly interested in games with violence.
Excessive Video Gaming Takes Away Social Skills
With regards social skills being lost to gaming, research suggest the amount of time spent gaming robs children of time they might otherwise be spending with other children or adults, socializing and partaking in more varied activities. When sitting in front of a video game goes on for years opportunity for social interaction is lost. For 'hard core gamers' if no strategy is found to lessen their time gaming then it can go on for extended time periods and affect their lives as adults.
"This study adds important information to the discussion about whether video game "addiction" is similar to other addictive behaviors," the study concludes. "Demonstrating that it can last for years and is not solely a symptom of comorbid (other) disorders."
The question is....will you be able/courageous/adult enough to sacrifice that which merely pleases you...for that which will truly fulfill you? That is the question of personal growth.
~~~wow-free since 8/22/09