January 17th, 2011
12:01 AM ET
Excess gaming linked to depression, bad grades
When it comes to playing video games, it seems moderation is important to a child's mental health. A new study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics finds excessive gaming may lead to depression, anxiety, and poor grades in school.
Researchers in the U.S. and overseas looked at more than 3,000 elementary and middle-school children in Singapore and found that almost 9% of them were considered pathological or "addicted" to gaming – similar percentages were found in other countries.
Over a two-year period about 84% of those who started out as excessive gamers remained so, indicating that this may not simply be a phase that children go through. Boys were more likely to show symptoms of excessive gaming. Overall those considered "pathological" gamers displayed higher levels of depression and other mental health issues than their peers who played fewer video games. The researchers also found that students who did stop their excessive gaming reduced their levels of depression, anxiety and social phobia.
There is debate in the medical community as to whether pathological or "addictive" video gaming should be listed as a mental disorder in the American Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders – a guide used by the American Psychiatric Association in diagnosing mental disorders.
To gauge the level of pathological gaming, the study authors asked students questions similar to the type used to diagnose gambling addiction such as: were students becoming more preoccupied with video games, did they lie about the amount of time spent playing, had their schoolwork suffered, and if playing helped them escape from problems or bad feelings.
A young person was labeled pathological or "addicted" if the practice caused problems in his or her life.
"And we define that as actual functioning – their school, social, family, occupational, psychological functioning. To be considered pathological, gamers must be damaging multiple areas of their lives," explains study author Douglas Gentile, Ph.D., developmental psychologist at Iowa State University in Ames.
Pathological gamers were playing an average of more than 31 hours a week compared with their less excessive peers who played about 19 hours a week.
Gentile and the other researchers also looked at potential risk factors for becoming pathological gamers.
"Kids who were more impulsive were more likely to become addicted; they had a harder time managing their impulse control. If they were socially awkward then they were more likely to be addicted and if they spent a greater amount of time then the average kids playing games," explained Gentile.
The Entertainment Software Association disagreed with the findings. " "There simply is no concrete evidence that computer and video games cause harm," a statement from the organization said. "In fact, a wide body of research has shown the many ways games are being used to improve our lives through education, health and business applications."
Dr. Don Shifrin, spokesperson with the American Academy of Pediatrics, called Gentile's study important. "It allows us to take a harder look at how gamers play and whether there is balance in the lives of our children and teens," he said
The AAP recommends that elementary school age children engage in no more than one hour of screen time a day, and high schoolers no more than two.
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Depression???? The kid in the picture looks extrtemely happy.
Depression would be taking his game away or showing him what he's missing by not having Xbox..
Throwing the flag on this one. The cause and effect here is not clear cut by any means. Like others said, the depression could lead one to obsessive or addictive behavior. Poll alcoholics, problem gamblers, drug addicts, you might find the same depression.
Wait, I went back and read this again and its worse then I thought. They define video game use as pathological if it "causes problems in his or her life." They then go on to find that pathological video gaming causes problems in kids' lives. Of course they found that. That's like if I define excessive coffee drinking as someone who drinks coffee and sleeps less than 6 hours a night, and then I find that coffee drinking causes you to sleep less than 6 hours a night. If you want to find a correlation between video gaming and depression, base in on amount of time playing video games, not whether you play video games because you're depressed.
Well Leslie, I bet if you made your own little video game/depression study based soley on the comments that your article generated, the results would show that (A) you have no idea what you are talking about, and (B) video games offer a non-medical escape for people coping with depression ...dolt.
In other news, the world is not actually flat and there will be no 2012 year old un-dead zombie coming back to earth next year to save mankind from its own stupidity. Also, its not so much that the Mayan calendar is running out as it is the fact that we ran out of Mayans that make calendars.
Just reading this article is depressing enough.
Sounds to me like depressed/anxious children with poor grades who are allowed to play video games for six hours a day might be linked to neglectful parenting. I played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons when I was a kid though, so that's probably just Satan talking.
I think its the other way around....the games aren't causing these kids to be chronically depressed...its their depression that's driving them to playing the games as an escape.
I have read some of the comments from posters, many which want to debunk the study with comments that are neither scientifically based or from first hand experience. I am the parent of such a young man. A young man who is bright and has lots to offer and I made the mistake of allowing him to spend too much time playing video games. I did it because we were living in the ghetto at the time and I felt that the choice was either that or allow him to hang out in the streets and lose him to gang violence. Now, at 20 he completely addicted, playing them day in and day out and when asked to end it he goes into rage and threatens me. I have had to contact the police on several occasions to talk to him and even escort him out because of it. When he joined the Marines, I thought he would mature up and finally be rid of the addiction and it did for a minute. he still spends most of his spare time playing those dastardly games and shows no conscious awareness how disturbing it is and how it is affecting our family life and situation. Attempts to engage his attention is difficult and advise to seek help is falling on deaf ears. So stop patronizing and stating that there is no correlation until you walk a mile in the shoes of someone who is living this hellish nightmare. The gaming industry is doing what they know best, make money even if it means destroying people's lives while doing it. Yes, I take my licks as I am ultimately to blame for allowing this to go on but my point here is that there is Validity to the study and it should not be dismissed. If you are a parent of a child and you see signs of addiction, take the steps now to get a handle on it. You can start by ensuring not to purchase a laptop, PC, or gaming console for that child's room. You can also, set limits on how often they can log into the Family PC or laptop. You can learn how to set up your router to shut off Internet access to those appliances for periods of time so they can't bypass your rules. Stay involved in your child's life or you risk the Gaming companies creating a fake environment that at times is full of violence and graphic scenes to involve them for you.
I'm really sorry you're having these issues with your son. Has he been seen for any kind of counseling? I have rarely seen severe addiction in someone who did not have something to escape. This isn't casting aspersions on your parenting, I'm more thinking that something may have happened that he feels unable to disclose to you. Boys/young men are stifled by our 'code' imposed on them and his obsession with that game and with the military may reflect his attempt to further silence himself.
This argument is the cause of studies like this being done. Nowhere is it ever considered that each and every person playing video games is a unique and different individual. Because your son has reacted like this, doesn't mean other people are going to be the same way. I understand why you kept him in nthe house, but that doesn't mean it was the right thing to do. If you taught your son right from wrong and gave him all the love you can, he needs to be free to move through life in his own way. You have to trust that your kids will do the right thing or help them learn from their mistakes. You can't lock them in a room with a TV or a game console and then wonder why they turn out the way they do.
Ever see the Cable Guy with Jim Carrey? Being an over protective parent can have just as bad results as being one that doesn't care.
Or it could be the Obama presidency causing all this depression. These kids knowing that ObaManure has saddled them with more debt than they can possibly pay off during their lifetimes...Now Im getting depressed.
Is that you Glen Beck?
Whoever you are, your head is firmly implanted in your seat cushion.
Time for 'game control' and for 'assault game ban'. There's not even an amendment directly addressing this issue.
This is the most accurate and right-in-every-way propaganda blog post since last week.
hey, i am addicted and sort of love it. it gets boring at times.
but i find, when the family calls and i am playing, its an interuption from my game experaince.
i can go from 0700 to 0300 the next day on the week ends playing. its like anohter world. i cant wait to retire so i can play it more. sure the envoirnment is not real but man is it beautiful. if i get killed i can resurect.! i spend less money cause i go no where and only eat when hungry. As a salaried employee, it does interfeer with work cause i dont feel like working the 70 and 80 hours a week the company wants me to. my cliients suffer cause i dont spend the extra time in a day to get to their projects, i squeeze it in the normal work day time and it all gets delayed. ME? been depressed most of my life and in and out of therapy with prescrptions. i am 62 and just found the gaming industry about 6 months ago. wow, what a change from kings quest some 20 years ago or pac man. never could get into those like the present day games that creat unreal worlds. its so much fun to hide behind rocks and plants then kill a monster or two. its like a war without the real time risks. but now after 6 months of this one game it is easy to see it wrapping up to the end and its a bit depressing. once i leave then i will have to go back to dusting and cleaning the house. working till 10pm to finish work projects(for no exta money) working week ends cause the house is done and am tired of watching tv. i guess some of us are not the social animals others are. heck my brother can go out the front door and not come back for hours as he travels from person to person interacting and telling stories and exagerating. i find this very uncomfortable. but from time to time can also join the pack doing the same thing only when completed left with a feeling of accomplishing nothing. before i found games i had my sailboat i worked on. did the same, worked on it every extra hour in the day i could find and the entire week ends for other 7 years.. before the boat, it was volleyball for 20 years and the extra time was filled wiht working out to get better to play better. do you see a patern here? i think some of us are just addictive by nature and no matter what we found we will get addicted to it. my body is too beat and battered for vollyball, the boat sits out back floating in its slip, and i am looking for a new addiction. 🙁
Xbox Kinect has a volley ball game. It will get you back off the couch again.
You might be pretty good at it too.
News articles about scientific studies are always a bit sketchy, since they must attempt to translate findings into concepts comprehensible to non-scientists. They do often run aground on fallacies such as correlation vs causation, true, but in this case almost all of the comments ignore a key finding: those subjects who initially met the criteria for 'excessive' gaming and then stopped showed a significant reduction in their levels of depression, anxiety and social phobia.
Do depressed kids self-medicate with gaming nowadays? Surely. However, this study and a few of the comments show a strong interaction between excessive gaming and maladies such as depression, anxiety, and social phobia. This has long been recognized more in Asia than the US or Europe – many Asian countries have gaming addiction rehab facilities to cope with the problems associated with excessive gaming, and demand for admission is high. I wouldn't be surprised if more of such centers and gaming rehab camps start to spring up here in the next decade.
Caution should be taken with the suggestions given on how to determine if your kid is gaming too much.
– If your kid is part of a group of gamers, he/she may be expected to participate in group activities within the game. Some of these “runs” might take a couple of hours to complete, and if your kid leaves before the group has finished, they could get chastised or shunned by their online friends. A flat demand to “get off the game now!” during such a social time might very well make your kid irritable, and arguably justifiably so.
– If your kid leads one of these social groups, they may be spending much of their “gaming” time simply chatting or texting with online friends. That online family frequently has “issues”, and as a leader or co-leading in such a group, your kid may actually be helping others or just being a friend to others. Consider what they are doing in a game.
– Many games offer special times, time of day, day of month, etc…during which time the in-game play offers them greater rewards. Your kid may have worked long and hard to be able to participate in such an event.
The bottom line for me is that it isn’t as simple as “how much time does your kid game?” What game do they play (is it a solo game, or a MMORPG?) What role do they play (are they a lone shooter or the healer for a group of friends?) Are they in a social environment within the game, and what is their place in that social structure? Someone who has managed to cultivate many friendships and formed them into a group of online friends is not being anti-social because they prefer to be gaming, they’re simply interacting with the friends they enjoy.
or...you can take the game away and they will learn how to entertain themselves the way people used to before games were popular. All of the gamers either rebunk the article or comment on how we should look for a work around so that gaming can be included in the kids life. Just take the console away.. I have a friend who is 30 years old and played 6-8 hours a day. He has been on unemployment for the past year and refuses to look for a job. He lost his internet access and just last week called to tell me he is reading a book, which he hasn't done in 10 years. People are resiiliant..They will survive nicely without video games and may even pick up some "real life" social skills along the way.
Well gee....you'll never see any of that important information in a paid "study" by people who have never touched a controler in their lives. This study was done in Singapore. Probably with kids playing Donkey Kong for four hours a night.
I'll agree with the above comments. Video games can be seen more as a way to overcome socail problems, instead of causing them. Mabye before you assume video games are a problem, see if the child's life could have an effect on such things, not video games.
Socializing means looking at people "(face to face, not on facebook), engaging in conversation in real life (not texting). I don't see them helping to overcome social problems.
I disagree. Just because you do not see someone face to face, such as here, we are still having a conversation, and this is still interaction with another person. Let's say you have a group of friends who like to play games together. Whether this is monopoly, baseball, or an online game, they all require cooperation. But people do not always get along. And when that happens, you learn to overcome it by seeing the differences of opinion and having a discussion about it (just like we are attempting to do with each other here.). The socials skills that children can learn are important, whether it's face to face or over a digital medium. I am not dismissing that it's important to have face to face interaction, but it would be worth it to give your child the chance (and a good opportunity for discussion and exploration of the subject) to learn how to treat others even behind the anonymity of a computer. It's appalling what some people think that they can get away with online just because it's 'not real', 'it's just a game', or 'it's the internet and they don't know me'. Manners can and should be learned anywhere, and that is still socialization.
has anyone ever done a test for facebook addiction?
I definitely used to be addicted to video games. I would lie about how long that I was playing to my parents, I didn't care about school (I only cared about getting that next level up), and I honestly thought that my 'friends' on Xbox Live were actual friends. People can put up little arguments in support of video gaming, but coming from somebody who knows first hand what it really does to your life and what it has done in his friends' lives, I'm just warning parents to be aware of their kids' social lives.
It's a waste of time and life. Conventional ways of learning and social interaction are better for your overall health. However, they are a great baby sitter 😉
your gamer score is the most important achievement in life, how dare you!
I think it might be explained as easily as this – When you're playing a video game you're not doing something else. If you have no connection to the real world then you become depressed.
Not Gentile again...
It is interesting that CNN has given so much press to debunking Wakefield, but here we have (on smaller scale) another researcher fudging data for a conclusion. And has some posters have chimed in to demonstrate, just like the autism scare, there is no shortage of parents happy to blame something big and faceless.
Excess has been a known symptom of depression since the 1800s
How many millions were spent on that study?
FINALLY...........As a 20 year old now, I could have easily told any doctor, surveyor, etc....that playing an excess amount of video games can be, one, because someone is depressed. I could have told you that when I was 14. However, that is not the ONLY reasons gamers play video games. Like many of you commentators, we all shared why we used video games. Many times I have also played video games to RELIEVE STRESS and in a way, GET OUT OF REALITY. It definitely does help; At least for the moment. Sure, it may not get rid of the problem itself; neither does alcohol, drugs, and any other use to escape ones problem. Playing too many video games can help stress as well as be an "escape" from it.
So, CNN, be open minded when you all put stories up....but you all dont care......
Your comment doesn't make any sense. Are you for them or against .You just compared video games to alcohol and drugs
I think what Lisa is implying is that it is one of many things that people can do to deal with stress. While drugs and alcohol are harmful, video games only can be if you let them. Technically, the same goes for alcohol and look how many people have a glass at the end of the day, in moderation? There are actually drugs for depression too, and though not recreational, they help release hormones that let the body better handle what the person may not be able to on their own. When we say that exercise can improve a person's mood, that usually is because of the things that it does for the brain, as well as overall health. Any activity we consider fun, however, will put us in a better mood. Video games may not make you fit or fix all of your problems, but they can cheer you up and be a release for pent up stress. Just like watching a sports game and getting all worked up over it, reading a good book, stuffing your face with cake or other feel-good foods, or any number of things that people do to get over a stressful or bad day. Just think about it. Anything is bad without moderation, but that doesn't neccessarily mean that a little bit of it is going to hurt.
Nothing exceeds like excess. And while you guys are playing video games I am banging your wives and girlfriends...
I think a study should be done on how many useless and incomplete studies are being done on unimportant and non-vital topics, just to get easy grant money to live on.
I call it loafer academics. Let's study the effects of soft toilet paper compared to rough toilet paper.
How about the number of times people use the bathroom each year and why that's depressing and how it will ruin society over the next fifty years.
If an article like this can influence a parent to not buy their kids video games than it is effective
Like anything else, its all relative. The wife watches endless cooking and fashion make-over shows and the husband escapes by playing games. Another guy spends endless hours hunting and fishing or another can't miss a football or basketball game or the wife has to "shop until she drops" or the guy spends his time and money on cars or some people must visit every antique store in the country and the list goes on and on. We are all addicted to something somehow and it is what it is. Kids are simply learning from their parents. The pill we all take is called capitalism...the fat cats want us to be addicted so we spend our money and it appears to be working.
the only depressing thing i see is that kid in the picture being forced to play N64 while his friends are all on XboxLive
Well duh anything done to it's extremes is not good. Now where is my paycheck for pointing that out?
I think that playing video games is a symptom of depression, not the cause of it. I think than obsessive-compulsive people are also drawn to video games.
In completely unrelated news; the kid rocking the Nintendo 64 in the above has gone on to get married and have four children and a successful career in the twelve plus years since this photo was taken. Dated much?
Wow, playing 31 hrs of video games per week linked to lower grades. Didn't see that one coming...
More likely excessive gaming can be the symptom of depression, take a way the video game, the kid will still have depression and anxiety and will seek a compulsive escape in something else like drugs or whatever. Human beings are addictive by nature especially in terms of relieving distress or seeking pleasure and I believe it is tied to very core of our instincts for survival.
First of all I bet half these people posting don't even play games. If video games are so EVIL, then how come the people making them aren't being affected??? There are hundreds of developers out there that have been playing games since the beginning of its time, and I don't see any of them developing MENTAL ILLNESS!!!!! Id also like to point out that half these games that are being studied for this "mental illness" are made for certain age groups... so if it says MATURE then why are all these parents buying them for their kids who wouldn't be allowed to buy the game in the first place. WHEN YOU BUY A MATURE GAME OR ANYTHING ABOVE THAT, THEY ASK TO SEE ID!!!!!!!!!!
I love how science is all of a sudden coming up with quick assumptions, then we wonder why misdiagnosis occur in life.
From my perspective in most cases depression happens prior to heavy playing. Gaming for some is like a pill that lets kids and adults escape reality and the xyz of the depressions in life by entering another world.
Why is it when something like this happens, violent videogames are always blamed. People no longer want to take responsibility for their own actions; it's to videogames, music, and movies kids/adults problems. Why can't this guy just be crazy son of gun that lost his grip on reality?
I've playing videogames every since I was at least three – four years old and violent video games since ten years old. And you know what I never thought about walking into a crowd and shooting someone. Why, because I raised right and when I stepped out line I was disciplined (something lacking in today's don't hit just talk to kids).If your kid cusses you out, or tosses something at you because you told him to put the videogames up for awhile. You as parent (not the videogames) failed your child.
you really need to STOP AND THINK ITS NOT THE GAMES ITS THE PARENTS WHO BUY AND USE THE GAMES AS BABYSITTERS FOR THERE KIDS BECAUSE THERE TO LAZY TO PARENT THERE CHILDREN. KIDS SHOULDNT PLAY VIDEO GAMES FOR 30 HOURS A WEEK AND WHAT ABOUT FACEBOOK ITS TOTAL BS IT CONSUMES PEOPLE TO THE POINT THAT IF YOU DONT UPDATE YOUR STATUS EVERY FIVE MINS THEY THINK SOMTHING HAS HAPPEN TO YOU. I THINK I AM THE ONLY ONE I KNOW WHO DOES NOT USE ANY SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE AT ALL. I AM AGAINST THEM AND HOPE THEY ALL GET SHUT DOWN!!!!
Why is it when something like this happens, violent videogames are always blamed. People no longer want to take responsibility for their own actions; it's so easy to say videogames, music, and movies kids/adults problems. Why can't this guy just be crazy son of gun that lost his grip on reality?
I've been playing videogames every since I was at least three – four years old and violent video games since ten years old. And you know what I never thought about walking into a crowd and shooting someone. Why, because I raised right and when I stepped out line I was disciplined (something lacking in today's don't hit just talk to kids).If your kid cusses you out, or tosses something at you because you told him to put the videogames up for awhile. You as parent (not the videogames) failed your child.
My name is James Dandeneau II I have been playing video games since 1980. I have played the atari to computers and the WII. I have all ways had good grade or I would lose the right to play the games.In high school I had 1 C and all A's and B's in college I got my AS in machine shop and AS in Engeering. I 'm work on my BS. I am in the army and I still have success in all that I do. I know I still play over 45 hours of games. My 1st wife hate it, but my 2nd wife don't mind it at all as long as I don't interupe her tv progams. I don't watch much tv. It was all was bad in my dad house to watch alot of tv. I do know that I got a faster respones time. I do suffer from lack of sleep or stay up to late do to some games, or I dont sleep at all until the next day. My wife like it because I am home. I have never suffer from any depression and life is a game any way win some, lose some, rebuild and some time you have to start all over again. Thank you if you have any questions contact me at email@example.com.
Poser – no self-respecting gamer uses AOL 😛
It's not video games IT'S THE PARENTS! Parents are the problem kids are having issues.
It is not gaming what causes depression, but depressed (and bored) kids are playing more games.
I think a study should be conducted on all these crappy jobs that we have ended up with here in America. Nothing like sitting all day listening to people complain about products or service they have purchased not performing the way they were told.
I have a year old son at home, we do not own video games and have the TV turned off for his first two years. SOme of you probably think I should have him taken away for such a thing, I mean NO TV not that!!! It will get harder to combat what has become an obsession with kids in this country, TV it is all about TV, it is so evil and harmful to your kids. My son, will probably have less friends and be even more lonely outside at the playground or ball field then he would in front of the TV, sickening world I have to raise him in. 9 of 10 kids would probably rather grab the joystick then a ball.
Or..heaven forbid...a bike
Since so many people believe that gaming cannot possibly be a social, stress-relieving, and friendship-forming activity, and that it is only evil and destroys peoples lives, I would like to point you toward a community of gamers that might change your mind. Yes, these people, who raised all of this money for Children's Miracle Network, are GAMERS.
"There simply is no concrete evidence that computer and video games cause harm" – I've been gaming for 25 years and I can personally attest to the complete opposite of this blatant public lie. The really scary part is video games get more consuming and interactively involving by the minute. In 4 years you'll be able to plug yourself into some recliner-like contraption and live in a virtual world 20 hours a day. It's already possible now in an archaic unappealing form. Once the polishing gets hashed out, people will flock to it by the millions. Think about it....an unrestricted anything is possible responsible-free world you can physically feel, create and manifest in...who wouldn't?!
Anyone with a shred of self-respect? Folks who dont think that an artificial world is better than the one they live in? Folks who arent so spoiled as to trying to live this lifestyle? We need to fix the real world before we escape into a fantasy.
When you repeat scenes of violence and anti-social behavior over and over, you start believing that e world is a dangerous and cold place ( even worse than it actually is).. Plus if you sit all day behind the computer/game screen , you exercise less, and see the 4 walls of your room, instread of breathing fresh air outside, playing with friends.. How depressing!
Well if you ever played the videogames your talking about , you would know that most gamers have a real life and online life.Most people are friends in real life and happen to play with each other online.
We have no chance, period. A parent trying to raise a child with morals and social values and skills, no chance. Take my son to a Museum, State Park or Zoo, he will be an outcast and picked on at school. Go to little Billy's house where his parents take him to Mcdonalds, play video games, get on computer, get in car and watch dvds, facebook this, Ipad that, cell phone this, text that, arghh! My family is only going to get trampled underneath the electronic monster killing the world, all ay every day.
And you truly have my sympathies for that fact. This type of technology is neutering the future as well as causing family issues now. Folks love to say "cmon, its not 1945 anymore..." – Well maybe those were better days overall (minus the war of course) because folks cared and had a sense of being far more practical then. Now we all just spend spend spend and get roped into more electronic junk which folks love to say "it makes my life easier..." – well maybe thats the problem in America – all those brave soldiers who died paid a high price and brought a way of living in this country and now all that has been pi$$ed away by the grandkids who thought that little Jimmy would be better off with 2 phones and every other darn gaming console on the planet as well. Well now little Jimmy is a pudgy little stooge on his way to having diabetes and obesity issues. Not all kids have this issue of course but it must be much higher now than it was when the gaming systems didnt exist. I truly hope that people return to a sensibility of some older days because at least then you were outside developing your brain rather than brainwashed by Steve Jobs and Microsoft and whomever else wants a piece of your frontal lobe.
But whatever – enjoy your future if you can. Pixel randomization wont be a memory to carry you thru when your much older wondering where your life went.
Good points. I've taken kids camping and I find it funny how they try to use thier cell phones. Usually after a day or so they stop staring at the screen and start to notice they beauty around them!
d00d dat guy gotta N64?!? I wanna go over his house! But if that was all i had to play i would be pretty depressed too. But all those viddy games and the "kids" that play them are all the same right? Video games are an emerging medium of truly unique content. You don't scare us haters.
Well, we've gone from watching too much TV to playing too many video games.
Honestly, I expected more from the AAP, but I guess they have to call it a disease in order to be involved with it. There are people who are ridiculously obsessed with games, but they're no different than those who are ridiculously obsessed with more culturally acceptable things, like making money. 31 hours a week is probably not pathological. 120 hours a week probably is.
How much is too much gaming? When you read the obits, do you wonder if the deceased dropped any good loot?
Excessive video gaming was one of the big issues that ended my marriage. I've regretted it ever since and hope that anyone else out there who feels themselves getting pulled away from quality time with their loved ones just to get that one last achievement or complete one more level can take a step back and refocus on the more important parts of their life. Get outside, enjoy what the world has to offer because in the end that is what counts.
This is literally the biggest sack of horse crap I've ever seen, I'm 16 and I play video games at least 5 hours a day, yet I am not obese and I have no mental problems. All of these cases are clearly because the child had mental problems or was seldom paid attention to by their parents. You can't ban video games, they're all made by people that are making an honest living by doing that. So why don't you look at the actual roots of the problem, and quit trying to make this something it's not.
Ok, Mr. 5 Hours a Day. Do you think that you'll have many regrets when you look back at your teen years? Will you regret all that you missed? Will you have fond memories of friends, events? Will your biggest accomplishment of your youth be reaching level 20?