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Excess gaming linked to depression, bad grades
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.


soundoff (351 Responses)
  1. Coaster

    Well...it depends on WHEN. When a child, or an adult for that matter, gets a new game that they've been waiting for, and it's a GOOD GAME, they will spend more time with it than something they've played out for a year or so.
    That is, a non-addicted person.

    An addicted person will come home from their job or classes, sit in front of their game as soon as their parent or spouse lets them, and play for 8 hours straight, even falling into microsleeps in front of the game, some lasting several minutes, while being completely unaware of this. The smart ones will be able to walk away and sleep for 5 hours, get up and go to work or class, and do this for several years.
    Weekends and holiday schedules they might as well be on another planet as be reachable by their family. They get up and eat at their desk, often sleep at their desk, and play the same game they've been playing for over a year. It isn't new, it often isn't socially engaging.
    When they are dragged away from the game and forced out into public, they are so sleep deprived they can't follow normal conversational flow in a group, and ask for things to be repeated often, or else contribute almost nothing because they don't undertstand anything of what was said. I knew someone who couldn't follow any of the small conversations at a dinnertable, and made everyone stop talking so that he could say what he wanted to say, and then he took questions afterward, like a briefing at work. Needless to say, dinners at that household were quite silent after that.

    The question is, if a person has an addicted family member, and for those that do, there is no question it exists, WHAT DO THEY DO?

    January 17, 2011 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. AMP

    How about the disassociation gaming leads to from family and parents. What's the fricking internet address for one of the new games? YOURMOMHATESTHIS.COM... Tell me THAT's not depressing in and of itself.

    OK, Daniel, there goes the lap top. Sorry, kiddo. Back to reading and playing outside.

    January 17, 2011 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Rob

    What if depressed kids just play games more? Depression robs people of the ability to do what they should do or love to do.
    As someone who has suffered from depression most of my life, gaming would be a good way to spend your time. It is exciting and it does not require you to leave your room. It is an easy scapegoat for not having the discipline and focus to put down game and do homeowork or chores.

    January 17, 2011 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jay

      With your style of parenting, your kids will hate you forever. They may never say it or communicate it, but they will hate you. You are being a totalitarian dictator, not giving the kid his/her freedoms. Why don't you pick up the controller and play with your kid? Why is it your kids problem? What if YOU are the problem? Grow up, pick up the controller, and play with your kids. Remember the days when parents would play with toys with their kids? Well, video games are not that different.

      December 18, 2011 at 09:24 | Report abuse |
  4. Doug

    What if I am going to go home and kill zombies now? This article is depressing....

    January 17, 2011 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RuPaul

    Which is better...PS3 or Xbox, Honey?

    January 17, 2011 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. BD

    Jack Thompson thanks you for your useless propaganda.

    How is the correlation that gaming leads to a greater chance of depression any more likely that the possible correlation that people who are depressed find relief from the oppression of a terrible disease through an escapist pursuit. Again, if that were the case; wouldn't addiction be an issue in the same way that people suffering from depression often become dependant/addicted to pain-medication?

    Perhaps we should ban Twighlight novels as well, I hear emo kids read those too!.......

    The fact that this avenue wasn't even addressed does not go a long way towards establishing some level of credibility.

    January 17, 2011 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. CleanLiving87

    In this age of omnipresent technology and the ability to constantly stay connected to family and friends, addiction to the Internet and videogames has grown into a nationwide problem. Individuals occasionally require help from addiction treatment centers to end their problem and regain a normal life. Video games aren't a bad thing. However, if it begins taking over your life and priorities, that's where the problem begins. It's about the moderation! http://bit.ly/fl3qxy

    January 17, 2011 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Taylor

    I have witnessed exactly what is decribed in this article. My step-son came to live with his father and myself. He wanted only to play video games and even when spending time with friends it was only the video games that he wanted to play. He was extremely depressed and because he used games to hide from reality and every other problem that came along he never learned how to deal with anything. Even basic communication skills were lacking. His whole world was video games. He was stay up all night playing games and then feel sick the next day and was allowed to stay home. After living with us for a while, we stopped most of the video game playing and pushed him into other activities. Although he said that he was finally learning how to deal with things his depression, anxiety and loss of connection were so severe that one night he committed suicide. I say that this article is right on. I have been there, seen and and could not help him to overcome his addicition although we tried everything, counseling and medication to help with the depression. It is a helpless feeling. Once you have allowed the electronic babysitter to take over their lives, it is extremely difficult to pull them back.

    You ask where were the parents, at that time it was easier to let him play the games than to try to draw him out into other interactions. He had no other interests and no other desires. It took a lot of effort after he came to live with us to change those habits, it nearly destroyed our relationship as well. I will forever be fearful of allowing kids to play video games for more than an hour or so. Educational games are better but how many kids really want to play educational games?

    January 17, 2011 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Doug

      I am sorry for your loss, but you seem to want to point out the discrepancy in the article unknowingly with your wording. By your wording, your step-son was depressed, and hid from the issues by playing video games. He wasn't depressed BECAUSE of video games. It was his only way out.

      January 17, 2011 at 15:54 | Report abuse |
    • George

      The thing is, as Doug mentioned, video games was his way of coping through depression, which is a debilitating disorder that most people think can be fixed by "thinking happy thoughts". It's the same concept as if you had a really really bad headache (I'm speaking from experience, as I had every day migraines at one point in my life), and all you want to do is go to sleep, because it's the only thing that pauses the pain, or at the very least, distracts you from it.

      I'm not trying to make you feel bad, because I imagine that must really be horrible...but you say that you stopped him immediately from playing *any* video games, which was the only manner through which he managed to cope, and you forced him into activities that you *know* he didn't want to be a part of at all, and then you are surprised that he committed suicide? I'm sorry, but it sounds more like video games were the only thing keeping him going.

      And I speak from direct experience, as the past few months I've been having *very* serious suicidal thoughts (hard to explain, but it feels like it's the only thing you can do. It feels like it's right, somehow, because you feel so pathetic and like such a failure). In fact, I'm still going through this and trying different antidepressants, which immediately ceased all suicidal thoughts (it's strange how specific the thoughts are, by the way), though I still get oh so very sad sometimes, and feeling like I'm worthless.

      But honestly, videogames are probably the only thing that keep me going. Try waking up every morning and genuinely wondering why you are even alive, or why you should continue to allow yourself to be alive...what's the point? You're a failure, you think to yourself.

      So actually, if videogames were removed from my life, I don't doubt that the same scenario could occur with me. And no, I wouldn't say I'm addicted. I only spend at most a couple to a few hours per day during the night, just like people watch television for a few hours everyday. And if I don't play them that day and I'm busy, that's fine too, although of course I'd like to.

      November 7, 2011 at 17:06 | Report abuse |
  9. Dame

    Speaking on a personal level, I probably would have become depressed and anti-social back when I was in middle/high school if I DIDN'T have my gaming or have my friends who gamed as much as I did. I had a stint right after college where I took a year off and played in excess of 50+ hours a week. During that year, I traveled more, met some amazing people and had some of the best times of my life due to my "gaming addiction". For that to be considered a mental disorder is mental in itself. Also, any modern gamer should read "more than 3,000 elementary and middle-school children in Singapore" and already know this "research" was based on a geological area that is known for it's population with horrible gaming addictions. The biggest problem here, as a lot of people have stated, is the parental issues. Also, environmental issues. Misinformed parents read these types of articles and assume the worst of their child. It's the children I feel sorry for who enjoy gaming as a hobby. For the record, I met my husband through gaming and the both of us have lives outside of it as well. We're both physically fit individuals and pretty damn happy with our lives.

    January 17, 2011 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. mrob

    I agree with most of the commenters here that depressed gamers are more likely to be depressed in general and playing games helps them deal with it. It's not like all games are created equal too. Some games are highly social and interactive and teach kids interpersonal skills. My son who gamed 40+ hours a week and graduated with honors in Computer Science is now a game programmer with a great job in San Fran. I credit the helpful adults in his WoW clan with giving him great career advice and backing me up when he was a teen. I play an online team game now that I am retired – probably 30 hours a week – and try to repay the favor by coaching the teens there. Many of them are there for the mental and social challenge of the game and the valuable lessons they are learning – as well as the fun and camaraderie. I don't really see the difference between this and spending 30 hours a week on a sport if you are athletically inclined.

    January 17, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Doug

      Yeah but sports stars get those multi-million dollar contracts.

      January 17, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse |
  11. Ann

    What drug company funded this study for the AAP?

    January 17, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Juan Perez

    I am a gamer since I got a first glimpse of an the Atari VCS 2600, and the "news" make a lot of sense to me. In fact I would be surprised if excessive gaming wasn't linked to psychological/behavioral problems.

    The numbers (and of course not only those of this particular study) *are* significative and ignoring them is a mistake. Gaming is unlike any other form of entertainment we've had before. It is simply much more immersive and immediate than anything else. I am constantly among people who show signs of addiction and withdrawal when it comes to their hobby, and I usually find that comparison to other forms of addiction are often misplaced or misunderstood. Now I've read some of the comments here and some people counter with the usual "I used to play videogames 36,5 hs a day for 150 years and I'm perfectly normal". Good for you, you're part of the vast percentage of people who seem to do OK even when devoting most of their waking hours to play games. However, you do realize that you haven't refuted the study's findings just because it worked for you. Another common complaint: "It's the parents' fault". Well, yes, it may well be, and that's why the AAP is involved and is suggesting guidelines. And yet another: "It's the other way around, depression leads to gaming". But this is irrelevant. Even if this were true, the correlation would still stand. And from there we could wonder whether the stimulation that people find in virtual worlds as an escape from real life is not compounding the problem instead of solving it. I am also annoyed at ESA's knee-jerk response, "you can't prove it". When did the ESA turn into a tobacco company? Many of the people posting here are dismayed at the image projected to the non-gaming public by studies like this one, but I'd say ESA's response lives up to the stereotype.

    January 17, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Josie

    I'll be the first to admit, give me a game that challenges me and I can spend hours on it, but at the same time, I'm not like my brother who is def a gamer....he can spend HOURS playing games, loosing track of time. But he's part of a group, has been since highschool...they are all still good friends to this day. Just because you don't hang out with the "popular crowd", most of whom I found to be stupid or shallow anyway, it's easier to meet up with a few people and game or just do something intellegent...I wonder what they would say about a bookworm like me, you know the kid that would rather stay in their room and read a good book, then watch t.v. or deal with other people. I know even to this day I can read up to 4 books a day.

    January 17, 2011 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. tedromanto

    I agree with a lot of what's said, but perhaps if other people would stop being SUCH NIMRODS then people wouldn't be so bummed or stressed – lol – and they wouldn't need to sit around metaphorically letting out that repressed aggression at pixels on a video screen and bits on a hard drive. We're all kind of in this together.

    What I've been doing lately, when I strongly detest someone, is I don't say a word to them – I just DO NOT INTERACT with them. No interaction=limited potential for the breeding of negative and harmful emotions.

    I usually find myself playing a video game (1 hour a week, most) as an outlet for aggression or just to meddle around or explore within the game – I typically DISREGARD those built-in challenges and play more open-ended games where I can do that.

    January 17, 2011 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Bruce

    First thing to note is that the study shows a LINK. It's not directly blaming video games themselves, it just notices the amount of time playing games. So then what is contributing to this? As someone with a diagnosed anxiety disorder who also happens to be a gamer, for me BOTH the increased playing AND the anxiety disorder were due in part to the chaos in my family. I had a lot of time, home alone, where I couldn't have friends over or go places for various reasons.

    Also, patterns of video game use have to be looked at. Is the child playing video games with friends together in person? Online with friends from school? Or alone or with random folks online without any personal connection? HOW the games are played and their social context is important as it relates to mental health. Lots of potential future research in this area.

    January 17, 2011 at 16:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Josh

    I dont get this article.. no one playes Nintendo 64 anymore..

    January 17, 2011 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. MiscMel

    The study isn't really valid and misses a really important point. Most of these kids are depressed and lonely FIRST......that's why they turn to additive video gaming.

    My socially awkward 13 year old son would be addicted if we let him play as much as he wants. He doesn't have any friends (well the couple he does have are kind of awkward too....). Due to his lack of friends and ability to do well in social situations, he became depressed. He THEN retreated into video games. And judging from what I have learned from talking to parents and through research I think his situation is the norm.

    January 17, 2011 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Starry Sky

      Get him some help in learning social skills. Some kids need to learn everything from posture to eye contact to how to how to be a good listener, etc.... his life will be better if he learns these skills now. Good luck.

      January 18, 2011 at 09:35 | Report abuse |
  18. Brian

    This article is both wrong and right. I think gaming can actually lift some people's depression. On the otherhand people that spend hours upon hours doing it will likely avoid friends and may fall out of social contact with people. I think social problems are one of the biggest causes of depression if not the biggest.

    January 17, 2011 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Dark Poet

    Funny http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/resources_for_families/child_and_adolescent_mental_illness_statistics

    states 1-10 are depressed... same findings except it doesn't account for the rest of the mental diseases children have.. this is what we call a biased study and crappy journalism. Thanks CNN and FOX for posting this story to the world without you or the scientist actually doing research.

    January 17, 2011 at 19:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Ryan

    ........I once had the urge to play a super-nintendo game (Super Metroid 1 & 2) soo bad i went on ebay and bought a snes and them 2 games. Im not depressed, have anxiety issues, or got bad grades. Im on my xbox live quite a bit and it doesnt interfere with my life. It sure does make me feel better if i have a sad situation.

    January 17, 2011 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. His Mother

    My Son is a gamer, I am so proud of him cause he is definetly smatter them me & people with this studies

    January 17, 2011 at 19:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Juan

    Actually, this entire article is completely false. Long-term studies have found that hard-core gamers are actually smarter in school and become more successful in their future. Depression is primarily derived from a chemical imbalance in your brain. This article is a disgrace to journalism.

    January 17, 2011 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Neeneko

      That is why the study focused on children (and of course applying adult criteria to them.. because we all know children have families and jobs).... longer studies would have hurt the conclusion he was looking for.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:07 | Report abuse |
  23. Hmph

    I'm 16 and in community college. I have a 4.0 GPA. Gaming isn't just a hobby for me, it's more than that.
    I'm most definitely not depressed when gaming. Although real life drama can cause anyone to feel down.
    This article is entirely inaccurate.
    Clearly, the one who came up with this FUD hasn't touched a controller in his/her life.

    January 17, 2011 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Doug

      Or has touched a controller, but has a little bit of noob rage.

      January 18, 2011 at 09:19 | Report abuse |
  24. Thunderball

    This is from a NOTED anti-game activist. Should we EXPECT any less? *looks around* No? Okay then. /thread

    January 18, 2011 at 00:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Holy Moses

    Any of our depressed gamers commit suicide last night?

    January 18, 2011 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Doug

      Not I. After the requisite zombie slaying(due to having read this article) I can say I have not killed myself.

      January 18, 2011 at 09:17 | Report abuse |
  26. someoneelse

    Moderation in everything is good for health. Quite simple, not just video games (though those too of course).

    January 18, 2011 at 07:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. matt

    How many of us actually look like that when we play?

    January 18, 2011 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Doug

      Yeah.... I don't see a pile of empty beer cans next to him either. This can't be right!

      January 18, 2011 at 09:20 | Report abuse |
  28. Chris

    You would be depressed to paying good money for crappy video games. Take Force Unleashed 2 for example, I wish I had my money back for the one, not even half the game of the 1st one.

    January 18, 2011 at 09:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Inst8

    when I become addicted to games in 2000, it had a huge impact on my mental health I become paranoid and was afraid of going out and meeting people in real life. I thought it felt so weird to be out among real people and buildings.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Justin

    Haha, I like how devious and evil the kid in the picture looks.

    But why the heck is he still playing N64??

    January 18, 2011 at 10:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Dpick

    Couldn't you make this argument for people who play hours of poker online or in a casino??? Why don't they study people who destroy their lives by gambling addictions? Video games? Gimme a break. This is soft stuff.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Philip

    We would all agree that what one feeds his own body is made evident by how that physical body appears and behaves. But when it comes to what we feed our minds, we argue. A body fed junk food for too long will look and act like 'junk'. A mind fed violence for too long will think like 'violence'. Is this so hard to understand?

    January 18, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Daelda

      So, do you advocate banning Tom & Jerry? Buggs Bunny? Those are some of the most violent shows on television. They are always hitting , cutting, stabbing, and blowing each other up. And those are shows aimed at young children!

      January 18, 2011 at 12:26 | Report abuse |
  33. Daelda

    I am disabled. I suffer from PTSD, panic disorder, anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder. I am under the care of a doctor and on medication. I am also a gamer. In fact, I play an average of 3 – 6 hours a day. My psychologist is completely aware of my gaming and the amount of time that I spend doing it. She says that it is actually *healthy* for me. In my case, it is one area of my life where I have control – when I don't have control in so many other areas of my life. It is a form of therapy. A way for me to socialize, while at the same time maintaining control over the situation. Every doctor I have had over the years has been aware of my gaming and not one has been concerned about it.

    I am also a husband who enjoys time with a loving wife outside of games (and inside of them as well). We enjoy television, a walk outside, reading a book together, cooking together and other activities. Did gaming make me depressed or lead to my anxiety? No. I was depressed long before I ever even knew that video games existed. I also know what caused my PTSD and my anxiety problems and it was not video games.

    I would bet that you would find a similar correlation as the one in this study, if you studied people who were compulsive gamblers, or sports addicts, or pretty much did any activity to excess. When you do an activity to excess, it means that you are compensating for something that is missing in your life. It doesn't matter if it is video games, serial relationships or religion. You are trying to fill a void. Is that a bad thing? It depends on what that void is and why it is there in the first place. It also depends on just how far you take your excess.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. WillieZ

    mm hmmm

    January 18, 2011 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. ummm....

    what with the nintendo 64 controller?

    January 18, 2011 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. jeff butler

    hey

    January 18, 2011 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Bubba

    agreed, what is up with the Nintendo 64. Maybe the real study should be, gaming systems from the mid 1990's causes depression...

    January 18, 2011 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Paul

    Everyone plays games. Games are all the same. All work and no play, causes depression.

    January 18, 2011 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Rachel

    Does it really take a study to realize this? Sitting for hours on end in front of a computer screen and falling into a world that doesn't exists promotes so many bad habits. Obesity, depression, no socialization among friends and family, anger, rage, the list could go on. My thought is that video games can be a fun outlet from time to time, but it's just as addicting as alcohol or other drugs, maybe not on the physical side, but it's more of a mental addiction than anything.

    January 18, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. damien rodrigue

    I am just saying I am addicted to gaming and I play probably more than 31 hours a week and I am making almost straight A's I am never depressed Infact i am always happy. I am in seventh grade and im doing algebra(ninth grade math) So its not always the games its just the person playing them

    January 20, 2011 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. cindychicago

    Finally safe way to abrade stretch marks at home http://www.medicalcrystals.com

    January 21, 2011 at 04:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Trampoline

    Hmm, was unsure about the study, but it appears to be legit – http://playstationlifestyle.net/2011/01/24/the-dark-side-of-gaming-professor-douglas-gentile-on-depression-and-addiction/

    January 24, 2011 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. depressed video gamer

    Depression linked to excess gaming, bad grades.

    Maybe people who suffer depression use excessive gaming as a crutch to avoid/mask their depression? It surely fits the report, just looking at it from the other side. Maybe the doctor should ask the kids what makes them depressed, maybe he'll find out that it isn't the amount of time they play games at all...

    January 26, 2011 at 05:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. ILikeDucks

    No... Really?

    February 13, 2011 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Mike

    Everyday I go to school I get made fun of because I have a different hair color than other kids (naturally red headed). The only reason that I am depressed is because i get so much crap from people at school. However, when I go home and play video games, nobody can see me, so nobody has the chance to make fun of me. Playing video games is the only way that i can escape from all the pressures of getting made fun of. I have fun while playing them, and they are entertaining, and they are the only way from me to escape being made fun of. ho knows what my life would be like if i got made fun of at school, and came home to nothing that would cheer me up.

    February 24, 2011 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Justin

    I love the picture, the kid isn't even holding the controller right. This rightfully illustrates the media's ignorance of the subject matter that they publish, which is a downright shame. Video games are not the issue, rather poor parenting and self-discipline are to blame. Rather than blame the industry, rightfully blame the people who have direct responsibility over their children. Parents are solely responsible for what their child is exposed to in their early years, and poor discipline will lead to poor grades and this "addiction" to video games. Video games are just another form of entertainment. Even if video games were banned, what is there not to say that kids will get addicted to programs on cable TV? Then soon after that, I'm sure that CNN will publish an article saying, "Excess TV exposure linked to depression, social deficiencies." The media is always skeptical of new media, which has been a trend since the 1950's with the expansion of TV networks. In 10-15 years, video games will become mainstream, and another form of entertainment will be the source of negative media attention.

    July 19, 2011 at 06:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      This isn't simply a matter originating in the 1950s. It actually goes far deeper than that. During the mid-to-late 17th century, many were publicly denouncing the waltz as a brazen, sinful, dance. There were many who proclaimed the telephone would be the end of American civilization due to society moving from direct social contact to merely voiced social contact. The rise of the "moving picture" at the early part of the 20th century was seen by many as the death-knell of good children. In the 1930s, comic books were blamed for any and all potential criminal acts from children, because comic books "glorified" crime. It's a simple portent that shows the old ways are dying in the wake of change, that these ugly, misinformed voices need to make themselves louder as their views become more irrelevant. It's probably happened so much in history that it's something of a running joke in nature, it's just more noticeable currently due to a greater number of outlets of expression now compared to previous points in history.

      April 30, 2012 at 13:12 | Report abuse |
  47. The gamesloX Team

    Great blog – and the very reason that my partner and I have developed gamesloX. Our product encourages parents to take control of their children's gaming to prevent them being harmed by spending excessive amounts of time at the controls. More information is available at http://www.gameslox.com

    September 13, 2011 at 06:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Jay

    For all you believers that prolonged video games cause depression; you must know this. A "link" is not a "cause". A lot of depressed people eat a lot of chocolate, this has been proven. Does chocolate cause depression?

    December 18, 2011 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Frank

    I just want to say I am not against games or do I exactly fully believe in this article, but stumbled across this because I Need Some Help. My Little Brother has some of these symptoms Bad Grades, Not very social, and almost always he comes home from school, only to be stuck on his computer. I don't know if it's bad parenting, but it seems like he doesn't care, and lies about his grades. He is already a freshman in high school, but I see him as if he is still in elementary. He is the youngest and me and my older sis never went through, our mom constantly scolding us to finish our homework, and always receiving calls from teachers of unfinished work.

    Honestly the kid is brilliant, and when he was only a toddler i thought he would be a genius, Is this just a sign of bad parenting, or does my brother need some sort of counseling for that motivation. Some teachers have stated that he may have ADD but honestly, I always thought they only said that because they were too lazy to put extra efforts to help him.

    At this point I have no idea what goes on in his head, and NO he is not on drugs. I know back when we lived In the south this issue did not come up as often. If anyone out there has experienced this or can even so help me . I would greatly appreciate it!

    January 26, 2012 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Andrew Scott

    Great thanks for the share of info. Will use this on my new web 🙂

    February 1, 2012 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
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