The National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMF) has defended its divisive ‘pathological addiction’ study findings following criticism from academics, media outlets and, most vehemently, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).
NIMF President Dr. David Walsh said that, regardless of the controversy, the study has provided “the gaming industry, medical experts, and public policymakers with a new opportunity to have a thoughtful conversation regarding the effects of video games on kids.”
On Tuesday ESA CEO Michael Gallagher said that the recent survey – which claims that 8.5 per cent of the 8-18 year olds are “pathologically” addicted to playing video games – was based on “flawed methodology” due to participants being selected via an opt-in online panel, where gifts were rewarded for completing the questions.
In a statement issued to GamePolitics, Dr. Walsh opened with unknowingly ironic anecdotal evidence: “Everyone knows at least one child who has struggled with balancing healthy game playing with academics and family life,” he said.
“Unfortunately, as Dr. Gentile’s study suggests, some children have more significant problems with gaming,” he added, though claiming that a single study could not fully determine if gaming is addictive for some children.
“Again, additional research is required to determine if video games are as ‘addictive’ as gambling and alcohol. With this additional research, the medical community can make an educated decision on video games and addiction.”