Video games are on the front pages again this morning, though sadly for all the wrong reasons. National freesheet Metro this morning carries a front-page story entitled “Video games are ‘linked to ADH’”.
The paper has a track record of going big on stories that seem to carry an anti-games agenda, having previously given premium spaces to spots linking games to autism and rickets, as well as slamming authorities for installing consoles in many UK prisons.
Today’s spot, which reads like a report from the mid ‘90s, it opens with the following: “Children who play computer games or watch TV for more than two hours a day are up to twice as likely to suffer from attention problems linked to ADHD, a study shows.”
It goes on to quote Professor Douglas Gentile as stating: “If we train the brain to require constant stimulation and constant flickering lights, changes in sound and camera angle then, when the child lands in the classroom where the teacher doesn’t have a million-dollar-per-episode budget, it may be hard to get children to sustain their attention.”
It adds that the diagnosis of ADHD has soared in the last 20 years.
However, it closes on a far more ambiguous note: “It is not unreasonable to believe that environmental stimuli can increase the risk for ADHD in the same way that stimuli, like cigarettes, can increase the risk for cancer."
It adds that “researchers concluded TV and video game viewing might be a contributing factor for ADHD in children”.