Report claims gaming addiction is real

A survey of 1,178 US children conducted by research firm Harris Interactive has concluded that “gaming addiction is real and on the rise” with 8.5 per cent of the 8-18 year olds questioned deemed as being “pathologically or clinically addicted to playing video games”.

The study claims that 23 per cent of the males and 13 per cent of the females questioned claimed to feel addicted to games. 44 per cent also stated that they believed their friends were addicted.

The report also claims that the average 8-12 year old now plays 13 hours of video games per week, with the average 13-18 year old playing 14 hours. This is a concern, it goes on to say, because children “who spend more time playing video games are more likely to perform more poorly in school, get into physical fights and/or be physically heavier”.

Dr. Douglas Gentile, the director for research for the National Institute on Media and Family stated: “It is important that people realise that playing a lot is not the same thing as pathological play. For something to be an addiction, it has to mean more to you do it a lot. It has to mean that you do it in such a way that it damages your life.

“Almost one out of every ten youth gamers show enough symptoms of damage to their school, family, and psychological functioning to merit serious concern.”

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Tags: addiction , harries interactive

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