We're always interested in various studies that address a video game's potential impact on players.
Some results have proven very insightful and worthy of discussion, while others make us wonder if research grant money wouldn't be better spent elsewhere. Case in point:
As cited by QJ.net , a professor of psychology at Iowa State University, Dr. Gentile, has stated that recent results prove children suffering from video game addiction "are more likely to suffer depression, anxiety and even social phobias." Note that this apparently only applies to addicts and not just every kid who plays a game.
According to the study in question, nearly 10% of the game-playing population of children were "pathological players;" that addiction was determined in about the same way they determine gambling addiction. The questionnaire used in the study included questions like-
"Have you ever lied about gaming?"
"Have you ever skipped school to play games?"
I don't have the full clinical results in front of me, and I suppose I could cite a bunch of other studies proving that games help a person's creativity, reflexes, and problem-solving skills (all of which using adults as the test subjects), but there's something more annoying at play here.
I'm only a lowly psychology degree-holder but even I know that all forms of addiction typically generate depression and anxiety. That's sort of the hallmark of addiction. Secondly, the "social phobia" part – and I'm going to go out on a limb here – may have come first . Although things have changed today, gaming still remains an option for entertaining oneself when alone…and the reason many kids in the 80s played video games was often because they weren't exactly the most popular students in school.
What I'm trying to say is that outside influences and obvious factors seem to be clouding the issue, here. I'd also be very interested to know what it takes to qualify as a "pathological player."