Yeah, I know; the picture and the title are totally messed up. But hey, we figured we'd toss up the ideal picture of a gamer to soften the blow.

According to a recent CDC survey , the average gamer is about 35 years of age and is also overweight and slightly depressed. Now, before we get into it, we'd like to point out that at this particular moment in time in this country, a whole lot of people are overweight and depressed. But anyway, this study consisted of 552 participants aged 19 to 90 and it was designed to prove or disprove the hypothesis that gamers tend to have a higher body mass index and a "greater number of poor mental health days."

Unfortunately, while the results weren't conclusive, the hypothesis was indeed proved correct and the study helped to "reveal important patterns in health-related correlates of video-game playing and highlights avenues for future research." For the women involved, researchers suggested game playing might be a form of "digital self-medication," as they are often effective at "mood management through their media content choices." On the men's side, it seems male players tend to "spend more time using the Internet and rely more on Internet-community social support." And not surprisingly, they have "a higher BMI and lower extraversion."

Therefore, the researchers concluded that sedentary behaviors and other forms of physical inactivity as a child often extends into adulthood, and both males and females will spend more time seeking friendship in digital worlds (i.e., the Internet). In a commentary on these results, Dr. Brian A. Primack of the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine asks:"

"How do we simultaneously help the public steer away from imitation playlike activities, harness the potentially positive aspects of video games and keep in perspective the overall place of video games in our society?"

He goes on to say that regular ol' playground games, like "Hide and seek and freeze tag," are "still probably what we need most." Well, we're going to agree with that, and sadly, we're really not surprised by these findings. Stick around GameStop for a full day and you won't be surprised, either. So our suggestion is the same one the doctors will give: c'mon, people…move! For the record, nobody here at PSXE fits this unfortunate mold for a gamer, which means it ain't inevitable. 😉

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englishgolfer
englishgolfer
11 years ago

so we need to play the old games, eh?? hide n seek and freeze tag? ok then i'll be in home plaza tonight hiding and you guys can find me…. 😉

Troy Powers
Troy Powers
11 years ago

How about Hide 'n' Go Get It? That's sure to burn a few calories.

bOnEs
bOnEs
11 years ago

i play video games almost everyday and i am a skinny dude… i think america as a whole is fat so, those findings don't surprise me at all… if you were to gauge the weight of the people involved in anything other than physical activity, you will find that most are fat…

depression i can see… since we play lots of games, we tend to miss out on more social activities that our mind wants to be involved in… i can see where that one comes from because every now and then, i feel a little depressed… it's nice to have social interaction online but, it's not the same as face to face…

it's like when you play the sims 2… you can boost your social gauge by calling someone and talking but, you boost it more by inviting them over and getting involved in activities…

Troy Powers
Troy Powers
11 years ago

Exactly! I'd wager that the average AMERICAN is 35, fat, and depressed. Which pretty much makes the results of this survey a wash.

robinhood2010
robinhood2010
11 years ago

Exactly Troy.

I want to see a much larger scaled survey across the whole of the spectrum, then we will really see how different these results are.

The hypothesis may be correct, but this is because this would be expected of a population survey.

www
www
11 years ago

Same here bONES, am a slender dude. I might be slightly depressed cause am dead broke due to the EFFING global recession but not anything about social something. I'm out most of the time, I come home to internet & games cause I barely do TV,movies or Series.

So I guess this survey is all about the so-called fat americans. If its not fat, then its gay, its all the american media ever talks about. I feel pity for those fatsos, cause the media won't leave'em alone!

Godslim
Godslim
11 years ago

lol yeh im not fat not 35 and not depressed

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
11 years ago

Same, only 18, underweight, and play games/online a bunch =)

bOnEs
bOnEs
11 years ago

my depression i think comes from not being out and about like i used to be in my youth… although technically, 26 is still young, lol… and money woes add to the mix as well… but i can see depression being an issue with gamers but, games do have a tendency to fill in the void like a good drug can do…

but, depression can come from so many different outlets… i would of figured that video games helped the cause, not throw you further down the rabbit hole :D…


Last edited by bOnEs on 8/19/2009 5:09:32 PM

Kevadu
Kevadu
11 years ago

Correlation does not imply causation…a basic fact about statistics that 95% of studies like this completely ignore.

It's no secret that introverted people are more likely to be attracted to gaming. That doesn't mean that gaming made them introverted. Why should depressed and overweight people (and there is a strong correlation between those groups) be any different?

BTW, 552 participants seems like a really low number for a survey like this…

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

I don't think they're implying that games "made" them introverted. I think they're implying that games may have an effect on health, though…and I have to agree with that.

Troy Powers
Troy Powers
11 years ago

I disagree, Ben. I think they ARE trying to imply causation. They're not coming directly out and saying that gaming is the cause, but by their choice of words and word order, they're definitely implying it. And that's even worse. If it was directly stated, it could be refuted. But, as is, it's kind of subliminal.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

Ben, those people who shop at Gamestop who might be considered overweight, many of them aren't even serious gamers. They are just overweight because they refuse to watch what they eat and stay active.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Well, I usually find myself searching for negatives in studies like this, so I'm trying to be optimistic. I don't WANT the researchers to be implying causation, but you might be right…maybe they are.

But there's a split, IMO: the personality part; that really can't be affected by games, I don't think. As Kevadu said, if you're introverted, games are usually a good option but games won't MAKE someone introverted. On the other hand, any sedentary hobby can have negative effects on health, so in that case, it's a swinging door.

SvenMD
SvenMD
11 years ago

I read the journal article. The fact that there were 552 participants is pretty decent for this type of study, however, the bias part of this survey comes in the fact that they picked the Seattle-Tacoma area because they KNEW that it was the 13th largest media market in the US and it would have a larger proportion of “gamers.
Now let’s get to their definition of a gamer. They used a scale to determine who was a gamer and who was a non-gamer. If you stated “I don’t use” video-games you got a 0, or If you stated “not at all important” (score of 1) all the way up to “extremely important” (score of 9). Anyone who scored ≥ 1 was a gamer and anyone who scored a 0 was a non-gamer…..WHAT?? How the heck does that even work in ANYONES head??
Also, most of their data is not statistically significant (including the portions about health status, mental health, and BMI-body mass index). And let’s not forget that this is just a SURVEY and in no way were actual physical parameters measured to determine if these people were truly unhealthy. It is only a reflection of that persons interpretation of their own life. Maybe gamers just feel like we can always better ourselves…. Anyway.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Depressed? Nah… High BMI…yes. A little. But I would blame the beer. Oh Sam, I just can't quit you!

Hezzron
Hezzron
11 years ago

Sammy Adams? That stuff is the boss!

Mr Bitey
Mr Bitey
11 years ago

I am an American gamer and I hate to disappoint, but I am not a morbidly obese person eating Mc Donal's and Pizza all day long.

I do make a conscious effort to put down the controller and run over to the Y a few days a week, and I eat well.

BlinkBoy
BlinkBoy
11 years ago

I will NOT hang around in a Gamestop store all day thank you!
If I buy something there it's in and out fast, not that Gamestops in norway are that horrible.

Just the most expensive place, so only impulse buy there for new games if I can't wait for it to land in my mailbox.

Jiggy
Jiggy
11 years ago

Shoot, when I get depressed I turn to video games. It seems to make me happy anytime depression comes a knockin'.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

Jim Rome is going to talk about this survey today. He doesn't seem to respect us, he called us "losers".

I guess I'm not too surprised with the results.

bOnEs
bOnEs
11 years ago

pfft, jim rome is a loser himself… he's one of the worst radio personalities out there… i'd put him even behind rush limbaugh…

Hezzron
Hezzron
11 years ago

Jim Rome is Burning……like the 360.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

who?

Zapix
Zapix
11 years ago

I can't help but laugh that the ads on screen right now on THIS page are for McDonalds, and a free Big Mac… Classic! It almost seems planned out!

SnipeySnake
SnipeySnake
11 years ago

rofl thats really ironic

frylock25
frylock25
11 years ago

i have a highly active job and tend to use video games as my down time. my ps3 has been good in being an all in one media center for when i dont want to game i can watch something on my ps3 instead. that being said i still crave the need to at least get up and do something outside of my ps3 and work. i have a buddy that just spent the last weekend on some crazy online computer game, even called into work on monday just to stay home and play it another day… when it comes down to it video games can be addicting and some people have no self control. on another level to it video games are becoming so immersive and the depth to them is so great (WoW, everquest i believe it was) why go out in that same old boring world when you have all these virtual worlds to explore 😉

BeezleDrop
BeezleDrop
11 years ago

Hmmm, America and obesity go hand and hand. Mainly because of the Fast Food industry that makes million upon billions every year. Damn you fried snickers bar!!

I'm nowhere near "fat" or out of shape. I guess you could blame the awesome games out and to come for keeping people glued to they're lazy boy. Of course I did just start exercising. It doesn't matter what anyone has to say about my avid gaming, I have fun and thats all that matters.

smileylyon
smileylyon
11 years ago

Fried Snickers bar!? Sounds like a heart attack within itself!

CH1N00K
CH1N00K
11 years ago

Oh they are, but deep fried snickers and deep fried Mars Bars are Sooo good…lol

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

the State Fair is coming up, stop mentioning those things.

Solid Fantasy
Solid Fantasy
11 years ago

There was little to no surprise in these findings. I sure as hell don't think video games are the primary cause of the problem. Americans just need to move more, eat less/better, and apparently talk more. Yeah we're all busy with jobs and what not, but chances are we all have the time. The truth is we just don't want to get out there. I for one am not promoting these statistics, but I will keep playing video games.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

Not overweight here
People just need to stop eating fast-food

I think we should blame fast-food and not v-games
I'm sure that if we were on a Japanese kind of diet there wouldn't be that many overweight v-gamers

SnipeySnake
SnipeySnake
11 years ago

i eat fastfood ALOT and i never get fat =( im just skin and bones T-T

kreate
kreate
11 years ago

agreed. americans are already obese whether they play video games or not. asians also play a crapload of video games but other than sumos, i dont realy see them having obesity problems. except, the asians who are born in america are… well, they're obese too.

SnipeySnake
SnipeySnake
11 years ago

Man i wish i was overweight, i have fast metabolism

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

You wanna be a fatty?

SnipeySnake
SnipeySnake
11 years ago

Yesh o.o

kreate
kreate
11 years ago

becareful what u wish for, being fat now sounds great, but wait 10-20 years. u might just regret it.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

You know, oh and sorry to go off-topic Ben, but when you see endless T.V. ads for Taco Bell, McDonald's, Burger King, Sonic, Jack 'N The Box, KFC, Harvey's, Tim Horton's and many others promoting cheap fast food, you can see why there are so many obese people. I see these ads and I'm tempted to run out and get an Angry Whopper or a One-Third Pounder but I resist. It's for the best.

However, just avoiding those places doesn't guarantee weight loss. You've got to avoid foods with lots of calories and you've got to do some activities to burn those said calories.


Last edited by n/a on 8/19/2009 12:35:23 PM

CH1N00K
CH1N00K
11 years ago

How do you teach moderation to a continent (North America) who grew up with the "We Want it all and we want it now" Philosophy? They could have taken 500 people from anywhere in NA and they would have come up with the same results.

Car companies already knew that obesity was a problem in North America. That's why the size of your average seat in a car has been widened by 3" over the last 15 years. To make room for our asses.

And depression isn't anything new, How long have there been anti depressants on the market? They're pumping people full of them now. You can't just point your fingers at video games for this one. Point it at the people who grew up under the watchful eye of the TV instead of the eye of their parents who were too busy with their careers to bother with the kids. If you spent you whole life working at a computer and not exercising, wouldn't you be fat and depressed too?

Ben I know you don't think that they are meaning to pick on video games on this one, but you know how the rest of the general public will see this. This is building up the stereotypes that all gamers are fat lazy people who sit in their moms basements plotting up ways to blow up the world that's been so cruel to them… According to this survey the majority of people online are a bunch of overweight emos looking for a friend.

That being said, most people I know who are highly active don't play a lot of video games. Why? Who has time when you're exercising so much?

I'd be interested to see who actually funded this study.


Last edited by CH1N00K on 8/19/2009 12:52:00 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Yeah, I know the mass populace will see this as a very negative thing. But I'm not sure what can be done about that…I think the key is to remain realistic and NOT to ignore the benefits of gaming, as one doctor said.

Of course, everyone will still WANT to ignore those benefits but that's nothing new. 'sigh'

Hezzron
Hezzron
11 years ago

"Overweight"?…..could be. "Slightly depressed"?…..probably due to the 360's failure rate.

BigBoss4ever
BigBoss4ever
11 years ago

research might be true in telling its results, but i as a gamer, still plays the game i want and enjoy the gaming world i did, and i am neither overweight nor depressed, — as a gamer, you just have to watch out and keep the balance of life events, altho sometime when you encounter some awesome games and story line, ur bum is just stuck on the couch and cant not help, but it is exactly this behaviour that makes us true gamers and brings us the joy of gaming…

p.s. the pic is cool and that will not make people depressed


Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 8/19/2009 1:00:20 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Every day for me is a poor mental health day, thats why I need my games.

www
www
11 years ago

But I thought most gamers were RATHER skinny,slender Rockstar-looking-like or average?

Seriously, my fat friends barely game, this survey isn't wide!

kevinater321
kevinater321
11 years ago

I don't think i need a survey to tell me that!

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

Heard Jim Rome's take on this study. It was hilarious. He was describing your typical Xbot. The ones whose entire lives revolve around playing video games all day and night long offline and online, spending all their money on every 360 game that the media hypes and accessories that come standard with the PS3 and trolling PS3 message boards while they wait for their bans to expire at the 360 boards they frequent because they are jerks 24-7. The ones with no social life outside of XBL. That's how I see it.

kevinater321
kevinater321
11 years ago

Some ps3 fanboys do that too…


Last edited by kevinater321 on 8/19/2009 1:56:32 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

@kev, its harder for PS3 guys though because there is hardly anything hyping PS3 games for us to get excited about and run out and buy.