The recent claim by Iowa State Prof. Douglas Gentile (left) and the National Institute on Media and the Family that "nearly one in ten" 8-18 year-olds shows signs of video game addiction was challenged this week by ESA CEO Michael Gallagher, who questioned Gentile’s methodology.
Yesterday, NIMF boss David Walsh defended Gentile’s research to GamePolitics. Gentile himself has now waded into the fray, telling incgamers that the ESA’s attack on his sampling methodology was a "trick."
And that’s not all Gentile had to say:
The ESA are trying to give the perception that there was something wrong with the study… [the ESA’s criticism of the sample is a] trick the ESA is trying to get you to pick up on…
We’re talking about pathological implications [of addictive gaming], we’re measuring it on how it damages people to function in a healthy way, and how they start to injure their family and social relationships, their school work or their occupational work, and when we measure it that way (the same we would measure pathological gambling), you can’t just have one of the symptoms, but rather more than half of the symptoms. There are 11 symptoms, and you have to report up to six of those symptoms.
Eight and a half percent of the surveyed gamers, across the sample, reported up to six of those symptoms, which, in medical terms means that they are pathological gamers.
incgamer also cites a letter from Iowa State to the ESA which defends Gentile’s methodology. The researcher did admit to a mistake in his report which incorrectly tabs the survey’s margin of error at 3%.