Reports this week that the Center for Disease Control found higher than normal rates of obesity and depression in adult gamers have drawn criticism from some game and tech-oriented observers.
Cnet’s Don Reisinger writes:
Due to its small sample size, methods of data collection, and location focus, the study’s findings have to be taken with at least one grain of salt.
Moreover, the study found that the majority of those surveyed are overweight, regardless of their gaming patterns.
John Timmer of Ars Technica also sees caveats in the CDC research:
One of the most obvious problems… is that the study is based on survey data gathered online back in 2006… it’s important to note (given the conclusions about weight) that the Wii didn’t hit the market until the end of that year.
The scope is limited, as well… This limited sample is not a definitive representation of gamers in general, and mainstream reports have ignored the study’s own admission to this…
Indeed, western Washington has a climate that’s rather unique within the US, one that may influence decisions on indoor vs. outdoor activities… The survey data was also completely dependent on self-assessment… The correlations are curious and more study is needed.
When you look at the actual data, the differences aren’t as extreme as you might think. For example, male gamers have an average BMI of 28.05 while non gamers score a 26.55… To put it in relative terms, you’re looking at the difference between Homer Simpson and Krusty the Clown…