ESA Issues Statement on New Douglas Gentile Research

January 14, 2011 -

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) came out swinging this week against what it calls a  "flawed study" that alleges a link between video games and mental health problems in children. The study will be published in the February issue of Pediatrics, and attempts to connect video game playing with mental health problems in children from Singapore, according to a separate Joystiq report.

The study was conducted by Iowa State professor Douglas Gentile, whose past studies related to video games have been picked apart by some researchers for "exaggerating" the harmful effects of video games on children.

"We commend credible, independent, and verifiable research about computer and video games. However, this research is just more of the same questionable findings by the same author in his campaign against video games," Richard Taylor, a senior VP at ESA told TG Daily in an e-mailed statement.

"There simply is no concrete evidence that computer and video games cause harm. In fact, a wide body of research has shown the many ways games are being used to improve our lives through education, health and business applications," he added.

Taylor went on to say that this latest study contains a significant number of flaws.

"For example, its definition of 'pathological gaming' is neither scientifically nor medically accepted and the type of measure used has been criticized by other scholars," said Taylor. "Other outcomes are also measured using dubious instruments when well-validated tools are readily available. In addition, because the effect sizes of the outcomes are mainly trivial, it leaves open the possibility the author is simply interpreting things as negatively as possible."

Taylor also pointed out that Gentile had publicly acknowledged a mistake in the methodology used for a similar study published in Psychological Science last year.

"The error - which he acknowledged to ABC News in a blog posting after publication - arises from the fact that the sample group for the study was not randomly chosen. Instead, it was a 'convenience' sample of individuals who agreed to participate in the survey, a significant factor that greatly compromises that study's purported findings."

Source: TGDaily


Comments

Re: ESA Issues Statement on New Douglas Gentile Research

I happen to have Asperger's syndrome and I am a gamer (and I think GP had an article a couple years back about how many Aspies and other high-functioning autistics are drawn to video games)...

I could imagine how critics of video games (Thompson, Yee, the usual suspects) as well as those who criticize autistic people (Sharron Angle, some of the people running Autism Speaks) would misconstrue this into some BS theory about "how video games cause autism" or "how games could reduce an otherwise normal person's mental capacity to an autism-like state"...

Re: ESA Issues Statement on New Douglas Gentile Research

I haven't read the study, so I'm just going off conjecture here, but these types of conclusions also make predictions (sometimes directly implied, sometimes not) that don't seem to pan out.

For instance, if videogames CAUSE mental health problems, then we are living in a country/world with large numbers of mentally disturbed individuals.  Just about every person under the age of 40 at this point has grown up with videogames , meaning that a huge number of people have been directly exposed to something known to cause mental health pathologies.  

This is a prediction that can be tested relatively effectively and easily.  Do people under 40 exhibit a significantly higher incidence of mental instability?  If so, do these numbers take into account any change in the scope at which such diseases are diagnosed which may skew these numbers?  Are there any other factors at play (family, genes, environment, diet, etc) that might also cause the same problems?  I haven't had time to check, but I'm sure some data like this must be out there already.

In a related note, the rallying cry of anti-games folk states that videogames cause normal youth to become violent.  The prediction these people make, by implication, is that youth violence rates MUST rise in proportion to popularity of videogames.  Since we know that youth violence rates have DECLINED, then the prediction the games=violence theory is falsified and the theory must be discarded.  Of course, the pundits won't do so, but the facts stand.

Perhaps the same can be said of the "games create mental illness" theory/hypothesis...

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
ZippyDSMleeMost social justice is great but some of it is so stupid it taints the whole thing into triple negatives. A shame most of the gamergate stuff is bad...the core ideals are not bad it just jumped the shark and the n ut cases came out of the wood work..08/03/2015 - 10:07am
ZippyDSMleeJim dives into the red ash controversy , http://www.thejimquisition.com/2015/08/1876/08/03/2015 - 10:03am
IronPatriotSeriously people, do not believe crap spread by those who think "social justice" is an insult or that its a good idea to join a movement created for harassment. Like your gamergate hero TotalBiscuit.08/03/2015 - 9:32am
IvresseSeriously people, do not believe the shit that the internet spreads about anyone, especially with the whole gamergate SJW crap colouring the issue to the point of stupidity08/03/2015 - 9:14am
Ivresse@Big Perm: Only to the morons that inhabit the internet. Also his wife is damn awesome, I bumped into her when I had to catch my train before TB's meet and sign session, she ran to find TB, got him to sign my mousemat, then ran back to give it to me.08/03/2015 - 9:13am
MechaTama31I dunno. I'd rather see new characters than see, for example, someone other than Bill Murray try to be Venkman.08/03/2015 - 9:10am
Big Perm@ Ivresse. Is true that TB eats puppies?08/03/2015 - 9:01am
MattsworknamePS: hudson played winston zedimore08/03/2015 - 7:24am
Mattsworknameinfo: the orignoal cast wasn't part of Star trek, but the charecters in the movie were the same charecters. Ghostbusters with out stance, ego, venkman, and Earnie hudsons charecter, whose name I forget for some reason , feels wrong to me08/03/2015 - 7:23am
PHX Corphttp://www.nintendolife.com/news/2015/08/scathing_nikkei_report_hints_at_shameful_treatment_of_staff_by_dictatorial_konami_management Scathing Nikkei Report Hints At Shameful Treatment Of Staff By Dictatorial Konami Management08/03/2015 - 7:15am
IvresseJust finished with Coxcon 2015 last night (convention in the UK organised by Youtube Jesse Cox). Was a damn good weekend meeting Jesse, Totalbiscuit, Dodger etc. and getting to ask them questions and stuff.08/03/2015 - 6:15am
InfophileReference for my comment earlier about Dan Aykroyd in the new Ghostbusters: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jul/15/ghostbusters-call-dan-aykroyd-for-cameo08/03/2015 - 6:00am
benohawkI hope the new ghostbusters is good regardless, but I also expect it to have to surpass the orignal for people to acknowledge that.08/03/2015 - 1:37am
benohawkMecha, those changes are also some of the bigger complaints I've heard about the Abrams Star Trek movie.08/03/2015 - 1:35am
MechaTama31https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU_D96AdK0M <-- Letterman interview with Bill Murray, he seems to have a similar opinion to mine about the pink-slime movie.08/02/2015 - 11:27pm
MechaTama31I don't think it's as big a deal as you think, matts. After all, JJ Abrams' Star Trek removed the original cast (mostly) and changed the formula significantly. If the movie is enjoyable, people will enjoy it.08/02/2015 - 11:23pm
MattsworknameDoc: Hope he recovers soon.08/02/2015 - 7:49pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.pcgamer.com/what-directx-12-means-for-gamers-and-developers/#page-1 by Peter Thoman, and better known by the name Durante. he talks about dx12 in detail08/02/2015 - 7:45pm
DocMelonheadIGF's Chairman resigns due to cancer: http://igf.com/2015/07/letter_from_the_chairman_so_lo.html08/02/2015 - 6:46pm
Matthew Wilsonit wont let me update it, so the title is Tifa's Breasts Too Big for the FF7 Remake?08/02/2015 - 6:14pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician