Gentile: Pathological Gaming = Impulse-Control Disorder

January 25, 2011 -

Do you lie awake at night wondering why Professor Douglas Gentile conducted his latest video game addiction study in Singapore?  Well get ready for a good night’s sleep at last because that and other pressing questions have been answered in a recent interview with Gentile by PlayStation LifeStyle.

To recap, the study was conducted by surveying 3,034 Singapore children (averaging 9-years-old) about their gaming habits to determine whether any of them were “pathological gamers.”  The questions were based on the ones use to identify people suffering from pathological gambling, the only medically recognized behavioral addiction.  But is simply asking children about their gaming habits the best way to go about determining such a thing?  Wouldn’t kids predisposed to lying skew the results?  Gentile responds:

“I think your argument is not likely for many reasons, some of which are cultural differences between US and Singaporean children, and some of which are due to the fact that the kids didn’t know what we were studying. It was a big study that went across 4 days of testing each year for 3 years. This is only one small part, and they didn’t know how the data would be used.”

Gentile was then asked if the kids identified as addicted to games were tested for other addictions.  “Were they susceptible to addictions, or did gaming cause them to be addictive?”

“No, as these were children who would not be able to gamble easily, and drugs are not available in Singapore (drug dealers get the death sentence first offense!).  That said, I have a hard time with the word “addictive,” as I think this is really an impulse-control disorder (as is pathological gambling, by the way)”

So where do parents fit in?

“I think we don’t need to look for someone to blame. Of course parents should be involved in their children’s media habits, as many of my studies show. I think that for some children, the gaming gets out of balance with their other responsibilities, and they need help from their parents, friends, and possibly professionals.”

And the government?

“I think we need more research to determine if this is the same level and type of problem as other addictions. Other than that, I don’t see that governments really should have much role in this. It’s something the medical community will need to consider, which may ultimately have an impact on diagnosis and treatment.”


Oh, and why Singapore?

“That’s where the grant to study games was given.”

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen


Comments

Re: Gentile: Pathological Gaming = Impulse-Control Disorder

You are all idiots. Never has Dr. Gentile said he “hates  video games”. I work in his lab at Iowa State so I think I’d know. We study media research; TV, movies, and video games, not sports psychology. We’re not saying video games are pure evil, as a matter of fact most of us that work here love them including Dr. Gentile. What we’re saying is you can get addicted to these if you have the right (or wrong) predispositions for it.  And if you look, Dr. Gentile is a developmental psychologist (this means he studies kids, for those of you who are too ignorant to understand that) so this mostly applies to children. We are asking parents to be more aware of what their children are doing and the consequences that could come of it. Take time to research him before you bash him. Thanks.

 

Re: Gentile: Pathological Gaming = Impulse-Control Disorder

I would like to know why this man hates videogames so much that he is willing to manipulate his own data in order to prove that he is right?

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Re: Gentile: Pathological Gaming = Impulse-Control Disorder

I return to 'borderline academic fraud'.... the use of adult pathological gambling criteria on 9 year olds is not going to produce meaningful results.  At least a 3rd of the criteria do not even make sense (they relate to income, money, or relationships).. and others fit normal 9 year old behavior (such as lieing so you can do more of the activity).

Re: Gentile: Pathological Gaming = Impulse-Control Disorder

I like how studies like this rely on factors that are varied (sometimes to an extreme degree) in other nations, then attempt to use them as a way to explain everywhere else. It's like removing a cake from a picnic table because ants are getting on it, expecting that action to make the ants go away, while ignoring every other piece of food that they're nomming on.

Re: Gentile: Pathological Gaming = Impulse-Control Disorder

my question is, has he tried looking at this from another angle, say football or partying?  why try to equate this only with video games when such a 'disorder' could very well show up in something else?

that last question makes me wonder how much of that grant money went into his own pocket...

 
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MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
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Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
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TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
 

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