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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MaskedPixelanteI suspect Howard will show up in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 as a bartender on Knowhere or something.11/22/2014 - 9:52am
Michael ChandraWonderkarp, try games where you don't get interactive cutscenes and only the main character really talks to people. Or games with a silent protagonist. I think the Bechdel test is a nice indicator (though flawed) for movies and such, but not games.11/22/2014 - 7:56am
ZippyDSMleeWymorence: HTD was a fun and very messed up film I love it. A new one would be nothing like it sadly.11/22/2014 - 1:57am
Andrew EisenOnly if we lived in a world where a bad movie meant every subsequent attempt would suck. Seriously though, after the last few years, I'll give Marvel the benefit of the doubt that it could make a great Howard the Duck movie.11/22/2014 - 1:29am
Wymorenceisn't that a GOOD thing there isn't a movie after the abomination that was the first?11/22/2014 - 12:27am
Andrew EisenNo movie in sight but Howard the Duck is returning to comics! https://games.yahoo.com/news/howard-duck-series-announced-184400635.html11/21/2014 - 10:48pm
MechaCrashThe point of the Bechdel Test isn't "is this film sexist," it's to illustrate "this is an incredibly low bar and most movies STILL can't pass it."11/21/2014 - 10:11pm
mthielNew report on Adam Lanza http://tinyurl.com/pnj9os611/21/2014 - 8:07pm
Andrew EisenIf you missed the HuffPost segment I guested on, the replay is now embedded in the story.11/21/2014 - 6:05pm
Wonderkarphttps://pbs.twimg.com/media/B2__4yZCcAA9Ytp.jpg these look amazing. Peach is the only one I'm tempted to open cause her packaging is bent. get another nonbent one....man. toycollector me and gamecollector me is fighting11/21/2014 - 5:51pm
WonderkarpJust finalized my Smash Bros free Sound Track Order. Also got 4 amiibos and they look fantastic. I'm afraid to open them. they look spectacular!11/21/2014 - 5:45pm
james_fudgeCan we all agree that Andrew cleans up nicely and can go on any program?11/21/2014 - 5:01pm
Wonderkarpthank you for that line, Andrew. alot of great films fail the bechdel test. Gravity fails it and it has a female lead.11/21/2014 - 4:48pm
Andrew EisenAw, thanks James! Well, now I have to drive back to work!11/21/2014 - 4:45pm
Andrew EisenDidn't have a chance to say this on the HuffPost segment but while the Bechdel test is useful as a broad examination of gender representation in media, it's not at all appropriate as a judgment of quality.11/21/2014 - 4:45pm
james_fudgeAndrew you killed it!11/21/2014 - 4:44pm
WonderkarpMadeline Bergman. second female, they never speak of men, just a computer program. it passes the test11/21/2014 - 4:34pm
E. Zachary KnightDoes Other M have more than one woman in it?11/21/2014 - 4:31pm
Wonderkarpyet Metroid Other M, a game where people cried sexist due to the commanding officers restricting Samus, passes the test....11/21/2014 - 4:21pm
Wonderkarpwait...they are using the bechdel test to determine which games are sexist?.....how does that work with a game like Super Mario Bros when there is no Dialogue? test itself is BS. Alien doesn't pass it11/21/2014 - 4:20pm
 

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