‘Special to CNN’ Report on Videogames, Pornography and the Destruction of American Males

This CNN article written by Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan to promote the new TED Book, "The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It," concludes that the Internet-using-male-gamer out there is addicted to pornography (sex) and video games (violence), and as a result isn't quite capable of achieving academic goals, real-world relationships, or taking any chances. They sum it up by calling it "arousal addiction," and they come to this conclusion based on a survey of "20,000 men, numerous individual interviews and dozens of studies."

It should be noted that video game addiction has not officially been recognized by any U.S. or international psychiatric governing body., but Internet and sexual addictions are recognized.

In their article the authors also try to connect video games to tragedies like Seungseob Lee, the South Korean man who went into cardiac arrest after playing StarCraft for nearly 50 hours; the Oslo, Norway shooter Anders Behring Breivik who killed 77 people and claimed he played Call of Duty to train and World of Warcraft just for fun; and the 2009 MTV "True Life" story of a man named Adam who was kicked out of his house by his wife because he played too much World of Warcraft..

The article goes on to cite research that shows children and adults become aggressive after playing violent video games, as well as research on pornography.

Will "arousal addiction" be the new buzz word of anti-game researchers in the future? I think so, but that's just my opinion, just like this article is the opinion of (we assume) two well-meaning researchers. We just wish CNN had designated this article as an op-ed piece.

You can find the book "The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It" on Amazon.com.

Update: Internet and sexual addictions were not included in the latest public update on DSM-5, the next edition of American psychiatry's diagnostic guide (to be released in May 2013). We have corrected the story accordingly and appreciate everyone pointing out the error.

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  1. Mr.Tastix says:

    You want to know why I like video games more than “real world relationships”? Because videos games aren’t manipulative and try playing the victim all the time. That’s why.

  2. tallimar says:

    only if your a rational individual with the ability to think for yourself (instead of falling for the latest moral panic fad).

  3. Neeneko says:

    I though this had already been traced back to changes in educational pacing over the last 20 years?

  4. hellfire7885 says:

    By "traditional" he means HIS values.

    I wonder how he got on TED. His ideas don't seem worth sharing.

  5. kurifu says:

    I saw the actual Ted presentation he gave on this topic, its the biggest load of unsubstantiated crap I've ever heard for one of their presentations. I mainly got the feeling that the obviously well aged presenter simply believed in traditional values as there was no insight and just a lot of personal anecdotes on why he think men fail at making love. I doubt many people would even think twice about his presentation yet alone give this book much consideration.

  6. Longjocks says:

    My real-world relationships have turned me to games and porn as the more satisfying option, not the other way around.

  7. DorthLous says:

    Nop. Sexual addiction was not recognized in the very last psychological guide either (it came out, what, less than a month ago?) Would also like a proof the internet one is recognized.

  8. GrimCW says:

    yep, has nothing to do with the drugs their forcing people on these days or risk losing your kids for not taking care of them properly. the totally forced anti social behavior in making absolutely sure that kids are afraid to speak to ANYONE not within their immediate family circle (despite this is where 2/3 of issues actually are known to happen), or the constant reminder that sex is bad, violence is good, and we should never come in contact with the opposing sex lest we seek to be punished.

    Oh, and lets not forget my favorite, any attempt to excel as a youngster is generally impeded by punishing those that try to move forward, stay ahead, and truly take interest in learning… oh the days i spent in detention for making my teacher feel stupid merely by having been 2 pages ahead of them 🙂 I actually got told "go back to sleep" because of this more than once.. my class grades were all high minus participation as a result… but hey, i passed :p


    all exaggerations intended, and points standing :p just remember to take with a grain of salt as i'm not 100% serious here.. 75% maybe, but def not 100% 🙂

  9. Mrxknown_JG says:

    I am ashamed, GP. This article clearly talks about children that are already aggression-prone being exposed to violet media. It doesn't say that violet media causes these problems.

    Only affects those people more sensitive to the media. Same with people that are socially awkward and porn. There's could be a tendency to favor porn over risky social events.

    This article does not claim video games or porn are the root of the problems, but merely are more attractive to people of with certain characteristics and traits. Those are the people that are at-risk of becoming addicted.

    The article doesn't state all male gamers are addicts. Please…let's talk about the content and not get too defensive so quickly

  10. -Jes- says:

    Soo.. This book draws biased conclusions from fallacious data and opinions?

    Nothing new here.

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