Gentile Compares Game Addiction to Yesteryear’s Alcoholism

August 23, 2010 -

While videogame addiction still isn’t recognized by the American Medical Association, an article on the subject in the Dayton Daily News features quotes from Iowa State researcher Douglas Gentile in which he continues to make the push that videogame addiction is real.

The article begins with a mention of Quinn Pitcock, the ex-NFL player attempting a comeback with the Seattle Seahawks following a bout with depression, which, he claims, led to excessive videogame play. From there the article evolves into a discussion on the subject of game addiction itself.

Sarah Greenwell, a Pediatric Psychologist from the Children’s Medic l Center of Dayton, kicks off the piece by stating that, throughout her years of service, she has come across only two kids that were genuinely addicted to videogames.

Next up was Gentile, who previously used spilled pencils to demonstrate that playing first-person shooters might reduce empathy, and who also contributed to a study that attempted to link playing games and watching television to attention problems in kids (a study that was later debunked by Christopher J Ferguson).

This time around Gentile compared addiction to videogames to another addiction, alcoholism, stating:

The state where we are with video game addiction is where we were with alcoholism 40 years ago. Forty years ago, there started being evidence that it looked like a medical problem, but people said, ‘No, no — it’s a moral issue. You’re just not strong enough to stop.'


Comments

Re: Gentile Compares Game Addiction to Yesteryear’s ...

What I eagerly await are the studies and outrage on sports addiction! People who can't get enough of baseball, football, etc. They have to watch highlights, pre-game analysis, post-game analysis, go to sports bars and drink....

Wait...that's being "normal" for some reason, even if you have a huge beer gut, never actually play those sports, have your own "virtual team" that you bet on with your co-workers every week, and talk about nothing else. I guess addiction only applies to "unpopular" hobbies....

Re: Gentile Compares Game Addiction to Yesteryear’s ...

Well, if I'm going to rip off a movie I might as well steal from the best.

"Video game addiction?! You ever suck some dick for 15 minutes of WoW?"

Re: Gentile Compares Game Addiction to Yesteryear’s ...

I'm taking issue with the fact that their example is clearly a case where excessive playing of videogames was a form of self treatment, not a disease itself.  Quinn Pitlock was suffering from depression - that was his problem, not videogame addiction.  Someone who is depressed and drinks excessively is more than likely just drinking to treat their depression, not an alcoholic.  Normally if you treat the source of the problem (in this case, depression) the "addiction" is no longer necessary, and falls to the wayside.  Wasn't there a study published in South Korea that evinced this only a few weeks ago?

Someone who genuinely suffers from game addiction (and not some other disease they're using videogames to treat) is very, very rare.  I have a friend who will suffer from withdrawl (shakes, headaches, etc) if he doesn't play videogames for a long enough time.  That is videogame addiction. But it's no different than people who exercise excessively and become addicted to the epinephrine boost, and I have known many, many more people (and I'm a gamer) who suffer from exercise addiction than videogame addiction.

Does it exist? Yes.  I know it does, from second hand experience.  Is it something frequent enough, compared to other addictions, that we should worry about it? Not really, or at least not in my experience.  Show me a study that shows a good percentage of those who enjoy videogames are actually addicted to it, and then I'll see it as a big problem.

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." ~Best quote ever, Albert Einstein

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." ~Best quote ever, Albert Einstein

Re: Gentile Compares Game Addiction to Yesteryear’s ...

I'm addicted to breathing. I can't help it. I just don't have the strength to stop.

Does that count?

Re: Gentile Compares Game Addiction to Yesteryear’s ...

More like comparing it to yesteryears shopping addiction....


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Re: Gentile Compares Game Addiction to Yesteryear’s ...

(shrugs) SSDD

Re: Gentile Compares Game Addiction to Yesteryear’s ...

As if we haven't heard this before.

Re: Gentile Compares Game Addiction to Yesteryear’s ...

Ah.. ha....

Yeah... video games can be addicting, just like any other activity.... comparing it to something physically and chemically addictive like alcohol seems a bit disingenuous.....

Re: Gentile Compares Game Addiction to Yesteryear’s ...

I anxiously await research showing that game addiction is a genetic disease, causes physical dependence, and is a major cause of domestic violence.

Though I WILL concede that, like drinking, if you're playing a game while driving you can cause an accident.

Re: Gentile Compares Game Addiction to Yesteryear’s ...

Are video games addictive?  No.  Can you be addicted to video games?  Only in the sense that you choose to play them to the exclusion of other important things (health, social life, etc.).

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Gentile Compares Game Addiction to Yesteryear’s ...

Gentile's 2009 study he references was the one where he used an on-line survey to survey kids who naturally were heavy internet users.  The 8.5% figure he gets, therefore, is largely meaningless.  Kind of like going to a cancer ward to study cancer prevalence rates.

Junk science.

 
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MattsworknameLast I checked zip, Lifeless planet was 10 bucks on steam I think08/01/2015 - 5:29pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Which one? Time Frame? How exactly does that play? What exactly do you DO in that one?08/01/2015 - 5:29pm
Andrew EisenZip - Neither game is above $20.08/01/2015 - 5:28pm
Mattsworknamefinished it, great game all the same.08/01/2015 - 5:22pm
MattsworknameMy only complaint about that game was it's length, I felt it was a bit to short yet in certain places felt like it dragged on a bit. SOme areas were so engaging they flew by, others didn't do enough to keep me energized to play, but I got to the end and08/01/2015 - 5:22pm
ZippyDSMleeNo demo makes me not want to buy until its 10-20$ ><08/01/2015 - 5:21pm
Andrew EisenAh, yes. Lifeless Planet has a much better trailer. Tells me a bit about the game, its story and how it plays. Novel! http://store.steampowered.com/app/261530/08/01/2015 - 5:19pm
MattsworknameOn the same vien, another great exploration game is Lifeless planet. but that one has an actuall story, and real gameplay08/01/2015 - 5:16pm
MattsworknameDoc: I think it's the other way around, I think gamergate only really coalesed when a larger discussion on issues started. The Jerks and asshats just sorta got swept along with the tide.08/01/2015 - 5:13pm
MattsworknameYour not wrong andrew, the trailer doesn't explain much ,I had to play it to understand what made it unique08/01/2015 - 5:12pm
Andrew EisenBut, plenty of great games have crap trailers.08/01/2015 - 5:11pm
Andrew EisenMy problem is the trailer doesn't communicate how the game plays or what you do. The camera pans over the landscape for about a minute and a half and that's about it. Not sure how that's supposed to interest anyone.08/01/2015 - 5:10pm
DocMelonheadLike I mentioned before: Gamergate may have been created by mean spirited bigots to use it to trick people to support their actions.08/01/2015 - 5:10pm
MattsworknameDoc: I think the issue is that IP cannot seperate the small group that used the Gamergate hashtag to hide there mean spirited actions ,from the rest of the people who wanted to discuss actuall issues in the industry08/01/2015 - 5:08pm
MattsworknameAs for time frame, the idea is good, I just wish it was using hi def graphics and allows for more exploration. Still think the idea is a good one if properly fleshed out08/01/2015 - 5:07pm
DocMelonheadAnd what facts: that 4chan is toxic for allowing hate speech on their site?08/01/2015 - 5:06pm
MattsworknameAndrew: Just reminding ip to be civil andrew.08/01/2015 - 5:05pm
Andrew EisenAs for Time Frame, interesting premise but the trailer does absolutely nothing to interest me in the game. http://store.steampowered.com/app/340270/?snr=1_5_1100__110008/01/2015 - 5:04pm
Andrew EisenOkay, let's not snipe at each other.08/01/2015 - 5:04pm
MattsworknameIP: You were not banned for "facts" , you were banned for being a jerk and not knowing when to shut up. Hopefully you learned from the experiance08/01/2015 - 5:00pm
 

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