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Comic for: April 21st, 2009
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Gaming News: "To Varying Degrees"
Posted: Tuesday April 21st, 2009 by

Iowa State University researcher and director of research for the National Institute of Media and Family (NIMF), Douglas Gentile, has concluded that 8.5% of Americans between the age of 8 and 18 are addicted to video games based on survey results of nearly 1200 children and teens. The NIMF, unsurprisingly, deemed the study "a wake-up call for families" while Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Senior Vice President of Communications, Rich Taylor, placed the onus on parents to "determine when and how often their children should play any game".
Source: ActionTrip [ more info ]

Now, I may be a staunch video game advocate and reading the original Washing Post article [more info] about the study made me wrinkle my nose in grumpy consternation, but I'm not about to say that a portion of America's youth are not addicted to video games. And, despite my consternation, the NIMF is making a valid point here. They're not using the study to say games are bad or that they are inherently addictive. They're saying that "some kids [are using] them in a way that is out of balance and harms various other areas of their lives".

The sticking point for me here is that studies like these should not shine such a fine spotlight on games/gaming specifically. Those same kids, if games were removed from the equation, would likely demonstrate an "addiction" to watching television or chatting online/on their cell phones, meeting the same stated criteria via a different distraction.

To address my consternation... I'm just over-protective of video games right now. We're the current scapegoat of choice. It will be nice when the usual contingent of politicians, zealots, and nutjobs turn their attention to the real threat:
iPhone Apps.

Today's Pimpage: The two gamers are wearing "Nature Troopers of the World" and "The Gaming Revolution" shirts from Threadless.Com.

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