Kids addicted to gaming

Problem gambling is classified as an impulse control disorder, and it looks like it may have company. An Iowa State study says that many children suffer from addictive video gaming. From USA Today:

Nearly one in 10 children and teens who play video games show behavioral signs that may indicate addiction, a new study reports.

The study found 8.5% of those who played had at least six of 11 addictive symptoms, including skipping chores and homework for video games, poor test or homework performance and playing games to escape problems. The research, which is published in the May issue of the journal Psychological Science, is based on a 2007 Harris poll of 1,179 U.S. youngsters, the first nationally representative poll on the subject.

Exhibiting six of 11 symptoms can lead to a diagnosis of addiction, such as pathological gambling. Iowa State University researcher Douglas Gentile adopted the addiction criteria for gambling because there is no current medical diagnosis of video-game addiction.

Study: Video-game-playing kids showing addiction symptoms –

This seems to be a rather casual study; the authors just substituted “video gaming” for “gambling” on a screening checklist. But it raises interesting questions about the nature of addiction for both video games and gambling. For example, is the addiction to the activity of gambling, as it appears to be with video gaming? In that case, it’s not really about the money, but about the activity. That’s got to have some implications for treatment.

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