The Dark Side of Gaming: Professor Douglas Gentile on Depression and Addiction

Often unfairly lambasted and singled out by mainstream media, gaming has seen its fair share of unwarranted attacks, generally backed up by poor research and bias intentions. So when news outlet CNN published an article claiming that gaming led to depression and bad grades, we were rather dubious. To see whether there was any credence to the article, PlayStation LifeStyle interviewed Professor Douglas Gentile, lead author on the study in question.

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BigWoopMagazine3731d ago

"That is, although children who are depressed may retreat into gaming, the gaming increases the depression, and vice versa. Longer longitudinal studies are needed to test this." (from his study)

Damn, I'd be a pretty sick and twisted person by now if this happened. I like that he says he thinks it's an impulse-control disorder, rather than an addiction. I think that's closer to the truth, if anything.

NJShadow3731d ago

I know people who are going to argue against this, but that's because they've never gotten to the point where games where their only means of happiness, only to realize how empty life can be when that's ALL you're doing.

I'm a gamer, I love games, it's a retreat, one that actually lifts my spirits. But I know, just a most others should, that constant gaming, or too much gaming to the point where one ignores other parts of their life, can indeed be pretty depressing. Interesting study.

decimalator3731d ago

If all I had in my life was an Xbox, I know I would be depressed.

awiseman3731d ago

Why am I not suprised to see a ps3fanboy in here already.

Dragon_Hiko3731d ago

Truth be told, anything that is pleasurable in anyway carries the risk of mental addiction. And there is not too many damn things at all that are good in excess...even drinking too much water will kill you.

doctorstrange3731d ago

Play games more than I drink water, which is pretty worrying, haha

Lifewish3731d ago

I think that games can def. hurt if you spend far too much time on it..

doctorstrange3731d ago

Especially games that require a constant online presence.

decimalator3731d ago

For that matter, ANYTHING can have a negative effect if there is no moderation. Water is generally thought to be "good for you", but it can kill you if you drink too much at once.

Sev3731d ago

I am totally addicted to gadgets. Too much can kill my wallet.

doctorstrange3731d ago

Yeah, my wallet is definitely the worst off out of all of it

decimalator3731d ago

That just makes me sad.

It would be interesting to see the longer duration studies that he alluded to being needed. It's easy to draw conclusions from a small snapshot of a child's life, but you need more context to get a real picture of what is going on. I know I have had "phases" that lasted for several years.

NJShadow3731d ago

Yeah, true. To be honest, gaming a hugely POSITIVE impact on my early years. If I hadn't discovered a little blue guy by the name of Sonic, I may not be as fit as I am today due to my love for running. Albeit, it may have made me a more hyper kid. =P

LunaticBrandon3731d ago

So that means everyone on N4G is a ghost?

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