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The average gamer isn't a young person who doesn't get enough sun, researchers now say

Researchers are now reporting the average gamer isn't a pimply-faced teenager, and is more likely to be 35 years old, overweight, and depressed, according to a new report.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with help from Andrews University and Emory University researchers, studied 552 adults between the ages of 19 and 90 years old in the Seattle-Tacoma region.  A total of 249 reported they were gamers, with 56 percent of gamers said to be male.

Men who played video games were heavier and used the internet more than other men who reported they aren't gamers.  Furthermore, women gamers are said to have higher levels of depression and are unhealthier than non-gamers, according to researchers.

"Health risk factors differentiated adult video game players from non-players," National Center for Health Marketing researcher James Weaver said in a statement.  "Video game players also reported lower extroversion, consistent with research on adolescents that linked video game playing to a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status, and to mental-health concerns."

For depressed gamers, playing video games is a type of "digital self-medication," with women more likely to play video games for extended doses of self-distraction.

"In short, they literally 'take their minds off' their worries while playing a video game," researchers said in their report.

Critics of the report have come forward, citing concerns over the sample size and just one geographic location for the report.  Researchers and others noted however, the size of the sample, if it's random, doesn't matter -- and indicated similar gaming research also reveals similar trends.

Seattle was selected, according to researchers, because of the city's size, diversity, and because it has one of the highest Internet usage rates in the country.  

There has been growing concern among mental health experts about major health concerns related to video games, though research has proven to be rather unhelpful in the past.  China, for example, has had several reported deaths in Internet cafes from gamers who played too long, while other countries are becoming increasingly concerned about the negative impact of possible video game addiction.



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WTF?
By oTAL on 8/24/2009 4:48:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Researchers and others noted however, the size of the sample, if it's random, doesn't matter


This has got to be taken out of context.... does anyone think that choosing 10 random people off the streets would provide valuable statistical data?




RE: WTF?
By AbsShek on 8/24/2009 8:15:03 AM , Rating: 2
Considering they're looking for depressed gamers, I doubt they'll even find them on the streets, with internet shopping and all.

quote:
... studied 552 adults between the ages of 19 and 90 years old in the Seattle-Tacoma region ...


I'm sure a lot of the gamers are below the age of 19. Its the depressed teenagers they should really be worrying about.


RE: WTF?
By omnicronx on 8/24/2009 11:20:58 AM , Rating: 3
Furthermore who the heck are the researchers and why do they still have jobs? I'm sorry but this is basic statistics, the size of the sample and randomness ALWAYS matters. In fact these two variables matter far more than pretty much anything else with an increasing/decreasing degree depending on how much these two variables can effect the final results. Best part is age is not only a variable, but it is one of the outcomes of the study. How on earth can you say they are not related?

Bob: "My research is done, but the numbers don't add up. Somehow the average age is 35"
Joe: "Hmmm, I could have to do with the fact that all the respondents were 35 years old, but I don't see why that would matter"


RE: WTF?
By OUits on 8/25/2009 2:47:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Researchers are now reporting the average gamer isn't a pimply-faced teenager, and is more likely to be 35 years old, overweight, and depressed, according to a new report.


How can they conclude that when they studied 19-90 year olds? There's only one age (19) out of the teenage years represented! You'd have to study 13-90 year olds to conclude that the average isn't a teenager. Bogus!


This is a Non-Report
By callmeroy on 8/24/2009 8:27:10 AM , Rating: 2
As far as I'm concerned this report is bunk...

1) Gee is it hard to label any group in the US as overweight, when the US has one of the largest populations of overweight people on the planet...I'm not 100% of the stat but some medical journal once quoted that 1 in 6 adult americans are overweight by at LEAST 20 pounds.

2) Depressed. See number 1....how many truly obsese people do you know that are super happy all the time? Most people that are incredibly over weight have self esteem issues, social anxieties, and the like. Add it up -- feeling rejected by society, feeling ugly and unloved because of it -- yeah who ever did the genius analysis that this could add up to being depressed...wow man..way to go -- brilliant absolutely brilliant work.

3) Killer sample size their sparky a whole 1000...oh wait never mind your sample group wasn't even that big.....in one entire city too? Where it rains more than the sunshines....wow....impressive study...wonderful research...compelling ...truly compelling..I'm convinced.




RE: This is a Non-Report
By 91TTZ on 8/24/2009 11:48:12 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Killer sample size their sparky a whole 1000...oh wait never mind your sample group wasn't even that big.....in one entire city too? Where it rains more than the sunshines....wow....impressive study...wonderful research...compelling ...truly compelling..I'm convinced.


Most people think that Seattle gets a lot of rain but this isn't really true. New York gets more rain than Seattle.


RE: This is a Non-Report
By omnicronx on 8/24/2009 1:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
Ya well its still cloudy up to 2/3 of the year.. far more than NYC..


RE: This is a Non-Report
By Keeir on 8/25/2009 6:55:36 PM , Rating: 2
By Inches

Seattle has one of the highest cloudy rates of any City. Around 52% of the time it is considered "overcast".

And for around 6 months of the year, its "mists" more than rains. And constantly.

But the real area of pain is the "Pugest Sound Convergence Zone", which typically does not fall on the City of Seattle.


worst place for this test
By someguy123 on 8/24/2009 1:28:47 AM , Rating: 4
how can you not be depressed and fat when you live where it rains 24/7?




RE: worst place for this test
By omnicronx on 8/24/2009 1:21:24 PM , Rating: 2
I blame grunge. Just line up the dates and its no wonder these people are depressed growing up to only that kind of music ;)

2009 - 20 = 13-14+ year old's listening to depressing music, living in a city that is cloudy almost 2/3 the year, can't really be that surprised ;)

P.S nothing wrong with grunge, Nirvana/Pearl Jam n co can stay.. Chris Cornell please jump off a bridge..


RE: worst place for this test
By bdewong on 8/25/2009 1:30:48 PM , Rating: 2
Grunge is just a byproduct of the living conditions :)


Dear CDC
By FITCamaro on 8/24/2009 9:40:49 AM , Rating: 1
Screw you,

Regards,
FITCamaro

PS. I'm 26, work out 3 days a week, and am quite happy.




RE: Dear CDC
By omnicronx on 8/24/2009 11:09:50 AM , Rating: 5
Ya screw you CDC!

These stats are misleading and wrong!

Sure I may be fat and depressed, but I'm only 25..


A more likely scenario...
By s12033722 on 8/24/2009 12:09:32 PM , Rating: 2
It's seems more likely to me that your average mid-30's, overweight, depressed person might have a higher than normal interest in the escapism provided by games than that games somehow turn people into dperessed couch potatoes.




RE: A more likely scenario...
By GaryJohnson on 8/24/2009 1:00:59 PM , Rating: 2
Better to be overweight & depressed than overweight, depressed, & bored.


RE: A more likely scenario...
By Renski on 8/25/2009 2:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
I agree... After being stressed after working my arse off at work 10 hours each day, all I want to do is spend some time on an online Game or power up the 360 when I get home. It's my medication for relaxation.
I'm 32 btw.


so...
By Hok on 8/24/2009 2:06:06 AM , Rating: 2
Average people in Seattle-Tacoma region are 34's fat and depressed...




RE: so...
By atlmann10 on 8/24/2009 1:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
Lol, the focus of this research is BS anyway, it is to targeted for any real results. Maybe if it was stated as a study of the average middle aged male gamer in Seattle. That is basically what the given data supports, but is also and entirely meaningless study for anyone except Seattle.

For this research to have any type of valid meaning the study should definitely be broadened. Maybe if you did research on every major city in the US, or even the whole country it would give it some validity. Otherwise this is just a very small and very meaningless research project.


What?
By ViroMan on 8/23/2009 8:08:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Men who played video games were heavier and used the internet more than other men who reported they aren't gamers. Furthermore, women gamers are said to have higher levels of depression and are unhealthier than non-gamers, according to researchers.


I may be 30 but, im NOT fat or depressed. Im 145 pounds at 5 feet 10 inches. I spend 2-3 hours a day playing games rather then watching TV. You can't exactly interact or make friends with a TV can you? Sure you can interact with your remote but, how satisfying is that(no comments from the ladies please)?

Guess that puts me in the minority ehh? Ohh... since im a minority now I demand laws made that make the ones in the majority feel even more depressed, perhaps an ad that shows fat gamers dieing to obesity while playing.




Ha!
By Spind on 8/24/2009 9:05:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
China, for example, has had several reported deaths in Internet cafes from gamers who played too long ...


All that we heard is one teen who died in addiction center and another gamer who died after some continuous gaming during Christmas vacation....

DailyTech should probably be a little different from main stream journalism...




They've confused cause and effect
By lagitup on 8/24/2009 11:21:53 PM , Rating: 2
I live in the seattle-tacoma region and I think they've got cause and effect backwards here. When depressed, gaming is an escape from the realities of life, or lack of life in the case of depression. I'd like to see this study carried out in, say, california where the depression rate ISN'T at a national high.




One more thing.
By kyleb2112 on 8/25/2009 6:00:25 AM , Rating: 2
They forgot "porn addicted".




What a waste of time...
By AnEngineeringMind on 8/25/2009 8:43:28 PM , Rating: 2
I can't believe they wasted money on this, they could have just come by any engineering firm in the country. My little video rant on the subject: http://bit.ly/feLzd




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