back to article Nine per cent of gamer kids are 'addicted'

Videogaming is a normal activity for teenagers, but one in 10 are actually "addicted" to the activity, a recent study claims. A two-year study – details of which were published today in American journal Pediatrics – of more than 3,000 kids at a Singapore school claimed those rated as being addicted to games are also more …


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  1. Naughtyhorse

    qualify as addicted as defined by the study

    so not addicted, at all, to anything then.

    move along nothing to see here.

    recent studys indicate that 97.45734675684356% of dead-weight wannabe academics will claim group A is addicted to process/substance/state of mind B at the drop of a fat juicy research grant.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I trust these studies

    About as far as i could comfortably spit a dead rat.

    As they tend to be done by interest groups out to generate evidence for their cause.

    They also like to sanitize context from their study to produce a more biased result.

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if a Kid spent most of its free time doing in door solo activities during the more unpleasant times of year, and went out with mates more during the more pleasant times of year. What kind of home arrangements are there? What house hold pressures and paranoia (the old - I can't let my kid outside because they'll be stolen by the winkle collectors) exist.

    I'd be more than willing to believe that kids that aren't allowed out due to parents fear end up more likely to be maladjusted, but game playing is likely more a symptom than a cause.

    However game playing being a symptom instead of a cause doesn't fit the model, also even if it was a good study with lots of intelligent questions and good context provided, those who have an agenda beyond research will just take the headline "Study says 1 in 10 kids addicted to games - become serial killers"

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Many kids get addicted to things, I used to love playing certain games for hours and hours and hours. There are lots of things kids get addicted to; wanking, games, football, running, collecting key rings....this isn't new and doesn't matter. Many kids where addicted to programming and now program computer games and OS's....

    Most men in general love to collect something or other, quick lets release a study about that. My dad has more CD's, ties and books then anyone would ever need, guess he should go in that mental home

    1. Naughtyhorse


      addiction actually means something, and liking an activity and therefore doing it a lot, dont count.

      do you really think heroin adics, crack addicts and alchoholics destroy their lives and the lives of those around them because they LIKE what they are doing???

      yuo could possibly talk about OCD in your cited instances (in which case you would be walking into a completely different slap down....actually the same one, but with different examples)

      addictions to sex, chocolate, video games, wanking or tie collectiing ARE NOT ADDICTIONS, and rarely become part of OCD.

      just a 3rd rate mind trying to add credibility to their bulshit observations.

  4. Citizen Kaned

    same old bullshit....

    like when i was younger my mum asked me why i smoked pot. was i addicted? i replied 'if someone asked you to stop drinking cups of tea and listening to the archers, would you? '

    they play games because they enjoy them. hell, kids get it shit these days. you cant go out due to paedos etc so they are told to stay inside. and do what? read? draw? kids these days arent able to create fun. i used to be happy with cardboard boxes and sellotape to create bases for my star wars. kids these days dont seem to be able to do such things. video games are here to stay and people need to live with it and not try to alienate the youth any further.

    you may also find that kids from poor families in rough areas play more games than kids who have horses etc... shock!

  5. Anonymous Coward


    You could just as easily reverse the argument and say that kids that are poor at school or are simply not interested in school choose to spend their time doing something else and it just happens to be playing video games. If they weren't playing games they'd most likely still be poor in school, just they'd be robbing grannies, setting fire to things, self harming or listening to emo records.

    Goes along with the Panaroma show on the same topic which showed that people with addictive personalities become addicted to things. Thanks for that.

    The day they ban smoking come back and tell me that games are addictive and bad for me, until then, get some perspective.

  6. tom 24

    How deep does the disease go?

    I wonder what percentage of kids are addicted to baseball, football, or other sports, by the same standards?

    1. Chris Seiter

      shared interests

      In some of those cases it's the parents that are adicted, not the kids.

  7. The Indomitable Gall

    Compulsion, certainly.

    I get the same compulsion to sit in front of the internet as I used to get to shove tapes in my old C64 as a kid. Is it "just" a compulsion or an addiction? What's the difference?

  8. Rogerborg
    Big Brother

    Ha, Singapore? The world's most benign dictatorship

    Just ask anyone who lives there - they'll look over their shoulder, then tell you how happy and law abiding everyone is.

    Ever see the McCoy Who story The Happiness Patrol? That was just Singapore with a giant Bertie Bassett.

  9. Suburban Inmate
    Paris Hilton

    Ahhhhh memories!

    I remember all the epilepsy bullcrap from the 90s. I'm sure many others do.

    Night Trap anyone?

    (And, yes, as I never played it I just ROFLMAOed at the name of the "Attack Team"!)

    Paris cos she looks like the covergirl.

  10. serviceWithASmile


    I could have qualified as one of that 9 percent when I was younger.

    Maybe still now, I have a good few hundred games on PC, PS3, PS2, XBOX360, PS1, SNES, PSP, gameboy...

    Yes I spend more time gaming than someone who doesn't game (for lack of a better verb).

    20 hours per week? Not now, but when a new game I was looking forward to comes out, yes I would exceed that if I liked the game.

    But do I deprive my body of food so I can spend more money on games?

    Do I miss out on sleep so I can keep playing till 6AM?

    Does playing games affect the state of my mind in a detrimental way?

    No to all of these.

    Yet if the definition of gaming addiction was limited to how much I was into it, I would probably qualify.

    The idea of gaming addiction is too sensationalist right now for anything someone has to say on the matter to be unaffected by that stigma, but it's not a myth, it does happen - it's just alot rarer than this study makes out.

    However I think most would agree it is a symptom in itself, not a disease. Gaming does not *cause* gaming addiction (most of the time... Eve Online or Minecraft or WOW could be called addictive and I wouldn't argue).

    Being addicted to something like playing games IMHO is a symptom of some other problem (or just an aspect) of that person's personality. It also helps that they are immensely fun!

    People choose to do things in life more often than not because they are enjoyable in some way, that's pretty much what it boils down to.

    Gaming is a hobby for most, but as with any hobby some take it further than most of us would.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Just some points

      "Do I miss out on sleep so I can keep playing till 6AM? [...] No"

      1) You obviously never had Civilization n, where n=1,2,3,4 or 5.

      2) I did that sometimes (well, maybe until 2am), but I have also done it with TV, books, drinking with friends, etc. Does that mean anything?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not quite equivalent..

      Money may or may not be appropriate. I don't take drugs but understand they can be expensive, and their effects don't last for anywhere near as long as playing a decent game.

      Neither does playing games affect the state of your mind in most people's case.

      Now, sleep - that's a different matter. Currently suffering the effects of a 4am and 3am bedtime after discovering that an old game really is as good as people say.

      It's not just games though - books can easily keep me up late too.

      It's only addiction when you can't manage without it. I can go weeks without playing games, ergo, no addiction. Neither do I fit into the CAGE criteria of dependence.

  11. Marcus Aurelius

    I would comment on this

    But I'm just about to start a World of Warcraft dungeon....

    1. Les Matthew

      @Marcus Aurelius

      "But I'm just about to start a World of Warcraft dungeon...."

      When in Rome...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Denial never changes reality

    The addiciton rate is probably more like 60+ %. Denial doesn't change reality. The braindead will always argue that addiciton to video games or drugs is OK.

    1. NB

      a title..

      trollin', trollin', trollin'....

    2. Oninoshiko

      [Citation Needed]

      presumably you have some information to back up your stat there?

      Maybe a solid definition of "addiction" as well.

      personally, I seem to recall a definition of "addiction" that you are an addict if you can't hold down a job because of it.... so it must be 100%. (Lazy kids today...)

    3. dogged

      in that case

      get off the internet, you disgusting addict.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    head for the hills

    The Reg reported some one criticised video games duck and cover.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    There's an enormous amount of bullsh*t being dished up by the commentards today on this topic.

    The report actually suggests that there may be a small number of kids for which intense gaming is a big problem which is severely effecting their lives. They also quite rightly point out that further research is required to determine the truth of the matter.

    What on earth is wrong with you guys? Cut them some slack.

    For once a balanced, non-sensationalist study that doesn't go beyond what they observed.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    My son played for hours a day on a computer

    He was a good lad really, till he was 14. Then he turned into a little reclusive bastard. Would start breaking things if he was deprived for 5 minutes, stuff like that.

    I tried normal discipline/ weaning off etc. Didn't work.

    So one day I took a hammer to the machine (not mine) in front of him and made him stay out of the house for most of the day from that point on. I allowed him to eat ;-)

    Now (2 years on) he's relatively well adjusted (girlfriend etc) and is actually happy that I did it.

    ho hum.

    I was a gamer when I was younger, never went that mental though, as I had 2 brothers and so gave each other beatings if we tried it on, grew out of it when I got a family.

    Different solutions for different circumstances....

    So, I don't think this is total bollocks, but the parents just need to grow a pair and do some parenting. Its not really that hard, you just have to do it all the time ;-)

    Beer anyone?

  16. Mike Hanna

    My son is a gamer

    He's about to turn nine and we have a PS3, a Wii, he's got a DSi, and for Christmas he got an iPod touch, which he uses constantly for gaming. He wakes up at 6.30 and either switches on his iPod or DS. When he gets home from school and finishes his homework he amuses himself until dinner time on one or the other again, and perhaps after dinner might play on the Wii or PS3. So almost constantly gaming then. Addicted? He gets a 3-second strop when I tell him to put his iPod down when dinner is ready.

    It's all sh1t at the end of the day, but it's temporary sh1t. My brother is still a hardcore gamer even though he's engaged, has a kid, and a proper job and rent to pay. His partner is also a gamer and they have a great relationship and speak to each other face-to-face, not over XBox headsets. They don't game as much as they used to, cos other priorities in life take over.

    Do I worry about how long my son plays games? No. Why not? Cos it's too cold and dark for him to go out playing with his mates. And cos as well as mind-numbing games like Jailbreaker, he came and sat with me to have the intracacies of chess explained to him as he played a new game he'd asked to have downloaded onto his iPod. And surely there's an arguement that Angry Birds subconsciously teachs the laws of physics, Newton's Laws of Motion and all that stuff. :)

    Should the study be "1 in 9 students get addicted to Stuff"? Gaming is just the element that is easy for them to latch on to. If they didn't have games it would most likely be something else where they could seclude themselves in a darkened room going through their stamp collection or Panini sticker book, or Bakugan / Pokemon / Yu-Gi-Oh sh1t. Or perhaps "1 in 9 students' parents don't care enough about what they are doing to help control it" would do it better.

  17. Red Bren

    Is it the 80s again?

    There have been scare stories about video game addiction since the invention of the video game.

    What about these people who spend over 8 hours a day doing apparently repetitive actions in front of a flickering screen, ignoring mealtimes and being unsociable. Perhaps someone could study this addiction to work?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same Old Same Old

    The same rubbish was spouted about kids watching too much telly when I was a kid.

    Funnily enough, I still stare at screens most of the day, and my eyes aren't square!

  19. A 31


    " Its not really that hard, you just have to do it all the time ;-)"

    sums education in one sentence !

    thumbs up :D

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Back in a tick

    Whilst I just frag someone in CS:S................

  21. Richard 12 Silver badge

    By their standard, looks like I was addicted to books

    I would stay up all night to finish one, spent much, much more than 20 hours a week reading, miss meals etc.

    How exactly is gaming different?

  22. Shannon Jacobs

    Such defensive comments!

    You think those commenters might be game addicts attempting to define away their problems? I'm not sure if I should regard myself as addicted. In comparison with certain times in the past, I would say that I've pretty much completely lost interest in computer games. However, I certainly understand their obsessive attraction and how well they are founded in intermittent reinforcement. If you've studied behaviorism, you know those are the behavioral patterns that are most difficult to extinguish...

  23. Steven Raith
    Thumb Up

    Just one more go...

    Having had a couple of punches in the head from my [older, bigger] bro after I unreasonably kept him up late with my gaming sessions back when we shared a room, I quickly learned that it was my repeated attempts to get past certain goals that was addictive/compulsive, not the game itself.

    After I had worked this out, I could show him what I was trying to do, what I had to do to do it, let him have his opinion on it, fail badly, then leave it alone and go to bed.

    Well, except Super Metroid. I had my own room by that time, and did a few 2pm-6am sessions on it during the summer holidays with a bottle of vodka and a couple of pizzas....

    Steven R

    1. Red Bren

      Talk about liberal parents

      Letting a 13 year old stay up all night drinking vodka!

  24. nyelvmark

    More research needed

    The most important conclusion of any research paper.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    But everybody knows....

    ...that 97% of statistics are just made up on the spot.

  26. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Possibly biased article?

    I prefer to look on it as 9/10 kids have a really old console or only a few games.

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