Douglas Gentile, an assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University has conducted a study in which the conclusion is that one out of every ten gamers show “pathological patterns of video game addiction.” This is a statistic that I think is believable.
Gentile found that through a national Harris Poll survey filled out by 1,178 eight to eighteen year olds, 8.5% of those showed signs of pathological use. “What we mean by pathological use is that something someone is doing – in this case, playing video games – is damaging to their functioning,” stated Gentile. “It’s not simply doing it a lot. It has to harm functioning in multiple ways.”
Gentile’s paper “Pathological Video Game Use among Youth 8 to 18: A National Study” will appear in the May edition of Psychological Science. Gamers that were described as pathological if they had at least six out of eleven of the symptoms described by addiction. The symptoms are comparable to those who are described as pathological gamblers.