A rethinking of gaming addiction

Gaming addiction may be a reality, but experts need to explain the how they define the criteria behind their statements. One author highlights "10 fallacies."

While recent research suggests that video game addiction is reaching pandemic levels, the prevalence of such addictions is being disputed widely.

Video games are indeed an easy target for many societal ills, not just addiction. Driving home that point, Neils Clark, co-author of "Game Addiction: The Experience and the Effects," on Saturday described in a blog post what he deems 10 game addiction fallacies.

The list of fallacies includes the fact that games aren't drugs, which means that treatment will vary greatly. In addition, because definitions and methodologies used in studies are varied, criteria by which addiction is measured is inconsistent.

Clark's post highlights a few points related to how addiction is treated behaviorally, as well as how the media has chosen to portray gaming in a negative light.

The consistent challenge in measurement exists not just in statistics gathered but also in the methodology used to understand the data. For example, one study cited by many experts was based on extrapolating data from a survey that asked adults about their gambling habits.

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