bad study

Depression and Gaming

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There is one MAJOR flaw in this study: “The study, which was carried out in the Seattle-Tacoma area,…”

Now, I can say nothing as to the actual eventual conclusions of the thesis at all. What I can say is that the researchers involved are complete idiots for conducting a study on Depression in the Northwest and trying to conclusively link it to anything other than *being in the Northwest*. I’m not trying to be totally slamming and rude… I strongly maintain Washington is the most beautiful state (hands-down) in the U. S. But the constant absolute downpoor and overcast conditions are extremely condusive to natural depression in human beings. People are deprived of natural sun light most of the time, damp and chilly most of the time, and addicted to caffeine by necessity. Trying to pull some other factor in to point to depression in an area with such a high suicide rate is simply “unwise”. Do more, and wider, studies outside that region first… before Publishing such a conclusion.

As for my own thoughts, I would suspect that that theory is true for computer gamers, and does not hold true for console gamers. However, the idea of trying to state something like that based on a study in the Seattle-Tacoma area, is simply a farse.

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Study: Games are depressing…or are they?

by Mike Smith

// Buzz up!

August 20 10:42 A.M.

Depressed

The average gamer is 35, overweight, and more likely to be depressed, says a new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, which was carried out in the Seattle-Tacoma area, found that gamers reported “lower extraversion, consistent with research on adolescents that linked video-game playing to a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status, and to mental-health concerns.”

It also indicated a curious difference between male and female gamers: the former proved more overweight and reported more Internet usage than non-gamer men, while female gamers reported more depression and lower general health than non-gamer women.

But which comes first, the games or the poor health? The researchers hypothesized that depressed individuals might be turning to games as a means of self-medication, immersing themselves in a game’s world as a way of forgetting about real-life troubles.

“Habitual use of video games as a coping response may [provide] a genesis for obsessive-compulsive video-game playing, if not video-game addiction,” one researcher told MSNBC. The study calls for “further research among adults to clarify how to use digital opportunities more effectively to promote health and prevent disease.”

As luck would have it, a study at East Carolina University funded by Bejeweled maker Popcap Games is also investigating the possible mental health benefits of game playing. Having already discovered that Bejeweled can improve mood and heart rhythms, the Carolina group is about to embark on an investigation in an attempt to determine whether games like Bejeweled can also deliver clinically significant improvements to depression sufferers.

“The research is part of a broad array of unconventional efforts that video game companies are devising to find new markets for their products,” says Shankar Vedantam, writing this week for the Washington Post. “Many of these steps are based on the idea that depression and other disorders — as well as everyday stress and worry — involve systematic patterns of thought and self-doubt, and that games can distract people and put them in a different mental zone.”

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