Ed-Tech Policy Report Roundup

Video Games

By Katie Ash — June 16, 2009 1 min read

About 8 percent of 8- to 18-year-olds in the United States demonstrate pathological patterns of video-game play, according to a report published in the April 13 issue of Psychological Science.

Researcher Douglas Gentile, an assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University, in Ames, found that pathological gamers were more likely to report trouble paying attention at school, received lower grades in school, and had more health problems than nonpathological gamers.

Mr. Gentile defines pathological gamers as those who exhibited six or more of the 11 family, social, school, or psychological symptoms of damage identified in the report.

Nearly one-quarter of all the gamers surveyed admitted to skipping homework in order to spend more time playing video games, and 20 percent said they had done poorly on a school assignment or test as a result of spending too much time playing video games.

The survey, conducted in conjunction with the Minneapolis-based National Institute on Media and the Family, was based on results from a national sample of 1,178 youths.

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A version of this article appeared in the June 17, 2009 edition of Education Week

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