The games industry has tried to nobble a new study suggesting games contributed to depression.According to the Financial Times the video game industry has simultaneously tried to neutralise and amplify criticism of its skills in creating addictive violent games with the Entertainment Software Association launching a pre-emptive strike against the study. It’s also been revealed that leading game company, Electronic Arts, tried to shock more than 200 mums into condemning its violent sequel Dead Space 2.
The ESA alleged that the February issue of Pediatrics “contains a flawed study from longtime video game critic, Douglas Gentile. In the study, Gentile seeks to link video game use to mental health problems in children in Singapore. This is the latest report from a researcher who has a long history of attacking video games based on claims that have been the subject of substantial criticism”.
The Gentile report has since received substantial media coverage. It studied 3,000 children and teens in Singapore over three years and found 9 per cent qualified as being pathological video gamers. Among these any depression and anxiety were worsened by game playing, it said. The study recommends “screen time” for children and teens should be limited to no more than two hours a day.
The Financial Times went on to report that Richard Taylor, an ESA spokesman, said: “There simply is no concrete evidence that computer and video games cause harm. In fact, a wide body of research has shown the many ways games are being used to improve our lives through education, health and business applications.”
Tell that to more than 200 women herded one by one into a viewing studio by EA to see some of the bloodiest excerpts from Dead Space 2, which launches next week, and give their reactions on camera.
“Trash, hate it, awful, horrible, why would they even make something like this?” were some of the comments.