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Video Games More Addictive Than Online Casino Games

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While the study done by Dr, Douglas Gentile, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Iowa State University does not clearly connect video games with online gambling, the results of his work suggest video games may be more addictive for children.

In the study, Dr. Gentile found that almost ten percent of respondents for his study have pathological addictions to video games. Gentile claims this is the first study done on the subject that represents the entire country.

Many lawmakers are fighting these days against legalized online gambling. They point to children and claim that the gambling can be addictive and destructive to the youth of the US. This study has some, however, believing video games might be worse.

"There is no doubt with the advancements in video game technology that many children in the US could become addicted to these games," said observer Neal Miller, "the difference between video games and online gambling, however, is that the online gambling can be controlled by regulation, the video games are freely available to these children."

Gentile provides a grim picture that the video game playing is not simply an addiction, but is hurting the productivity of our youth. The word pathological is his term for what is happening to many of these children.

"What we mean by pathological use is that something someone is doing, in this case, playing video games, is damaging to their function," said Gentile, "It's simply not doing it a lot. It has to harm functioning in many ways."

The breakdown of his study are stunning at a time when children in the US are falling behind international levels in school. The people who responded and played video games were more likely to have a problem focusing in school.

They also spend twenty four hours a week playing video games. That figure is twice the amount of time non-pathological children were playing the video games. Grades were down as well among the pathological players. The pathological players also stole to support their gaming habit.

"What this study indicates is that video game playing in the US is exactly what these lawmakers are trying to stop with online gambling," said Miller, "These politicians maybe should look at this study and say, 'Hey, maybe we are going after the wrong form of entertainment (online gambling'."

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