Science Says Gamers are Fat, Depressed Losers

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Science Says Gamers are Fat, Depressed Losers


New research by the Centers for Disease Control [http://www.cdc.gov/] has found that gamers are depressed, socially-stunted fatties who aren't actually playing games at all but are instead caught up in "imitation play-like activities."

The study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Andrews University [http://www.emory.edu/] examined 500 adults aged 19-90, looking at health risks, media use and demographic factors. Respondents classified themselves as either "players" or "non-players," and also provided "self-assessments of depression, personality, health status, physical and mental health, body mass index (BMI), and poor quality of life." An examination of their weekly media usage, including internet, television and, among the 45.1 percent who reported playing them, videogames, was then conducted.

Shockingly, the study found "measurable correlations between videogame playing and health risks." Female gamers reported greater depression and lower health status than female non-players, while males reported higher body mass index and internet usage than male non-gamers. Both men and women also reported a greater reliance on the internet for "social support" than non-gamers.

"Health-risk factors, specifically, a higher BMI and a greater number of poor mental-health days differentiated adult video-game players from non-players," said Dr. James B. Weaver III of the CDC in Atlanta. "Video-game players also reported lower extroversion, consistent with research on adolescents that linked video game playing to a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status, and to mental-health concerns."

Dr. Brian Primrack of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine added his own opinion that videogames are sufficiently different from "original forms of play" that they're better defined as "play-like activities."

"The differences between today's 'play-like activities' and original forms of play may illuminate some of the observed health-related correlates discovered," he said. "How do we simultaneously help the public steer away from imitation play-like activities, harness the potentially positive aspects of video games, and keep in perspective the overall place of video games in our society?"

"There are massive, powerful industries promoting many play-like activities. And industry giants that can afford to will successfully tout the potential benefits of health-related products they develop," he continued. "But who will be left to remind us that for children and adults alike, hide-and-seek and freeze tag are still probably what we need most?"

Source: GamePolitics [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/6041337/Average-age-of-adult-computer-game-addicts-is-35-US-study-shows.html]


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ThePirateMan

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Jul 15, 2009
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Thank you scientists.. I guess.. I'll just go back to my life as a none depressed skinny person that still plays games.

Edit: Or well to be honest, I USED to be depressed, I turned to gaming and meet hope for humanity on the internet(As in I found people who wern't complete idiots while still not being girls, not that there's anything wrong about them but I was like 10-12 xD) and now I'm happy.
 

Dys

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Sep 10, 2008
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Irridium said:
Did they really need science to come to this conclusion?
Hey, I'm sure someone paid a lot for these conclusions. I remember a few years ago the my state government funded a study that concluded "fat children are more likely to be bullied". I'm personally glad they are clearing this stuff up, answering lifes rhetoric questions.
 

The Shade

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Mar 20, 2008
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I'd be more inclined to say that some people play video games because they're depressed - they're not depressed because they play video games. (Despite the health factor there.) For many, vidjma games are a method of escapism. Not that I need to tell anyone here that. (lulz)

Malygris said:
"How do we simultaneously help the public steer away from imitation play-like activities, harness the potentially positive aspects of video games, and keep in perspective the overall place of video games in our society?"
Well, at least that's refreshing. It's usually an instant condemnation of "dem dern vidjma garms!"
 

El Poncho

Techno Hippy will eat your soul!
May 21, 2009
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Hmm let me check, nope not fat, nope perfectly happy. I guess i'm not a gamer then.
 

Legion

Were it so easy
Oct 2, 2008
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Just a few flaws I discovered quickly:

Respondents classified themselves as either "players" or "non-players," and also provided "self-assessments of depression, personality, health status, physical and mental health, body mass index (BMI), and poor quality of life."
It's self-assessed, that means that their opinion is affected by their current mood, level of awareness, energy, and current situation.

If you asked me on my mental well-being after spending time with a group of friends having a laugh then it would be considerably different than the day when I feel depressed because things are not how I want them to be.

while males reported higher body mass index
Health-risk factors, specifically, a higher BMI
BMI means very little. Body fat percentage is what matters for healthiness.

I have a friend who is a couple of inches taller than me but almost twice the weight. Is he fat? No, he spends 5 days a week in the gym and goes through an insane amount of protein a day.

You measure a Rugby/American Football players BMI and he will be told he is overweight as BMI does not account for muscle.
 

More Fun To Compute

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Nov 18, 2008
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Go on gaming forums and you get lots of miserable persecuted people complaining that games that make them think or learn new skills to win are terrible. I'm glad that science has noticed this problem and is thinking of ways to help. I recommend experimental chemical compounds in the water supply.
 

Doug

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Apr 23, 2008
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Rigs83 said:
I'd like to disagree but as a fat, depressed loner I really can't.
Pretty much the same boat for me, heh. Though I'm getting less fat as I control my diet and exercise more.
 

The_ModeRazor

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Jul 29, 2009
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*Yawn* This is so interesting.
Seriously, who cares? This is about the 5001th of these studies in the years since gaming began to emerge. It's getting old, and definitely isn't worth starting a thread over.
 

Destal

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Jul 8, 2009
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I played wow for way too long to be even remotely supprised by this. I doubt there will be anyone overly shocked by this. The biggest seperation that they didn't make was the hourly breakdown for the gamer group obviously that can make a large differance.
 

hopeneverdies

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Oct 1, 2008
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Well I'll just go play some more video games because I'm happy and seriously underweight. I don't know how living a relatively sedentary life style keeps me so thin (other than metabolism).
But don't people think of gamers as more heavy set people anyway?
 

Powerman88

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Dec 24, 2008
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Well I work out, talk to strangers for a living, am married and very happy. I should stop playing video games and cancel my internet.
 

ChromeAlchemist

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Aug 21, 2008
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Irridium said:
Did they really need science to come to this conclusion?
Kind of what I was thinking to be honest, but not entirely accurate. If they are trying to say "sitting around all day playing games makes you fat compared to people who go outside most of the time" I guess the response there is "and in other news, Bobby Kotick is the devil".

I go to the gym five times a week, out every friday or saturday, and play American Football, and I abuse games. And I know I'm not in the minority...
 

notsosavagemessiah

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Jul 23, 2009
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Well, it's pretty obvious that anybody that spends more of their time indoors with a video game is more likely to be less socially adept and probrably more out of shape as well. Common sense isn't so common it seems.
 

The Shade

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More Fun To Compute said:
Go on gaming forums and you get lots of miserable persecuted people complaining that games that make them think or learn new skills to win are terrible. I'm glad that science has noticed this problem and is thinking of ways to help. I recommend experimental chemical compounds in the water supply.
I second that motion. I see no other possible outcome.
 

JanatUrlich

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Apr 24, 2009
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Well it's kinda true. I'm not depressed but I'm not as healthy as a girl my age should be. I don't play sports but I do have friends XD

Studies like this should be taken with a pinch of salt