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Wired: Forget Teens: Gamers Are 35, Overweight — And Sad, CDC says


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They actually did a study on this

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/08/gamers-are-sad

When you think of a hard-core gamer, do you picture a teenage boy battling his friends in World of Warcraft?

Think again.

The average gamer, far from being a teen, is actually a 35-year-old man who is overweight, aggressive, introverted and … often depressed, according to a report (.pdf) out this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The study also showed when children and teenagers become game players, a trend toward physical inactivity and corresponding health problems extends and exacerbates into adulthood.

“Among researchers, there is growing concern and uncertainty about the health consequences of videogame playing,” the CDC reported. “Given the ubiquity of video games — industry estimates suggest that they are played in 65 percent of American households — these concerns may be justified.”

The study notes that half of gamers are between 18 and 49 years old, while 25 percent are 50 and older. The CDC also pointed out that of online gamers aged 8 to 34, nearly 12 percent showed multiple signs of addiction.

The study, based on a 2006 online survey of 552 people between the ages of 19 and 90 who were living in the Seattle/Tacoma area of Washington state, also shows differences between male and female gamers.

Men reported that gaming gives them a “reason to get together,” while women are looking more for a diversion than social interaction. Despite their differing reasons for playing, many of the health effects remained the same.

Jim McGregor, an analyst at In-Stat, noted that his concern isn’t just with gaming but with social networks, as well.

“My issue is that it’s not just gaming. It’s social networking. It’s the web in general,” said McGregor. “We’ve gained so much, but still it puts people in front of a computer screen for hours on end. It gives Americans just another reason to be fat, dumb and lazy.”

According to the CDC, both male and female gamers were more likely to report being overweight, having more poor-mental-health days and being less socially outgoing. Women, however, were more apt to deal with depression and report more health issues than women who aren’t gamers. For men, they reported more obesity.

“One interpretation of these findings is that, among women, videogame playing may be a form of digital self-medication…. In short, they can literally take their minds off their worries while playing a videogame.” noted the CDC. “Among men, the association among sedentary behaviors, physical inactivity and overweight status observed in children and young adults may extend into adulthood.”

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Watch TV for hours ever night? Normal. Play a video game for hours a night? Addict.

To me it's all about competition. I play basketball and soccer 4-6 times a week in the warm months. In the winter I'm driven indoors by the weather and I need something, anything, to satisfy my need to compete with others. Online gaming helps a little. Consequently I'm thinking of moving to Florida because frankly I've had it with winter ruining my fun.

As for the overweight thing... the inactivity thing is BS. They are fat cause they eat poorly. I play ball a lot and I see guys out there that work out constantly that are fat. Unless they become marathon runners they will never lose weight because their diet is bad. 99% diet 1% work out when talking about wieght loss. Keeping it off or getting in better "shape" is a different story. You get fat because you eat poorly, not because you play video games. These "scientists" should know that.

Perhaps they should do a study on high fructose corn syrup. Heaven forbid.

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They have been doing this for years, there is always some study out there trying to crack on video games. They rot your brain, they make you violent, they make you lazy, now they make you fat lonley losers. I don't buy it at all.

Some one should do a study on CDC researches, I bet that you would find that they are grumpy wet blankets that grew up being tattle tales, and enjoy it when they can take the fun out of anything that they don't enjoy themselves.

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You could write the same article and substitute 'watching TV', 'hanging out on Facebook/MySpace', 'arguing on internet messageboards', texting, 'working at a desk' etc.

We get that modern life is largely sedentary and that for good health people now need to make an effort to add physical activity to their lifestyle.

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lol

34 year old here. I grew up playing NES after homework, and upgraded to the various new systems that game out over the years. Sega: Genesis, N64, Playstation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, and I still get up and go to work everyday, and spend quality time as a husband and father. Some people always have to try to find something wrong with the things others enjoy. In addition, most of the friends I have online do not play for hours upon hours forsaking all other responsibilities. I believe that bunch is a very small minority overall. This study is a joke as an accurate portrayal of the modern gamer.

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25% of gamers are 50 or older? Really?

Sounds like they did their study at a care facility and there happened to be some kids walk by and fill out the survey.

The study notes that half of gamers are between 18 and 49 years old, while 25 percent are 50 and older. The CDC also pointed out that of online gamers aged 8 to 34, nearly 12 percent showed multiple signs of addiction.

The study, based on a 2006 online survey of 552 people between the ages of 19 and 90 who were living in the Seattle/Tacoma area of Washington state, also shows differences between male and female gamers.

Did they just make up their data? How can you figure out that 50% of the people gaming are 18-49 and 25% of gamers are 50 or older if you only questioned people who were 19-90? I don't see the logic, they're obviously leaving out details.

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When my girlfriend left me, from playing to much tribalwars, I lost 40 pounds and became much happier after I quit.

This is far from a stretch.

wow, was TW that bad for you? I mean I know that game takes a toll, but damn!

One thing I can't accept, is all these studies saying the AVERAGE gamer is 35 or so. That means there are enough people in their 50's and even 60s to cancel out all the 10-30 year-olds? Not a chance. As someone mentioned, solitaire passes for a "video game" these days, and if you start mixing that stuff in with real games, you're not gonna have a very precise focus on the true gaming demographic.

As for myself, I'm still 15 years and who knows how many pounds away from reaching their "average" demographic. And I'm neither aggressive nor depressed.

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Interesting.

The study, based on a 2006 online survey of 552 people between the ages of 19 and 90 who were living in the Seattle/Tacoma area of Washington state
I mean really. It's Seattle. :silly:

Truth be told,I'm not completely surprised by this. Considering it was a little over 10-15 years ago when a similar study said similar things about the average age being in the 20's. Not surprised about the number of gamers in their 50's either. It makes sense that some of the folks that basically started video gaming would continue to play games,(and not just solitaire). Though a very small sample size,I would submit that the depression and such is something that was present in many of these folks anyway and hence why the study got some of the results it did.

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If you count solitaire it does change this a lot.

I still don't understand how they cgot the percentages if they never asked anyone 0-18 years of age. How are they coming up with a percentage if they don't even have a total number of gamers to divide by?

It's like if I asked people that were 5-10 years old if they fish. Then came out and said my study concluded that 10% of people who fish are 30 years old. How could I come to such a conclusion?

In order for any study to be published as a "study" it should include data from like 1% of the population or something, not 500 people.

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Man, some of you guys have really taken this badly. Must have hit a nerve. Seriously, doth protest too much!

I'm not a gamer but I will say this... the majority of gamers I know are overweight losers who need to get a life... in other words... they fit this profile. Sucks to be you. :ciao:

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Man, some of you guys have really taken this badly. Must have hit a nerve. Seriously, doth protest too much!

I'm not a gamer but I will say this... the majority of gamers I know are overweight losers who need to get a life... in other words... they fit this profile. Sucks to be you. :ciao:

Well ****... Must be nice to be you... You know, me being a 24 year old, underweight guy who has a bunch of friends...

Man I wish I could cut video games out of my life so that I could have time to visit the CDC's website to find out what interesting studies they are working on...

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