Skewed Study Shows Gamers are Fat, Depressed, Possibly Homicidal

A friend of mine shared this through Google Reader and the headline (Video gamers ‘older than thought’) (( I originally read this title as something akin to “Video Gamers Older Than Time and Space.” )) caught my attention. The first three “paragraphs” ((As I copy and paste these “paragraphs,” I realize are really just sentences.)) just frustrated me.

The average age of an adult video game player is 35 – higher than previously thought, a US study suggests.

My goodness! 35 years old and obese, that is quite a concerning figure. I mean, I don’t mind if they’re older–I think it’s good that older people are gaming, as it has been shown to improve and help maintain brain function and hand-eye coordination. I’ve also read anecdotes of grandparents gaming with their grandkids, so that’s cool.

A team from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also found gamers were less healthy, fatter, and more depressed than non-gamers.

Obesity is certainly a problem though, and for this to be nationwide is alarming.

OK, not terribly alarming, because the entire friggin’ USA is probably “overweight,” at least on average. But whatever, let’s focus on gamers.

Researchers from the government agency analysed data from 500 adults aged 19 to 90 in the Seattle-Tacoma area of Washington state.

Wait… erm, I thought this was to show the average of the United States of America? Instead we’ve got 500 people from Seattle, ((That’s 0.086% of the population of Seattle, by the way, and ((1.64441378 × 10-6)*100)% of the population of the USA.)) a city known for being cloudy and rainy all the freaking time.

Maybe they’re indoors playing games because the weather sucks and they all suffer from SAD. (( Seasonal Anxiety Disorder, which I’m still not convinced is a real disorder.)) Maybe it’s just a poor study.

It’s been said before, but I’ll go ahead and reiterate: Correlation != Causation. This study doesn’t really prove anything. It’s not even worth the HTML it’s printed on.

One thought on “Skewed Study Shows Gamers are Fat, Depressed, Possibly Homicidal

  1. The little fat kid playing Gameboy in the article’s picture made me laugh…

    …but in all seriousness, 500 people in Seattle is nowhere NEAR an accurate and representable cross section of the United States that SHOULD be present in a study done by an organization as lofty as the CDC.

    My bet: somebody at the CDC got lazy. Maybe they were overweight and depressed themselves, they just couldn’t bring themselves to do their job. 🙂

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