First, let me say you’re a coward for not posting your name. Second, you really should get credit for showing me this because aside from not taking offense, which I’m guessing you were concerned about, it’s a pretty interesting article and I laughed when I read the first sentence:
A new study says the average age of video-game players in the United States is 35, and oh, by the way: They’re overweight and tend to be depressed.
Overweight? 5’9″. 230lbs. According to BMI? Yup. Check.
Ah well. Two out of three ain’t bad. LOL!
OK, first off let me point out that I’m among many that think the BMI is a load of crap. If I was 5’9″ and 230lbs looking like Stallone did back in the day there’s not a person in the world that would say I’m obese. But according to the calculator I hit a BMI of 34 and obese I am. To be fair though the site does say, “[BMI] may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.” I come from a long line of short husky men. I’ll admit I’m overweight, but far from obese.
Now that I’ve got my rationalization out of the way, let me point the one problem I have about the article.
The article tends to imply that video games lead to obesity and depression. This is articulated with the statement, “The findings appear consistent with earlier research on adolescents that linked video game playing to a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status and mental health concerns.” The problem with this statement is it doesn’t mean that video game playing is the cause, but that’s what millions reading this article will think. What the findings really mean is that people with a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status and mental health concerns are playing video games.
Who here really thinks that kids playing violent video games has led to tragedies such as Columbine? Who here believes these were really disturbed kids that were attracted to violent video games and unfortunately committed these atrocities?
I’m not an expert and besides each case is going to be different, but I have to believe that video games aren’t making people fat. Our sedentary lifestyles are. If I wasn’t playing video games, I’d be watching TV. If I wasn’t watching TV, I’d be reading a book. Either way I’d still be getting fat.
As for those with mental health issues like depression? Having survived two severe bouts of depression in my past that nearly ended it both times, I think I can safely say I know what video games offered me during those times. They were escapes. Ways to avoid the problems in my life and remove myself from the pain I was going through. But escapes are not ways of dealing with the problems. Video games are attractive to those with issues, but they aren’t the cause. Unfortunately they can make the cause worse when one avoids dealing with the problem.
So what do I need to do? First, I need to get off my butt and exercise. I need to eat a little better too. Second, I need to make sure that if I ever have a problem with depression again to realize that video games are not a solution. And third, since I can’t get any younger I apparently need to get older fast so I’m no longer right smack dab on the average age!