Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gamers are Geezers, Apparently: 35, Overweight, and Bummed Out

"Forget Teens: Gamers Are 35, Overweight — And Sad, CDC says"
Sharon Gaudin, Epicenter, Wired (August 23, 2009)

"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 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (download PDF). The study also shows that when children and teenagers become game players, a trend toward physical inactivity and corresponding health problems extends - and is exacerbated - into adulthood...."

It's a pretty good look at some fairly-new research. It goes back to a 2006 survey of 552 people between the ages of 19 and 90 - living in the Seattle-Tacoma area - online. The researchers did a pretty good job, getting a wide spread of ages: but I wonder if they realized just how much of the world wasn't in the Seattle-Tacoma area of Washington state.

Oh, well: the results are interesting, anyway.

So was at least one attitude reflected in the article:

"...'My issue is that it's not just gaming. It's social networking. It's the Web in general,' said [analyst at In-Stat Jim] 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.'..."

I remember when color television was a wonderful new technology - and a threat to the mental and physical health of Americans. My guess is that there may be a few more couch potatoes around now, because of that technology.

But I'm not all that worried. People have been dealing with dangerous new technologies for quite a while. And, somehow, surviving. Even, perhaps, benefiting.

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