while the parents were asked to complete the Conners' Parent Rating Scale (CPRS). This helped the researchers obtain information regarding the behavioral abnormalities, hyperactivity, inattention, ADHD, etc.
Statistical analysis of the gathered information clearly revealed an increase in inattentive behavior (p ? 0.001 for both Internet and console video games) and ADHD (p = 0.018 and 0.020 for console and Internet games, respectively). The researchers also concluded that students who engaged in video gaming for more than an hour showed significantly lower academic performance with (Grade point average (GPA), p = 0.019 and 0.009 for console and Internet games, respectively). The association between the time spent on playing video games and the YIAS (p < 0.001), was clearly evident indicating the development of video game addiction among the subjects who played for more than one hour daily [Philip and Terry, (2006)]. This study shows that children playing video games may develop attention deficit, which in turn can affect their school performance. It is also evident from the study that children can easily develop an addictive personality, consuming time and energy that could otherwise be fruitfully channelized to academic pursuits.
One of the early studies by Marny and Douuglas (2003) analyzed 607 8th and 9th grade school students by means of a self-reported survey relating to their video gaming behavior. The participants of the study were asked to rate themselves on a 'seven item scale of addiction' based on the 3 point Likert psychometric evaluation scale. A total of 85 subjects (15%) answered in the affirmative to more than 4 or more addiction measures listed in the questionnaire. 265 subjects answered in the negative to a minimum of 6 items and were classified as non-addicted. The subjects were then assessed for a history of their school performance, time spent in playing games, aggressive behavior, hostility etc. It was found that addicted subjects spent greater amount of time playing the video games (t (341) = -13.17, p < .000). The study also revealed a gender bias with boys more vulnerable to addiction compared to girls (x2 (1,345) = 42.86, p < .000). Also addicted subjects had high hostility scores (t (347) = -4.14, p < .000) and were more frequently involved in physical fights in the last year (t (347) = -4.14, p < .000). This study also indicated a negative association between video game addiction and school performance with addicted students reporting lower grades (t (337) = 5.035, p < .000) [Marny & Douglas, 2003].
Overall, this study clearly indicates that video game can be addictive and that addiction can entail negative consequences such as development of aggressive attitudes, behavioral maladjustments and a drop in school performance. The high hostility scores of children who played video games for more hours clearly suggests that video games kindle violent nature in children. This is mainly due to the aggressive content in the games.
Game Addiction (China and South Korea: A real Crisis)
The problem of Internet-based video game addiction is nowhere so pronounced as in China and South Korea. In these Asian countries, Internet gaming has blown out of proportions and has even resulted in fatalities. A series of cardiopulmonary deaths at computer gaming centers have prompted the Korean government to seriously investigate the issue of Internet addiction and in particular, video gaming addiction among young children and adolescents. The 2006 national report by the Korean government revealed some shocking facts. It was found that around 210,000 ( 2. 1% ) of 6 to19-year-olds were found to be severely addicted and 80% of these children required psychotropic medications. The report also indicated that 20% to 24% of the children required hospitalization. With Korean school students spending an average of 23 hours per week in video gaming, government sources project that another 1.2 million school age children may be urgently requiring counseling services and appropriate anti-game addiction interventional programs. These reports have forced the Korean government into serious action mode and the result is that currently there are more than 193 hospitals in the country that treat internet and video gaming addiction disorder. Overall more than 1043 trained counselors are already actively engaged in the interventional programs [Block J, (2008)].
China's case is even more severe due to the enormity of its population. The gravity of the video game and computer game addiction in China is so serious that the government began to control video gaming services in the country. Currently laws in China, do not permit more than 3 hours of video gaming per day. According to Dr. Tao Ran, the director of the Beijing Military central hospital, more than 13.7% of adolescents or roughly 10 million teenagers are afflicted by internet and gaming addiction disorder [Block J, (2008)]. Video gaming does not only carry an addiction risk but also imprints violence into the impressionable minds of young children.
Video games are not only addictive but they also feed negative behavioral traits in children. While the gaming industry claims that video games help improve cognitive and motor skills it is equally true that videogames develop aggression among children. The fact is that majority of the video games are bloody and involve violence and as such children who are constantly exposed to these kinds of games get desensitized to violence and become belligerent. In the wake of the repeat school shootings parents and teachers have become increasingly concerned about the influence of violent video games such as Quake, Doom, Grand Theft Auto IV, etc. In fact several countries have now banned Grand Theft Auto IV as the game has undesirable content including sex, violence, theft, etc. This game created such a controversy that senator Hillary Clinton announced "The disturbing material in Grand Theft Auto and other games like it is stealing the innocence of our children and it's making the difficult job of being a parent even harder,"[Linda Wharton]. A new legislation was introduced aimed at controlling children' access to such games. The results of the following studies confirm the correlation between video games and violence in children.
Nicholas et.al (2006) studied the physiological desensitizing effects of violent video games that were reported in several previous studies. The participants of this study were 257 college students (124 men and 133 women). All the participants were subjected to baseline measurement of their heart rates (HR) and Galvanic skin response (GSR). The subjects were asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire pertaining to their video gaming habits including the style of video games they played, the number of hours they played and particularly about the use of aggressive video games. They were also made to fill out a nine-point physical aggression questionnaire. The participants were then randomly chosen to play either a violent video game (Carmageddon, Duke Nukem, Mortal Kombat, Future Cop) or non-violent (Glider Pro, 3D Pinball, 3D Munch Man, Tetra Madness) video game for a period of 20 minutes. Upon completion, the subjects were asked to rate the video game for different attributes (violence, addiction, arousing, entertaining, boring, etc.)
Subsequently, the participants were showed a violent movie and their HR and GSR were recorded during the same. Heart Rate measured at baseline, post game play and during the movie was an average of 66, 68.6 and 69.6 respectively. During the watching of the real life violence video, it was observed that there was a significant contrast between the heart rates of those who had played violent video games compared to those who played non-violent games F (1,131)=16.60, p<.05, d=.72. Similarly the GSR measurements while watching the real life violence movie showed significant difference for the violent and non-violent video gamers. F (1, 244) =4.67, p <.05, d =0.28. While Non-violent game players showed an slight increase F (1, 127) = 0.52, p >.05, d =0.13, violent gamers showed a slight decrease in GSR F (1, 113) =7.19, p <.05, d = 0.50, clearly suggesting that violent videogames tend to desensitize a person to real life violence [Nicholas et.al (2006)]. The reduced physiological response to violent situations that was witnessed in this study clearly confirms that regular exposure to violent video games has the effect of desensitizing children to real life violence. The following study by Erin et.al, focused on the effects of violence and educational content in video games on the behavioral characteristics and educational achievement of children
The participants of this study were 70 school going children between the age of 6 and 10. The researchers presented the parents of the study subjects with an extensive survey consisting of three sections. The first section gathered detailed demographic information while the second section pertained to the computer and video gaming traits of the children and the final section focused on the behavioral traits and academic performance of the children under study. Interpreting the data based on the Child behavior checklist (CBCL) subscales ('attention problems', 'delinquent Behavior', 'aggressive behavior', etc. And school competence measure in terms of the GPA (grade point average) revealed important information.…