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ESA criticises forthcoming gaming study as flawed

Medical study links games to psychological problems but body says results are exaggerated

The Entertainment Software Association has criticised a study due to be published in a paediatrics periodical, calling it flawed and exaggerated.

The study, by Douglas Gentile, is an attempt to show links between gaming habits and mental health problems among children in Singapore. The ESA has said that Gentile has a long history of anti-gaming sentiment and that his methods and results are unreliable, questioned by many of his peers.

"We commend credible, independent, and verifiable research about computer and videogames. However, this research is just more of the same questionable findings by the same author in his campaign against videogames," said Richard Taylor of the ESA.

"There simply is no concrete evidence that computer and videogames cause harm. In fact, a wide body of research has shown the many ways games are being used to improve our lives through education, health and business applications."

"Throughout our nation's history, those critical of new entertainment forms have sought to blame those creative works for society's ills and some of have sought to use flawed research to support their theories."

Gentile's methodology has attracted criticism before. After publishing a study in Psychological Science last year, Gentile issued a public apology after it emerged that he had not chosen his subjects randomly, but had instead selected a group of 'convenience'.

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Dan Pearson

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