When combined, a pair of new studies (conveniently stacked on GamePolitics.com) suggests that game addiction is a rising concern among American youth, but, if we also trust Aussie researchers, violent side effects are not. According to a new Harris poll, 8.5% of the US's youngsters are now clinically addicted to games, and as many as 23% have felt the jonesing itch for a fix. Thankfully, Australia's Swinburne University of Technology has published findings which indicate that violent games ('cause let's face it, violent games are the only kind American tweens get lifted on) don't increase the likelihood of a "stable" child becoming more aggressive.
The Swinburne study seems to define "stable" as non-hyper. So, considering that about 7% of children are currently diagnosed with ADHD, presumably about 0.6% of America's young people (percentage of ADHD-diagnosed kids addicted to games) pose a potential threat to society. A small percentage no doubt, but with a reported 73.5 million children in the US in 2005, we could be living among something like 450,000 latent killer gamers -- hit the panic button!
[Disclosure: blogger's math skills have not been evaluated since December 1999; some calculations may be inaccurate. Call for panic still very real!]
Read - Poll Indicates Game Addiction on the Rise Among Youth
Read - Study Says Stable Kids Unaffected by Game Violence