Douglas Gentile, a research psychologist from Iowa State University (and director of research for the National Institute of Media and the Family), recently conducted a study that found
8.5 percent of Americans between the ages of 8 and 18 (that's roughly 3 million people) are addicted
to video games. During his research, Gentile polled 1,178 youths to see whether they possessed symptoms of pathological gaming -- symptoms which include spending increasing time behind a controller, irritability when playtime is reduced, "escaping problems through play," skipping homework in favor of gaming, and stealing money with which to purchase additional games.
Using these criteria, we've been addicted
to the following at some point in our lives: Pokémon cards, Pogs, Skittles, Spelling Bees, laser tag, gardening, dating, Lego bricks, Frisbee golf and blogging. Yet somehow, despite our multitude of unshakable, soul-crushing dependencies, we turned out just fine
You can check out the Entertainment Software Association's response to the study after the jump.