The US Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has slammed a recent study carried out by Iowa State University that claimed 8.5 per cent of American gamers aged 8-18 showed multiple signs of addiction.
ESA boss Michael Gallagher noted in a letter to the researchers behind the study that:
"It has come to my attention... that the findings and conclusions of the study prepared by Dr. Douglas Gentile, and published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, were based on flawed methodology.
"This raises serious doubts about the validity of findings."
Unrepresentative sampling methods
For his part, Dr. Gentile admitted to ABC News that he was unaware the sample group for the study was not randomly chosen, but was made up from a 'convenience' sample of individuals who agreed to participate in the survey.
"As you are likely aware, such a sample is not truly representative of a national population group. Thus the results cannot be projected onto the broader population of children in this country," notes the ESA's Gallagher.
"And the sampling error of plus or minus 3% that Dr. Gentile cited in the study is also meaningless."
"In his article, Dr. Gentile wrote that his findings are "nationally representative within 3%." This claim is not verifiable given the nature of the sample population… Because of the composition of the group studied, neither the overall figure, nor the cited sampling error is supported by the data Dr. Gentile presented.
"It would be unfair and misleading for a respected publication to leave on the record such knowingly mistaken information," Gallagher concluded.
Anyways, back to the world of the World of Warcraft...
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