If you’re reading this on a computer, you must be mad
Meh, you’re probably already too far gone to be bothered. There has been yet another claim that gaming is ‘bad for your health’ has been fired up and thrown to the press; this time it causes dementia.* Or at least it does according to Professor Greenfield.
We in the gaming community are no strangers to these downright weird claims, but this has to be one of the downright weirdest. Off the top of my head, dementia has a genetic component, such as in the cases of a large number of neurodegenerative illnesses: how the hell would games set such things off? Gamma rays?
According to wiki, the main causes of dementia are:
- “Fixed cognitive impairment” (presumably caused by something of the order of a “Boot to the Head!”. Also drugs.)
- “Neurodegenerative diseases of various sorts”
Yeah, I know, that is a serious bit of oversimplification on my part, and I also know that I am not a scientist, merely an amateur science lover**, whereas Professor Greenfield is a professor and used to be*** a high up member of the Royal Institution. But to make a statement like “games cause dementia”, you’d need to at least imply some sort of mechanism. Furthermore, some stats would be nice. From what I’ve seen, she hasn’t provided either.
Ben “Bad Science” Goldacre goes through her claim with a far more rigorous eye than I can be bothered to give, and asks “habeas corpus”.
* No-one has yet used the “C”-word, to my knowledge, but give them time. Someone will find a way to claim it gives us brain cancer.
** I don’t even want to talk about this, because I just don’t know about what sort of politics goes on at that level.