Neoseeker : News : Study finds gaming too long before bed is a bad idea
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Praetorian_Lord Oct 24, 12
hiigaran, KR_1250 - this is the way science works 99% of the time:

You walk into a research grant office and tell them you want some money to do a study on the effect of playing violent video games on sleep. You tell them you want $100k so that you can recruit (how many? Is there a magical number before you guys will be happy it's enough?) participants. They ask you what other studies have been done in the field. You tell them none. They laugh you out of the office. Why? Because no-one's going to fund a large-scale study without expecting some interesting results out of sheer scientific curiosity. If they recruited 500 gamers over three years and found nothing interesting, it would have been a colossal waste of time and money that they'll never get back.

The solution? Do a small-scale exploratory study (*cough cough like this one*) to see if there's anything worthy of investigation. Lo and behold they found an effect with just 17 people, which if you multiply it out to the population at large might be indicative of a serious problem. So now when they go into the research grant office, they can say hey! We found something interesting but want to test gender effects, violent versus non-violent games, etc. and the funders actually have something concrete for a precident.

Did you read the original article?

quote
The good doctor noted that the study did not compare the effects of violent video games to non-violent ones (though I hope that study comes next), but he explained that based on his past research there was little difference between playing Call of Duty 4 before bed for 50 minutes versus watching the same amount of March of the Penguins.

"The aim of this investigation wasn't to assess the content of video games but to look at the effect of the worst possible thing to do before bed because at the end of the day we want to better understand what affects adolescents' sleep," Gradisar explained. "At the moment, less than one hour seems okay."

So actually, this has been taken completely out of context and if anything it's fairly positive news for gamers since you can seemingly play for up to 50 minutes will no ill-effects. The only difference is that now there's some evidence in favour of the idea that playing games for more than 50 minutes before you go to bed isn't the best idea if you want to sleep soundly. No shit, I hear you say. Well at least this is proof which can (a) justify future research and (b) serve as a reference point for all those naysayers who want to bury their heads in the sand and pretend there's nothing wrong with their behaviour.

17 participants for a study like this is about right, don't confuse experiments with non-experiments (there are actually very few of the former in any field). Non-experimental studies aren't about controlling every single variable, they're about taking as many relevant ones into account as you can so that when it comes to analysis or reporting you can say exactly how and why your findings are limited. If the conclusion was something like 'Therefore, violent video games before bed cause you to lose sleep' then yeah, you've got a point - but I guarantee you it was something more like 'Therefore, an effect was found for Australian teenage boys which is unsurprising but potentially worrying, and warrants further investigation'. Which is spot on.

quote Short Circuit
I love that phrase - "violent video games."

Studies are stupid. You can publish almost anything and call it a study, and people will think that it's all professional and expertly carried out by "scientists."

It's partly the news's fault. They treat studies like they're amazing scientific breakthroughs (Studies show that... According to a new study...) and controversial news.
Uh, no, people who try to read what isn't there into studies are stupid. I'm offering 10/1 odds that you haven't read the study. You can not publish almost anything, it's actually notoriously difficult to get published in a reputable journal, and the peer-review process exists for a very good reason. It is entirely the news' fault. This was posted on eurogamer for Christ's sake, you don't think they had an agenda in picking this one study out from the soup that is scientific literature?
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Roy Oct 24, 12
I would say that it varies from individual to individual. It may also depend on how tired you actually are and how active your brain is from the activity. Yes, longer intervals of time will increase activity.
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Zombie_Barioth Oct 24, 12
Short Circuit
Too true, as for falling asleep instantly I only managed to do it during high school. I guess it was from my active schedule.

Like many have said there are too many factors, like what they did all day.
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KR_1250 Oct 24, 12
I am 100% with you hiigaran.

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- Getting more than 17 subjects to do a study like this is often prohibitively expensive and time-consuming
Well save some pennies and undertake a more comprehensive test at a later date. Cost is no excuse for executing such a limited test. Just dont do the test then.

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- Their conclusions would be limited to males, but most gamers are male (and so are you, so I don't see why this is a criticism)
Thats fine depending what they want to prove. But it would have been much more interesting to see the differences between sexes. Infact it would have been the most interesting thing about this seemingly half arsed study for me. And it would also rule out any unforeseen male specific physiological reasons for the results. The simple fact for me is that the more information which is gathered then the more accurate and telling the results will be.

quote
- Do they need to?
Well put bluntly like that no. They need to breathe, drink eat and consume oxygen. But again the study would have been far more comprehensive and interesting had they compared games to other media. Was the test mainly focussed on sleeping? Because then it would have yielded interesting results for a much wider audience. Was the test more directed towards and focussed on the gaming aspect? Because if so the test was completely bias by not including referance to other media. In this case a comparative study would lend the results much more credability in either case.

I also agree with your comment on violence hiigaran. If they did not properly isolate this as a potential direct cause fr the sleep loss by comparison with other genres then that does somewhat invalidate the process for me. Imagine they had repeated the test with Viva Piniata and had the complete opposite result... That changes the whole result and indeed direction for future study.

And BTW i do not come at this with an Agenda. I literally dont care what the results show. It doesnt really affect my life and i can think of much better reasons to shoot down gaming. It was just simply a half arsed test IMO.

And Short Circuit i hear ya on stupid studies. My dad and I often slag them off when we see them in newspapers. Usually tabloids. "Study finds Men are more aesthetically attracted to cars than women"

... DUUUUURR !!! F**king hell. People get paid for this. This study is just as bad. If you scramble your mind for 30 mins before sleep it doesnt affect you as badly as if you do it for an hour... really? WOW! !ith this breakthrough we can now reach Alpha Centauri !!!
Last edited by KR_1250 :: Oct 24, 12
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hiigaran Oct 24, 12
quote Praetorian_Lord
- Getting more than 17 subjects to do a study like this is often prohibitively expensive and time-consuming
- Their conclusions would be limited to males, but most gamers are male (and so are you, so I don't see why this is a criticism)
- See above
- Do they need to? I haven't read the article but it's less likely that the researchers will try to make sweeping generalisations about it than the Jack Thompsons of the world. Maybe it isn't any better or worse than TV or other games, but that's hardly a defense of the behaviour.

I'm not trying to have a go at you specifically, just the general trend of disagreeing with a conclusion on principle and then thinking of reasons why. Case-in-point: you criticise it for only having 17 subjects, and then use yourself as a single, biased case study as to why it's bogus?
if it is expensive and time consuming, then dont do it. doing such research with only 17 people will be inconclusive, and a waste of time and money anyway. doesnt matter if most gamers are male, you are still cutting out a group of gamers. the point of doing research on non violent games would be to provide a comparison to see if it is actually the 'violent' aspect of a game that causes this sleep issue. if you test one genre of game, you have nothing but assumptions as to what it is about a game that makes it so. same thing goes for other comparisons. again, you dont know what specific part of a violent game is the root cause, if you dont compare it to other things and rule out anything that is not a similarity.

as for posting how it affects me, i wasnt implying that was supposed to be true for all. that was just my single, individual story, plain and simple.
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Short Circuit Oct 24, 12
I love that phrase - "violent video games."

Studies are stupid. You can publish almost anything and call it a study, and people will think that it's all professional and expertly carried out by "scientists."

It's partly the news's fault. They treat studies like they're amazing scientific breakthroughs (Studies show that... According to a new study...) and controversial news.

quote Zombie_Barioth
I used to be able to fall asleep almost as soon as I hit the pillow, to the point I hardly remembered laying down.
Oh my god that sounds amazing. I've never been able to drift off instantly like that.
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Zombie_Barioth Oct 24, 12
It certainly makes sense for more more engaging and competitive sessions like during multiplayer, but what about slow paced games like RPGs? LCD screens can also keep you awake because of blue lighting and the bright screen.

I used to be able to fall asleep almost as soon as I hit the pillow, to the point I hardly remembered laying down. That was after playing my DS until bedtime too.
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KR_1250 Oct 24, 12
I personally would gladly shoot a few more Nazi's or do an extra couple of laps around the Nurburgring for a short loss in sleep.

I never trust studies like this. Too many variables and always use too small a sample size.
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Aevers Oct 23, 12
I find that it's more with competitive games than just violent games in general that this would actually be true as you have to use a good amount of mental energy, which keeps you stimulated for a fair while even after turning off the game. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure why some of you are having a problem with this, unless you misread the title as "gaming too long is a bad idea". Some of you have good points (harbin91 in particular) but at the same time, video games add to it all.

Having said that, it is worse to have like sugar or caffeine than to play video games.
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XAlarikkX Oct 23, 12
Bullshit study is Bullshit. I have no trouble falling asleep once I decide to do so. I can survive on 4 hours of sleep. I couldn't give a *bleep* what studies say. It's all done by magic horseshit anyhow. Don't believe these "scientific calculations" if you know what's good for you.
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Praetorian_Lord Oct 23, 12
Wooo Flinders Uni

quote hiigaran
- only 17 subjects
- only males
- only 'violent' video games
- no comparisons to other stimuli such as violent tv shows, or non violent games

seriously, do people even bother to try to badmouth video games anymore?

over half a year ago, i was playing 'violent' games nonstop throughout the day, including when i went to bed. at this point my computer died, and i couldnt afford to replace it. since then, i havent played a single game, focusing instead on more activity on neoseeker, and picking up some old web coding projects of mine. ill tell you now, i havent noticed a damn difference.
- Getting more than 17 subjects to do a study like this is often prohibitively expensive and time-consuming
- Their conclusions would be limited to males, but most gamers are male (and so are you, so I don't see why this is a criticism)
- See above
- Do they need to? I haven't read the article but it's less likely that the researchers will try to make sweeping generalisations about it than the Jack Thompsons of the world. Maybe it isn't any better or worse than TV or other games, but that's hardly a defense of the behaviour.

I'm not trying to have a go at you specifically, just the general trend of disagreeing with a conclusion on principle and then thinking of reasons why. Case-in-point: you criticise it for only having 17 subjects, and then use yourself as a single, biased case study as to why it's bogus?

Let's be honest people, this isn't a surprising finding. It's amazing how many people will come crawling out the woodwork to attack something they disagree with, pretend they know diddly shit about the scientific method, etc. based on their reading of a news article rather than the actual study. If people use this information to start legislating against video games or something then yeah, they're out of their goddamned minds, but the scientists themselves haven't done anything other than share what they've found as far as I'm aware? Apologies if I'm wrong, but otherwise give them a break, goddamn.
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rpg Oct 23, 12
hehe sounds like it makes sense. ^.^
I've played games up to the point to where I just hit the pillow and it took me an average of one hour 20 minutes to get to sleep up to the age 19.

Still takes me a little while though and I've also done a head on table, controller in hand with drool and snores like the guy up there a few times. (I'm secretly proud of that... oh snap)
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Lesley Pro_04 Oct 23, 12
quote Anonymous Reborn
This study has been supported by Fox News and Jack Thompson.

Love it how they only tested males playing only violent video games. You would think they would have at least did a better job than this to bash video games. I play violent games all the time, infact I still get a good night sleep and perform well in school. Playing too much games actually makes me feel sluggish and tired (usually 2 - 3 hours non-stop).

No wonder this particular study fails--it's supported by a couple of toolboxes!

Certain video games do cause certain people to become sluggish. I've fallen asleep playing a couple of turn-based RPG's before, so it's definitely possible for someone to fall asleep at the video game console (or handheld).
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Jeremy Oct 23, 12
Seventeen subjects?

What in the name of Odin where they doing? That's not anywhere near a proper number of subjects! Not to mention, it's an odd number! There are two *bleep*ing groups! THIS IS A DISGRACE TO THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD!
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Abyss Raider Oct 23, 12
Whoops...
Oh well, Borderlands > Sleep anyway.
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