VietNamNet Bridge - A survey by the Vietnamese Academy of Social Science which found most online game players claiming that their habit does not negatively affect their behavior has come in for widespread criticism.
'Students not hooked on online games'
The poll of 1,320 random respondents in major cities, released last Tuesday, said only 5.2 percent admitted they have addictive behavior and cannot control their urge to play. A huge number -- 59 percent -- claimed online games help them feel good and overcome stress.
A majority (41.2 percent) were aged 16-20 and, thus, mature enough to be aware of their actions. College and university students topped the list at 30.1 percent.
The higher a person’s education level, the less effect online games had on them.
The research group concluded from these findings that playing online games does not have as serious an effect on people as the media had claimed.
However, Dr Le Minh Tien of the Open University’s sociology department, said in a column in Tuoi Tre Wednesday that the survey is “not reliable.”
“It appears from its results that the research team was looking for positive facts about the games rather than exploring their impacts,” he said.
“The results reflect the pollsters’ intention to stand on the side of game providers.”
The survey is not reliable enough to be used as scientific proof by the National Assembly for regulating online games, he said.
National Assembly deputy Nguyen Minh Thuyet denied Wednesday the House commissioned the Vietnamese Academy of Social Science to do such a survey.
“We only asked for their recommendations.”
Dr Trinh Hoa Binh, the chief pollster told Tuoi Tre the academy did the survey on its own initiative.
But he had earlier said the National Assembly’s Committee on Culture, Education, Youth and Teenager and an online game provider commissioned the survey to help the House and other authorities regulate gaming.
Asked about the poll’s reliability, Binh said: “If a sample consists of 30 individuals or more, it is quite reliable. Our results may dissatisfy many but the statistics are not beneficial to online game providers either.”
Dr Le Manh Ha, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communications, said the research methodology needs to be reconsidered, pointing out it is incorrect to club respondents aged 16 to 18.
“Players at internet cafés are usually below 18. Most online games are only appropriate for those aged 18 or above, who are aware of their actions.”
He was also skeptical about the finding that only 5.2 percent are addicted to gaming.
“We need general statistics on online game addicts just like we do with drug addicts. If we can do this, we can make objective judgments and have reasonable managing measures.”
Dr Ha, said that four months ago Binh had been a member of the Ministry of Information and Communication’s online game assessment committee that had licensed 43 games which were later found to have violent content.
“If you’re involved on both sides [of an issue], it is easy to be biased.”
The survey was conducted over a month in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, Can Tho, Dong Nai, and Hai Duong.
Source: Tuoi Tre