Sometimes I wish I could just walk past a story that makes some daft claim about addiction or gaming violence. I’m trying with this one, because it’s about Facebook. But then again, it’s rubbish, so I should say so. All Facebook, an unofficial fansite, has produced what it describes as “10 Mind Blowing Facebook Games Statistics”. Some of which are indeed mind blowing. One of which, however, is that around 50 million – 19% of those who play games on Facebook – say they are “addicted”.
It’s unfortunate that a word as medically serious is so horribly misused. Addiction is understood in two forms. It’s either considered a dependency without which a person is unable to function. Or it’s something that one continues to do in the face of serious negative consequences. If this is the case for 50 million Facebook users, then we have an extraordinarily serious situation on our hands. It seems slightly more realistic that the vast majority of the 50 million people find they just want one more go in their lunch break. The issue is, publishing numbers like this only leads to the wider press leaping on the number with no critical analysis, and then the battle to take both gaming and addiction seriously becomes that much more difficult.
But the rest of the numbers are interesting. Of the 500 million who use Facebook, 53% use it to play games. And 69% of that 250m+ are of the female chromosomes. There’s 56m people playing every day, and 290m playing every month. And according to these stats half of the logins to Facebook are to play games rather than to see what Brenda’s done with her garden.
They estimate this equals to 927 million hours of gaming per month.
And they say PC gaming is dead.