Study: Nearly One in Ten Gamers Shows Signs of Addiction

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Study: Nearly One in Ten Gamers Shows Signs of Addiction

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An Australian study has concluded that roughly eight percent of videogamers may be suffering from some form of addiction.

Conducted by the Psychological Medicine Department at Sydney's Nepean Hospital, the study looked at nearly 2000 gamers, ages 14 and up, and found that 156 of them "appeared to have a problem." MMOG players are the most likely to suffer from addiction; gamers who have lost control of their hobby are more likely to play them, have few real friends and drink more caffeine. "For a significant number, escape into virtual reality becomes a compelling experience worth sacrificing considerable periods of time as well as real-world activities and responsibilities," according to the study, which was published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.

Indications of a gaming addiction include playing longer than originally planned or indulging in games "despite knowing one should not do it." Interestingly, however, the stereotypical gamer - young, single males - proved to be no more susceptible to addiction than women, middle-aged and married people.

The study listed eight "problem indicators":

  • Recurrent thoughts and urges about playing
  • Restlessness and irritability when not playing
  • Repeated unsuccessful attempts to cut back
  • Studies or work negatively affected
  • Problems in "significant relationships"
  • Giving up other social activities
  • Sore eyes, back pain, strain injuries
  • Sleep loss, weight gains or losses of 5kg

The report said that less than half of so-called "problem gamers" reported financial problems arising from their gaming, but half admitted that they had tried and failed to cut back on their gaming and three-quarters said their sleep habits and work or studies had suffered because of videogames.

But Mario Wynands, CEO of New Zealand developer Sidhe Interactive, said that while some gamers might have a problem, attributing it directly to games isn't fair. "Video games can be a very compelling hobby, just like going to the gym or reading," he said. "You can become engrossed in a good book and time flies by and before you know it you have spent an hour longer reading than you intended."

Noting that nobody worries about people who spend a lot of time reading, he added, "The issue was whether people were neglecting other aspects of their life. Ultimately, it comes down to the individual and their situation whether or not it is a problem. People have to weigh up the priorities in their lives and how they want to spend their time."

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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Woot, I'm addicted to something!

Only 8% ?

I thought there would have been more frankly.

But we've just been proved unaddicted!

Damn you science and your ambiguously conclusive findings!

An Australian study

Is it wrong that I gave up once I read this?

I'm just so so cynical about social studies...

Yeah, I'm not all that surprised. And at least these people are getting addicted to something that doesn't kill your internal organs.

NO. Really? You can become addicted to video games? I didn't know that. :O
And by "I didn't know that" I mean WHERE THE F*** HAVE YOU IDIOTS BEEN THE PAST 20+ YEARS!?
Did you really need to conduct a scientific expirement for that one? Using the tax payers money? Money that could've been used for finding the cure for cancer or solving world hunger I might add! I mean really, you probably could've asked an 8-year-old on that one!
...
...
Whew! I needed that.

Take 2000 people from anywhere and a certain percentage will have 'problems",especially if they're from the foot of the Blue Mountains.
Depressed bogans dosen't mean a thing.

Wasn't the word "addiction" reclassified recently? I thought only substance-abuse type addictions were allowed to be called addictions anymore?

OT: Bullshit. Generic Rage, ect. Exact same same comment I have made every time they decide to rehash the same "games are bad" report. You get the idea.

If it wasn't gaming it'd be something else. It's not like gaming can magically induce addiction into somebody or else more people would be affected by it. These people just have addictive personalities.

Nimbus:
Wasn't the word "addiction" reclassified recently? I thought only substance-abuse type addictions were allowed to be called addictions anymore?

OT: Bullshit. Generic Rage, ect. Exact same same comment I have made every time they decide to rehash the same "games are bad" report. You get the idea.

Admittedly it should be referred to an obsession rather than an addiction.

Sneaklemming:

An Australian study

Is it wrong that I gave up once I read this?

I'm just so so cynical about social studies...

This too. And no, it's not wrong that you gave up once you read that.

That picture makes gamers look like crackheads.

Seriously, how many damn people who play games are actually like that?

Irridium:
That picture makes gamers look like crackheads.

Seriously, how many damn people who play games are actually like that?

Everyone knows you frag better with the lights on

Great more conservative bullshit. Anyone want me to kill Atkinson?

Georgie_Leech:
Yeah, I'm not all that surprised. And at least these people are getting addicted to something that doesn't kill your internal organs.

Yeah.

I'd much rather be a gaming addict than another stupid teenager getting high, drunk or going to the toilet every break to smoke two or three cigarettes. Or thinking "Oh my God, it's been 3 days since I shot up my vein, gotta get another dose!!".

Well at least it's never going to kill me

AUSTRALIAN.

Gee I wonder why that stuck out to me. hmmm...

Anyway, gamers have addictive personalities. It's not hte games, the mindset came way before tehy did.

ssgt splatter:
NO. Really? You can become addicted to video games? I didn't know that. :O
And by "I didn't know that" I mean WHERE THE F*** HAVE YOU IDIOTS BEEN THE PAST 20+ YEARS!?
Did you really need to conduct a scientific expirement for that one? Using the tax payers money? Money that could've been used for finding the cure for cancer or solving world hunger I might add! I mean really, you probably could've asked an 8-year-old on that one!
...
...
Whew! I needed that.

common sense as it may seem, we can't actually add a conclusion to our body of scientific knowledge without running it through a study.

So yes, they kinda did.

Also, (and I can't speak to the Australian system, really) but this study was conducted at a universuity hospital. Hospitals being typically private, and universities being only subsidized by government grants and largely privately funded, this study would have, itself, probably been largely privately funded.

I love the image everyone has of these teams of scientists working for the 'ministry of scientific inquiry' spending public funds on frivolous studies, just because they can.

That's not really how it works...

-m

Sweet, only 8%!

We must celebrate. I'd thought the number was much higher.

The findings aren't really that surprising. In a postmodern world where everything is at our finger tips it's not surprising that one could be addicted to a virtual world. The interesting thing about games is that a majority of those addicted to it don't really have to do much to get unaddicted. Most of the time all it really takes is some real world stimulation. Often times people fall into this because they are unhappy about their real world life. I would definitely argue that its better than turning to drugs or alcohol abuse.

Matt_LRR:

ssgt splatter:
NO. Really? You can become addicted to video games? I didn't know that. :O
And by "I didn't know that" I mean WHERE THE F*** HAVE YOU IDIOTS BEEN THE PAST 20+ YEARS!?
Did you really need to conduct a scientific expirement for that one? Using the tax payers money? Money that could've been used for finding the cure for cancer or solving world hunger I might add! I mean really, you probably could've asked an 8-year-old on that one!
...
...
Whew! I needed that.

common sense as it may seem, we can't actually add a conclusion to our body of scientific knowledge without running it through a study.

So yes, they kinda did.

Also, (and I can't speak to the Australian system, really) but this study was conducted at a universuity hospital. Hospitals being typically private, and universities being only subsidized by government grants and largely privately funded, this study would have, itself, probably been largely privately funded.

I love the image everyone has of these teams of scientists working for the 'ministry of scientific inquiry' spending public funds on frivolous studies, just because they can.

That's not really how it works...

-m

Ok granted that but still, haven't they done this "scientific study" like umpteen times before? That's what I was really ranting about.

dududf:
Only 8% ?

I thought there would have been more frankly.

Oh so totally ninja'd. I was expecting something in the 30% range. Then again, that may be my addiction looking for validation...

Matt_LRR:

common sense as it may seem, we can't actually add a conclusion to our body of scientific knowledge without running it through a study.

So yes, they kinda did.

Also, (and I can't speak to the Australian system, really) but this study was conducted at a universuity hospital. Hospitals being typically private, and universities being only subsidized by government grants and largely privately funded, this study would have, itself, probably been largely privately funded.

I love the image everyone has of these teams of scientists working for the 'ministry of scientific inquiry' spending public funds on frivolous studies, just because they can.

That's not really how it works...

-m

God bless you Matt. You said it so freaking well.

What I want to know is when 7.5% became almost 1 in 10.

This study sounds fairly realistic/legit to me and 5-10% sounds about right, I mean you can become psychologically addicted to pretty much anything and gaming presents a more compelling and immersive experience than pretty much any other form of entertainment. Hell, I'd hazard a guess that 5-10% of the population at large show "signs of addiction" in general.

My response to this!!!:

Only 10%?

In a country where heavy amounts of alcohol consumption to the point of dangerous levels (~15% for males in 2005; that's roughly 3 in 20 people) is common, I have a hard time believing this is a good sampling of the aggregate international 'gaming community'. Actually, I'd like to see some of those stats from the link compared with the results of this study to see if there's any correlation.

coldalarm:
Woot, I'm addicted to something!

Same here! There needs to be an Escapist Group!

Great, so we got "addiction" of the harmless variety and real addiction, like heroin. Another word has lost it´s meaning.

The American Psychiatric Association does not currently recognise video game addiction as a psychological addiction. Further, it is not part of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, though it has been proposed to the latter.

These are real scientists making that distinction between whether it's an addiction or not. I'm inclined to listen to them. I hear they have certificates on their walls and everything.

Sore eyes, back pain, strain injuries
this is the only one I've experienced
the rest I've had since I was born

You know when stuff like this gets published the first thing I always do is analyze myself using the aforementioned criteria...

* Recurrent thoughts and urges about playing (Yes)
Yes, I frequently think about doing things I like to do. I know its not right to assume things, but I would assume that other people are the same way.

* Restlessness and irritability when not playing (Yes)
Yes, I occasionally get irritated at people, but this is a general thing, when people do stupid shit it irritates me, I don't see how this is related to gaming, because I get irritated when I am playing too sometimes.

* Repeated unsuccessful attempts to cut back (Why?)
Why would I force myself to stop. There have been times when I haven't gamed for nearly a month tho, and other times where I push 60 hours a week (yay unemployment).

* Studies or work negatively affected (No)
Always been an "above average" student, and my college grades have been B's all the way down for years now.

* Problems in "significant relationships" (No)
Problems in relationships implies that I have had a relationship ever.

* Giving up other social activities (No)
Giving up other social activities implies that I had other social activities to begin with. If anything I have gotten more social activities... But they are all related to gaming (if not video, board, if not board, card) in some way.

* Sore eyes, back pain, strain injuries (Maybe)
I was born with a huge defect in my spine, it always hurts.

* Sleep loss, weight gains or losses of 5kg (Yes)
Can't sleep hardly ever, but at least I'm pretty productive. I tend to complete all of my homework at 1am.

I would be interested if more people filled this out :)

EDIT: I am also laughing at this pic for reasons I don't understand. I don't know about anyone else, but I have never played video games on a screen that small, the room isn't dark, and my game center certainly doesn't reside on a chair. What the hell lol...

Fredrick2003:

* Sleep loss, weight gains or losses of 5kg (Yes)
Can't sleep hardly ever, but at least I'm pretty productive. I tend to complete all of my homework at 1am.

I wish I could play games and suddenly lose 5 kg. That'd be awesome!

Sneaklemming:

An Australian study

Is it wrong that I gave up once I read this?

I'm just so so cynical about social studies...

Depends - Australian Government or just by someone in Australia?

ssgt splatter:
NO. Really? You can become addicted to video games? I didn't know that. :O
And by "I didn't know that" I mean WHERE THE F*** HAVE YOU IDIOTS BEEN THE PAST 20+ YEARS!?
Did you really need to conduct a scientific expirement for that one? Using the tax payers money? Money that could've been used for finding the cure for cancer or solving world hunger I might add! I mean really, you probably could've asked an 8-year-old on that one!
...
...
Whew! I needed that.

Ok, slow the hell down, there. I know it seems pretty obvious, and yeah everyone who'd think about it for 2 seconds can see the logic in every kind of entertainment being addictive, but this is science. In science you can't claim a theory is fact unless you've conducted a study proving said theory's fact (for the time being). Now I do realise that research conducted in the field of social studies gets a lot of these "Duh, we knew that already!" responses, because everyone's social in this community.

It's indeed a lot different from, say, neurology. You wouldn't just say a neurologist was a dimwitted idiot because everyone knew all along it was pretty obvious that the medulla oblongata was positioned underneath mesencephalon, would you? Of course you wouldn't because not everyone's a neurologist.
Funnily enough everyone does consider themselves a specialist on the field of social studies, which is why people like you think everyone and their grandma already know all about how dogs positively affect family bonding or whatever.

I'm also fairly confident a study like this is mostly done by surveys, maybe a couple interviews. So don't worry, I think your Cure Cancer, Solve World Hunger Study can miss the couple hundred dollars that went into this one.

I also see Matt's already been good enough to clarify the scientific approach. Just felt like elaborating a little.

* Recurrent thoughts and urges about playing
Sure thing, making up new strategies is always fun.

* Restlessness and irritability when not playing
Nope.

* Repeated unsuccessful attempts to cut back
Hah, like I wanted to stop.

* Studies or work negatively affected
Had a bad first half-year, but since improved all my marks significantly. Probably related to gaming, but I like to think it's not.

* Problems in "significant relationships"
Yup, never had one of those. Sad, I know =(

* Giving up other social activities
Nope.

* Sore eyes, back pain, strain injuries
Not really.
* Sleep loss, weight gains or losses of 5kg
No problem with sleeping, steady at 70 kg.

So probably addicted, but who gives a fuck anyway.

Fredrick2003:

EDIT: I am also laughing at this pic for reasons I don't understand. I don't know about anyone else, but I have never played video games on a screen that small, the room isn't dark, and my game center certainly doesn't reside on a chair. What the hell lol...

Also, his TV seems to be about to explode...

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