Online game addiction harmful, but overstated

Posted on Monday, Mar 26 2007 @ 11:20 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
A U.K. researcher believes the numbers of people who are addicted to online computer games are overstated. The report says incidences of addiction could be 10 percent lower than previously accepted, but notes it is nonetheless a big problem.
A number of researchers are conducting studies as to whether or not the addiction to Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) can be harmful to gamers. A recent report from Dr. John Charlton, psychology research fellow at the University of Bolton, found that "incidences of addiction could be 10% lower than some currently accepted classification schemes suggest."

Comparing the symptoms of video game addiction and gambling addiction has been popular in the past, even though Charlton believes some of the symptoms in gaming addiction are not the same as in gambling addiction. "This is my second research project in this field to confirm this outcome; that several symptoms researchers had thought were important in diagnosing computing-related addictions were actually only indicative of high, but non-addictive, involvement," Charlton said.
However, he does find that an addiction to online games can cause serious problems not only at work but also at home and in your social life. Most importantly, gaming addiction has a major impact on the amount of sleep you get, your social life and home and work related issues.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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