A new study maintains that people who are addicted to video games exhibit characteristics similar to those who suffer from Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism.
As reported by Videogamer.com, the research was produced by Dr. John Charlton of the England’s University of Bolton and Ian Danforth of Whitman College in the United States:
391 “computer game players”, 86% of whom were male, were questioned… Results found that the closer the players got to [game] addiction the more likely they were to display negative personality traits. With stronger signs of game addiction came three personality traits that would usually be associated with Aspergers: neuroticism, and lack of extraversion and agreeableness.
The researchers believe that video game addicts can not be classified as having Aspergers syndrome, but do share characteristics because they find it easier to empathise with computer systems than other people.
According to Dr. Charlton:
The thinking in the field is that there is a scale along which people, even those considered to be ‘normal’, can be placed upon. And that people such as engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists are nearer to the non-empathising, systemising, end of the spectrum, with people with Aspergers syndrome even further along again.
Our research supports the idea that people who are heavily involved in game playing may be nearer to autistic spectrum disorders than people who have no interest in gaming.
GP: Interesting stuff, although the underlying concept of “video game addiction” itself has not yet been accepted as a diagnosis by the American Medical Association.