One in 12 gamers shows signs of addiction, according to a study being presented this week at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Congress.
Prof. Vladan Starcevic (left) of the University of Sydney told New Zealand’s NZTV that his team reached that conclusion after conducting an online survey of nearly 2,000 worldwide respondents:
Their whole lives revolve around this activity and there certainly seems to be a problem there – there is an addiction. And it seems to us that these people seem to… have other mental health issues, and it seems excessive video game playing is a manifestation of these underlying problems.
Problem gamers identified by the researchers were more prone to being socially isolated, at increased risk of depression and more likely to engage in compulsive behavior. Most seemed to play four or more hours per day and preferred MMOs like World of Warcraft. On the other hand, Starcevic noted that 92% of gamers displayed no problems with their gaming:
Most people who play video games are not problem video game players, to put it in simple terms, they’re not addicted to video games. It is a minority of people who seem to have a problem.
As GameCulture notes, the 8% figure arrived at by Starcevic is remarkably close to the 8.5% game addiction rate Iowa State Prof. Douglas Gentile reported in a study released jointly with the National Institute on Media and the Family last month. As GamePolitics has reported, Gentile’s research was criticized by ABC News Polling Director Gary Langer and Harvard’s Dr. Cheryl Olson, author of Grand Theft Childhood.