Blogger Examines Videogame Addiction

October 28, 2010 -

The Think Feel Play blog has an interesting take on videogame addition, asking “are video games the drug of our generation, or might something else be going on?”

Author Shoshannah Tekofsky (aka Shos) begins by looking at definitions of the term addiction before picking on research, specifically looking at two major issues “plaguing” videogame research: the all important casual link, “They need to find healthy, balanced people whose lives gaming ruined. This is a lot harder than it sounds,” and definition, “Many researchers assume that there is a problem, pick a set of criteria and see who fits into that slot.”

Shos cites work from Richard Wood, who served up four plausible categories (PDF) for people that might have a problem with playing too many games:

1. People who are labeled video game addicts by others even though they do not experience any problems with their gaming behavior themselves.

2. People who have labeled themselves as addicts as a result of “being convinced” by the media or others of their problems.

3. People who are not good at managing their game time and communicating about it with their friends and family.

4. People who use video games as an escape from deeper problems.

The author calls categories 1 and 2 “harmless, and added, “If you are a healthy and balanced person, then do not worry about your gaming habits. If there is more going on, try to see if it is simply a matter of time management and communication.”

Shos sums up:

For now, we have seen that the concept of a video game addiction is more likely to be a media hype or symptom of an underlying problem than a true addiction. Of course, in daily speech most of us are probably video game addicts. Just like most of the Western population is a TV addict or a car addict. However, clinically speaking, there is no such thing.


Comments

Re: Blogger Examines Videogame Addiction

I agree that there is a lot of hype around this topic, but I think that Shos is wrong to dismiss the concept of internet/game addiction completely. There is a fair bit of scientific evidence that underpins the concept. Here's a brief review of some of the work on video game/internet addiction: http://wp.me/p4QUI-r3

Re: Blogger Examines Videogame Addiction

 I think I probably fall into category 4: I used gaming to escape from the bullying problems i suffered throughout elementary and middle school. The truth is, video games stopped me from committing suicide and that's a fact.

Re: Blogger Examines Videogame Addiction

Relevant to today's story about the woman shaking her baby to death over Farmville.  While there are clearly people who exhibit very skewed and disastrously unhealthy priorities toward gaming, there's an important distinction between addictions that cause physical dependency and ones that don't.

Re: Blogger Examines Videogame Addiction

The woman who shook her baby has nothing to do with some supposed game addiction though. Many shaken baby deaths occur in this country every year, mainly due to unprepared mothers with little to no support systems and a lack of education on just how devestating the damage of shaking can be to an infant.

Re: Blogger Examines Videogame Addiction

True, but punishing a crying baby for interrupting your gaming shows a set of very skewed priorities that could indicate what people call "addiction".  The semantics, of course, are open to debate; as I said, it's very important to draw a distinction between those addictions that create a physical dependency and those that don't.

 
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Andrew EisenOh yeah, some outlets sensationalize things (especially with the chosen headline). No argument there. As far as gender issues not being widespread? I'm inclined to disagree but I suppose it depends on what specifically you're talking about.09/19/2014 - 3:43pm
SleakerI think I've been qualitatively informed by those Factual Femenist videos that there isn't reallly a widespread gender issue, and that there are select news outlets that try to sensationalize things.09/19/2014 - 3:37pm
james_fudgeI'm just going to leave this here before someone else does:http://yiannopoulos.net/2014/09/19/gamejournopros-zoe-quinn-email-dump/09/19/2014 - 3:21pm
NeenekoI have met some real jerks and slimeballs in gender activism, but when I hear the idea that there are many 'not nice' people it comes across as code for 'uppity people who do not know their place'.09/19/2014 - 12:10pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Many of the people pushing gender issues aren't nice people? I'm sure not everyone's a sweatheart but so far, everyone I've seen with such a critique had absolutely nothing to back them up.09/19/2014 - 10:46am
InfophileI think there's a qualitative difference between a site and a hashtag though. GP can ban anyone from commenting, so they can have the image they want. But anyone can use any hashtag and try to poison it. Granted, that hasn't happened to the other one yet09/19/2014 - 10:13am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, your comparison to GP does not work. We do not need to get rid of GP, because no one associates GP with trolls and abuse. The same can't be said for gamergate.09/19/2014 - 10:09am
Krono@Michael You don't remember the "other hashtag" because no one actually uses it. We're talking 836,983 uses of #gamergate over it's lifetime, and 8,119 for the "alternative". 47,129 uses on the 18th vs 41. With #notyourshield at 140,133 uses & 5,209 uses09/19/2014 - 9:48am
Kronoresearch it. Changing tags to get away from trolls would be like wiping GamePolitics and restarting under a new name to get away from people calling Jack Thompson a filthy names in the comments section.09/19/2014 - 9:35am
Sleaker@quiknkold - seems like all that page is is a bunch of random developer opinions and rumors that we're supposedto do what with?09/19/2014 - 9:31am
Kronoas an opportunity to push back against them. It's one of the things muddling the issue. @conster A new hashtag would do nothing to improve anything. Trolls will simply follow to the new hashtag, and it will confuse the issue for anyone attempting to09/19/2014 - 9:25am
Krono@Andrew aaah. Yes, I'm sure there's some of that. Part of the problem is many of the people pushing gender issues are not very nice people. Basically the latest incarnation of moralists we've seen in the past couple decades. Naturually some will take this09/19/2014 - 9:23am
quiknkoldhttp://www.nichegamer.net/2014/09/real-gamedevs-sound-off-regarding-the-gamergate-controversy/09/19/2014 - 8:35am
MaskedPixelanteMeanwhile, in news that actually DOES matter, Scotland voted "NO" to Scottish independance.09/19/2014 - 8:20am
ConsterSeriously? "We shouldn't make a new hashtag - it's better to associate ourselves with psychos than to decrease our visibility"?09/19/2014 - 7:54am
Michael ChandraI forget what it is exactly, but there already is another hashtag that some use, exactly to separate themselves from the abusive behaviour. So don't bother lying to me.09/19/2014 - 7:06am
quiknkold2 to 3 or more09/19/2014 - 6:53am
quiknkoldMichael Chandra : I'll say this. The only reason they havent used another hashtag is because it would look like a form of dividing the arguement. Using another Hashtag has come up, and they feel like if they made a new hashtag, it'll split the debate from09/19/2014 - 6:53am
Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
Michael ChandraAnd someone claiming #notyourshield was to be taken serious, when chatlogs show they wanted it going to hide even more harassment behind? Yeah, not buying a word you're saying. You poisoned your own well.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
 

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