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.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Should ‘sexism’ factor into a video game’s rating?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Michael ChandraWonderkarp, try games where you don't get interactive cutscenes and only the main character really talks to people. Or games with a silent protagonist. I think the Bechdel test is a nice indicator (though flawed) for movies and such, but not games.11/22/2014 - 7:56am
ZippyDSMleeWymorence: HTD was a fun and very messed up film I love it. A new one would be nothing like it sadly.11/22/2014 - 1:57am
Andrew EisenOnly if we lived in a world where a bad movie meant every subsequent attempt would suck. Seriously though, after the last few years, I'll give Marvel the benefit of the doubt that it could make a great Howard the Duck movie.11/22/2014 - 1:29am
Wymorenceisn't that a GOOD thing there isn't a movie after the abomination that was the first?11/22/2014 - 12:27am
Andrew EisenNo movie in sight but Howard the Duck is returning to comics! https://games.yahoo.com/news/howard-duck-series-announced-184400635.html11/21/2014 - 10:48pm
MechaCrashThe point of the Bechdel Test isn't "is this film sexist," it's to illustrate "this is an incredibly low bar and most movies STILL can't pass it."11/21/2014 - 10:11pm
mthielNew report on Adam Lanza http://tinyurl.com/pnj9os611/21/2014 - 8:07pm
Andrew EisenIf you missed the HuffPost segment I guested on, the replay is now embedded in the story.11/21/2014 - 6:05pm
Wonderkarphttps://pbs.twimg.com/media/B2__4yZCcAA9Ytp.jpg these look amazing. Peach is the only one I'm tempted to open cause her packaging is bent. get another nonbent one....man. toycollector me and gamecollector me is fighting11/21/2014 - 5:51pm
WonderkarpJust finalized my Smash Bros free Sound Track Order. Also got 4 amiibos and they look fantastic. I'm afraid to open them. they look spectacular!11/21/2014 - 5:45pm
james_fudgeCan we all agree that Andrew cleans up nicely and can go on any program?11/21/2014 - 5:01pm
Wonderkarpthank you for that line, Andrew. alot of great films fail the bechdel test. Gravity fails it and it has a female lead.11/21/2014 - 4:48pm
Andrew EisenAw, thanks James! Well, now I have to drive back to work!11/21/2014 - 4:45pm
Andrew EisenDidn't have a chance to say this on the HuffPost segment but while the Bechdel test is useful as a broad examination of gender representation in media, it's not at all appropriate as a judgment of quality.11/21/2014 - 4:45pm
james_fudgeAndrew you killed it!11/21/2014 - 4:44pm
WonderkarpMadeline Bergman. second female, they never speak of men, just a computer program. it passes the test11/21/2014 - 4:34pm
E. Zachary KnightDoes Other M have more than one woman in it?11/21/2014 - 4:31pm
Wonderkarpyet Metroid Other M, a game where people cried sexist due to the commanding officers restricting Samus, passes the test....11/21/2014 - 4:21pm
Wonderkarpwait...they are using the bechdel test to determine which games are sexist?.....how does that work with a game like Super Mario Bros when there is no Dialogue? test itself is BS. Alien doesn't pass it11/21/2014 - 4:20pm
james_fudgeAndrew Eisen on Ice! Please join in at 4:23 pm et and support our bestie! http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/sweden-sexism-video-game/546d41cffe344486d400023711/21/2014 - 4:05pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician