Controversy surrounding Gaming Addiction and Game-Related Problem Behaviors

In Becoming ruminative in education on February 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM

A new research finding released by New York Special Populations Research Institute indicated some game genres are prone to cause game-related problem behaviors, namely “online gaming addiction”.  In the past five years, addiction to electronic games have become a debated and controversial issue in the realm of public health.

American Psychiatric Association (APA) recently declined the proposal to include electronic gaming addiction in psychiatric diagnosis and statistic handbook (to be released in May 2013). Researchers around the world are still investigating how to ascertain, treat, and prevent gaming addiction-related problem behaviors.

The Special Population Research under National Development and Research Institute provided one perspective with its recent research finding. Luther Elliot, Andrew Golub, Eloise Dunlap and Geoffrey Ream studied a group of 3380 adults who claimed to have spent at least one hour on gaming the week before. Below are some findings and quotes.

First Person Shooting (FPS) is addictive

Demographics under study included gameplay hours, games played last year, and game-related inquiries. 2652 games gathered from were categorized into a variety of genres: MMORPG, RPG, ACT, AVG, FPS, SPG (sports), Rhythm and Music, Racing, Online Simulation, Puzzle, Chess, Gambling and etc.

Findings revealed that only 5% of the participants were subject to extreme game-related problems, with which most of them self-reported having played FPS, ACT, RPG, or Gambling games. Participants indicated games that could lead to their problem behaviors were Call of Duty (FPS), Grand Theft Auto (Action adventure), War of Warcraft (MMORPG) and Poker (Gambling).

MMORPGs are addictive

The above research findings revealed correlations between certain game genres and problem behaviors, but we need more research to ascertain these findings, especially research in the design elements embodied in these game genres.

“FPSs such as Call od Duty series and Halo series have been found to be related to players’ abnormal game-related behaviors.”

“Perhaps FPS is addictive especially with the incorporation of online co-op play which encourages online players to fight for higher ranking and trophies. For action and adventure games, the non-linear open world perspective in these games afford massive content for players to explore. More time and energy is expended by players. Downloadable content and user-generated content could have led to game-related problem behaviors.”




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