Sydney University psychiatry professor Vladan Starcevic has urged Austrilia to consider a gaming rebhab centre similar to the one recently opened in London.
According to his own research with a sample of 2000 individuals, one in ten gamers showed signs of addiction.
“We have people in this country who do have a problem with that just like with gambling and other addictive behaviours,”
All well and good, but I’m not crazy about the untested methodology used by many of the recently opened inpatient facilities. Also, I am very much against the tens of thousands of dollars charged by the centres for treatment – it just seems blatantly exploitative.
After administering thousands of electroshock “treatments” to videogame and internet addicts, China has decided to ban the procedure because ” it has no foundation in clinical research or evidence.”
“Patients are given psychotropic drugs as well as electro-shocks, at a cost of 5,500 yuan (805 USD) a month. Most of them were sent to the hospital by force, the China Youth Daily added.”
Forced hospitalization, ECT, and psychotropic medications (which have not been shown to be effective treatments) administered by people who are not qualified therapists at the cost of $800 per month?
Yes, I think we can agree that banning this practice is the right decision.
Following up on the previous post regarding videogame addiction in children, Michael Gallagher, the president of Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has challenged the conclusions of the researchers and suggests that the study used “flawed methodology.”
“Gallagher goes on to point out that Gentile conceded in an interview that he was unaware that the sample group for the study was not randomly chosen, but instead comprised of a ‘convenience’ sample of individuals who agreed to participate in the survey.”
This is often a problem you run into when conducting research – true random selection is quite elusive and samples of convenience are certainly not as desirable.
The question is, on a survey asking about videogame habits, who is most likely to respond – those who are light or moderate players, or those who play excessively?
Obviously, your sample selection influences your results – and I suspect that such a study may over-sample somewhat on the hard-core gamer side.
A national study at Iowa State University has concluded that 8.5% of American youths (8 – 18 years old) who play videogames “show multiple signs of behavioral addiction.”
“It’s not that the games are bad.It’s that some kids use them in a way that is out of balance and harms various other areas of their lives.”
As is common in this field, the researchers adapted the diagnostic criteria for gambling addiction to define who is and who isn’t addicted. Gamers were considered “pathological” if they reported 6 of the 11 symptoms.
- Compared to girls, four times as many boys were considered addicted
- Children considered pathological gamers did worse in school
- Those considered addicted were twice as likely to have attention deficit disorder
- 88% of kids play videogames
Another study on gaming addiction – this time by researchers in Australia. The team surveyed close to 2000 online gamers and determined that approximately 8% would be considered addicted (according to their definition of “addiction”).
“Their whole lives revolve around this activity and there certainly seems to be a problem there – there is an addiction.”
Once again we see a finding very consistent with the estimate that 5%-10% of gamers have excessive habits that may be considered an addiction.
However, it is worth noting that this was an online survey with self-selected respondents – which inevitably introduces a degree of bias into the study. Still, this finding is quite consistent with other research. The 5%-10% estimate is starting to look pretty accurate.
I think the next logical step would be to break down these stats into the type of game being played. If the number collapsed across all games sits at 8%, my guess is that it would be significantly higher for MMORPGs and quite a bit lower for most other genres.
On a positive note, according to this study 92% of gamers have relatively healthy gaming patterns!
The TechAddictionBlog (TAB) is a companion to the primary TechAddiction website.
Whereas the main site is quite serious, “clinical”, and recovery-focused (the “idealist” in the TechAddiction family), TAB is a bit less serious, a little more scattered with regard to topics, and hopefully, a bit more fun (the “realist” perhaps?).
Just like TechAddiction, TAB does not rant that the internet, videogames, or technology in general are things that need be eliminated from society (kind of hypocritical to have this stance when you are reading this online right now, don’t you think?).
Quite the opposite in fact. TAB recognizes and appreciates the fact that the internet and videogames are a part of life for millions of people and that this is not going to change any time soon (nor should it).
What TAB does admit (and TechAddiction certainly agrees) is that for some people their tech use gets out of control and that this is something that should change.
So, TAB is about acknowledging the seriousness of true tech addictions, while at the same time appreciating the fact that most people can and do use the technology responsibly.
This means that in addition to postings about serious topics like internet and videogame addiction, fair credit to the online and gaming world will also be given when it is due.
The goal is to present a balanced, fair, and occasionally amusing look at life online.
We are all plugged in.