Online game companies need to be more socially responsible for over-addictive use of their products to avoid government intervention, according to a new study by Cardiff, Derby and Nottingham Trent universities.
The study, in the journal Addiction Research and Theory, was led by Dr Shumaila Yousafzai of Cardiff Business School with psychologists Dr Zaheer Hussain and Professor Mark Griffiths from the University of Derby and Nottingham Trent University respectively.
While conventional videogames have an ending, or may become boring and repetitive, Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) are an inexhaustible system of goals and success, in which the character becomes stronger and richer by moving to new levels while accumulating treasures, power and weaponry.
In recent years, the problematic use of online videogames has received increased attention not only from the media, but also from psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health organisations and gamers themselves.
A number of studies from different cultures are providing evidence that around seven to 11% of gamers seem to be having real problems to the point that they are considered pathological gamers. Some are reported to have been playing for 40, 60, and even near 90 hours in a gaming session.
Dr Yousafzai said: "The warning messages on the loading screens of popular online videogames raise the question of why the online videogame industry warns its players not to overuse their product. Does the videogame industry really believe that their products have addictive features that can lead to negative consequences and the functional impairment of gamers' lives? These warning messages also suggest that the online videogame industry might know how high the percentage of over-users is, how much time gamers' spend playing, and what specific features makes a particular game more engrossing and addictive than others. While they do not directly a
|Contact: Victoria Dando|