An Australian PhD student researching videogame ‘addiction’ has offered a $500AU prize to one lucky participant, as he investigates a possible link between ‘excessive’ gaming and symptoms of depression and anxiety.
An Australian PhD student has offered a prize of $500 to one lucky participant in a study examining the possible effects of ‘excessive’ gaming.
Dan Loton, a postgraduate student at Victoria University, has already completed some preliminary research which he claims shows that those who spend more time playing computer games are more likely to show symptoms of depression and anxiety.
‘Excessive gamers’ – playing for more than 33 hours per week – were found to score higher in surveys assessing emotional wellbeing than ‘balanced gamers’ – those who played for around 21 hours per week. That’s “enough to determine clinical significance,” Loton said.
Loton is now set to move onto the bulk of his study, although the exact methodology isn’t clear. Also not clear is the precise nature of the research, though it’s interesting to note that Loton is only interested in participants who have a pre-existing concern about their game-playing habits.
Asking those who are taking part in the study to ‘self-diagnose’ their possible videogame addiction could be problematic, I fear – but without knowledge of the specifics, it’s hard to say.
Players who are concerned with their gaming habits will be asked to complete an initial survey. plus monthly follow-up surveys as part of a project lasting nine months. Those who fully participate will be entered into a draw to win a $500 prize. Whatever happened to helping science for the love of it, huh?
Loton’s study riffs on previous conflicting research. He claims that some early studies have drawn the conclusion that excessive gaming can be linked with psychological, social and physical problems, while other studies have found little evidence of such a link.
His call for participants comes on the study’s blog: videogamestudies.tumblr.com
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