Computer Game Addiction

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Computer Game Addiction

Joe Ahn
Clemson University
jahn@clemson.edu
George Randall
Clemson University
grandal@clemson.edu

ABSTRACT
With the constant improvements in gaming technology, ranging from graphics to new types of controllers to faster processors, there is a growing problem of computer game addiction. In order to fully understand this problem, one must define addiction. According to the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, addiction is a psychological or a physical dependence on something.

LITERATURE REVIEW
In this paper, we will discuss the problem of computer game addiction, one of the most addictive games, and ways to prevent or stop addiction.

Massively Multiplayer Online Role-
Playing Games
Game addiction really started turning into a problem with the advent of Massively Multiplayer Online Role- Playing Games, or MMORPGs. While regular games would keep you entertained until you beat it, MMORPGs have no ending, so there really is no reason to stop playing. MMORPGs immerse the player in the world and since there is no way to beat the game, the goal is character progression. Leveling up your character and obtaining better and better armor and weapons is usually the norm in most MMORPGs.

Addiction Questionnaire
Dr. Kimberly Young, known as “the world’s foremost Cyber-Psychologist,” created a set of eight questions to ask one’s self to test for online gaming addiction.

1) Do you need to play online games with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve the desired excitement?

2) Are you preoccupied with gaming (thinking about it when offline, anticipating your next online session)?

3) Have you lied to friends and family members to conceal extent of your online gaming?

4) Do you feel restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop online gaming?

5) Have you made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop online gaming?

6) Do you use gaming as a way of escaping from problems or relieve feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, or depression?

7) Have you jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, or even risked your marriage because of your online gaming habit?

8) Have you jeopardized a job, educational, or career opportunity because of your online gaming habit?

Answering yes to any of those questions could mean that you are addicted. One would think that video games are harmless, but once they start interfering with real life and even take precedence over it, then there is a real problem.

Video game addiction has not received official recognition as a diagnosis in theDSM IV standard [8], but is still aconcern for many people.

Problems with addiction
One study done on the problems of addiction used a modified version of the formal definition of gambling addiction. 607 8th and 9th grade students where surveyed, and of these 15% where classified as addicted. Of the addicted students, approximately 80% where male. Less than 30% of non-addicted student reported having been in a fight in the past year, while almost 50% ofaddicted students reported the same. Addiction also correlated with reported arguments with friends, and with teachers. Just as many students classified as addicted reported having a B average as those classified as nonaddicted. However, there where 4 times as many F students classified as addictedas there where non-addicted, and far more non-addicted A students than addicted ones. Not surprisingly, students classified as addicted averaged almost 4 times as much playtime as nonaddicted ones [7]. These figures are somewhat worrying.

World of Warcraft (WoW)
The current king of MMORPGs is World of Warcraft. According to a press release on Blizzard’s World of Warcraft webpage, World of Warcraft’s subscriber base numbers more than 8.5 million, as of March 7, 2007, and it continues to grow every day. The expansion pack that was recently released sold nearly 2.4 million copies worldwide just on the first 24 hours...
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