No formal studies have been published addressing the prevalence of a possible video game addiction. A Harris Interactive poll released in April of 2007 found that 8.5% of "youth gamers" in the United States could be "classified as pathological or clinically 'addicted' to playing video games." A British survey reported in November of 2006 indicated 12% of polled gamers exhibit addictive behaviors. Video game overuse is believed to be more of a problem in Asia. A governmental survey in South Korea estimated that 2.4% of South Koreans aged 9 to 39 are addicts, with 10.2 percent more "borderline cases."A 2005 survey by the Entertainment Software Association found that "video game overuse" was more common in players of MMORPGs. In an interview in 2005, Dr. Maressa Orzack of McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts estimated that 40% of the 8.5 million players of MMORPG World of Warcraft are addicted, a figure she derived from the survey managed by Nick Yee at the The Daedalus Project. . However, Nick Yee has pointed out that caution should be exercised when interpreting this survey data.A 2008 Study by Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that video game addiction in men may be more prevalent than women when the game concept revolves around territorial control. Possible causesTheorists focus on the built-in reward systems of the games to explain their addictive nature.
There have been three well-documented deaths caused directly by exhaustion from playing games for long periods. In South Korea, Lee Seung Seop died after playing Starcraft for over 50 hours.   In Jinzhou, China, Xu Yan died after playing online games for over 15 days during the Lunar New Year holiday  and an unnamed 30 year-old died in Guangzhou, China after playing for 3 days straight. 
Research on Internet addiction is ongoing. A bimonthly, peer-reviewed journal, CyberPsychology & Behavior,... [continues]
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