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Researchers want game developers to help combat addiction

Game addiction is a dangerous thing according a new study from Cardiff, Derby and Nottingham Trent universities, with some players of popular MMOs spending upwards of 90 hours per session playing the games, and the researchers want developers to do something about it.

According to e study, the problem with MMOs, is that there is no end, so the gamers have no restraint on their play time. The researchers even go so far as to say that if developers don’t put some sort of restrictions in place, that we should go the route of Eastern nations and the government should step in.

Yea, because heavily regulated Asian countries are the ones we want to emulate. Source: TheTimes

According to the study, some 11 per cent of gamers had a problem with stopping when playing MMOs.

While the report, published by the Addiction Research and Theory Journal was critical of developers in most cases, it did add the caveat that there are warning messages in most games.
“These warning messages also suggest that the online video game industry might know how high the percentage of over-users is, how much time gamers spend playing and what specific features make a particular game more engrossing and addictive than others,” said one researcher.

“While they do not directly admit this, by showing the warning messages, they do take some responsibility into their own hands.”

Dr Zaheer Hussain, who’s described by the BBC as a “cyber psychologist,” however, believes developers should go further. He suggests that developers shorten the length of quests to make it easier for them to get certain items.

However, Mr Hussain should perhaps look at cocaine as an example of how this type of change wouldn’t help – it could potentially make it worse. Crack cocaine is a much quicker and shorter lasting high than its powdered cousin and is often considered more addictive than traditional cocaine.

KitGuru Says: If a child has a problem with addiction, it’s up to the parents to police their game playing time. Addition in adults, should be looked into by friends and family or the addicted person themselves. It’s not up to the makers of the games to hold their hand and make sure they use the game responsibly. If people play too much and fall ill, that’s their responsibility to deal with, not the person that makes the game. It would be like banning alcohol because a small minority misuse it. Ridiculous. Just like a lot of substance laws. 

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