Gaming Addiction

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This is a basic slideshow from the 2008 Games for Health Conference. For companion notes, check

Transcript of Gaming Addiction

  • 1. Beyond Game Addiction Neils Clark Games for Health 2008 Baltimore, MD

2. 1. Thirteen years and counting

  • Hoax Sub-Criteria:Obsessive thinking about what is happening on the Internet
  • IAD Question:Are you preoccupied with gaming (thinking about it when offline, anticipating your next online session)?
  • Hoax Criteria:There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control Internet use
  • IAD Question:Have you made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop online gaming?

3. 1. Thirteen years and counting 4. 2. Games arent without problems, but were in an interim 5. 3. Immersion is the first key to understanding excessive use 6. 4. You get to the second key by looking at how the game works

  • Tolkien
  • Primary and Secondary Worlds
  • Looking at Culture and Structure in Both Kinds of Worlds

7. 4. You get to the second key by looking at how the game works

  • Culture
    • Primary (Wang Tta in Korea)
    • Secondary (Binge cultures in raid guilds)
  • Structure
    • Primary (Work, school, the kids, etc.)
    • Secondary (Raiding, farming, exploring, traveling)

8. 9. 10. 5. The third and final key: how we interact

  • Is gaming pathological, or regular interaction?

11. 12. 13. 6. What IAD defines as addiction isnt necessarily pathological excess 14. 6. What IAD defines as addiction isnt necessarily pathological excess

  • Remember that one IAD question, Are you preoccupied with whats happening in a game? In a robust secondary world like World of Warcraft, is it really pathologic to be thinking, anticipating or even preoccupied with game events?
  • In the other question presented earlier - there are non-pathological reasons that somebody might be unsuccessful in plans to cut back gaming. Some might be in-game friendships with living people, real-world cultural pressure and relationships with potentially healthy online activities.

15. 16. Functional Squeeze 17. 18. Functional Shrink/Replacement 19. 7. Physical and physiological addiction takes time 20. 8. Game devs could provide functional tools right now 21. 9. The long term game dev solution is a critical design discussion 22. 10. Researchers need to connect 23. Questions/Closing

  • ` Selected Reading:
  • Secondary worlds : J.R.R. Tolkien's ' On Faerie Stories ,' located in the Tolkien Reader. Published by Del Ray.
  • The texture of game worlds : Dr. Thomas Malaby's ' Beyond Play ,' published in Games and Culture but freely downloadable from
  • Physical immersion : Anne Marie Barry's chapter from the Handbook of Visual Communication. Published by Routledge.
  • Game-influenced pathologies : Dr. Jerald Block'sPathological Computer Game Use , available at Note:Pathologic Computer Gamingis a similarly titled but different piece of research on that website.
  • Real-world culture : Florence Chees The Games We Play Online and Offline: Making Wang-tta in Korea . Published in Popular Communication 4 (3), 225-239, 2006.