Internet addiction. Did you even know that Internet addiction was formally recognized? There is even a “Center for Internet Addiction”, founded by Dr. Kimberly Young! Kimberly Young is “an internationally known expert on Internet addiction” according to her bio at the Center for Internet Addiction website.
Well now PhD candidate Jeffrey Parsons has done his doctoral thesis on whether online gamers tend to suffer from Internet addiction. In fact, for his definition of “Internet addiction” he refers specifically to the work of Kimberly Young. For his research project, entitled “An Examination of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games as Facilitators of Internet Addiction”, the Unversity of Iowa student looked at the habits of approximately 500 Internet gamers, male and female, adolescent and adult.
The findings of the Internet gamers and Internet addiction study are very interesting.
Says the study, in summarizing their findings:
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“The study found that about 15% of gamers meet the criteria for Internet addiction as provided by Kimberly Young, a leader researcher in Internet addiction. Using more strict criteria, a minimum of at least 10% of gamers met criteria for Internet addiction. Compared to national studies of Internet addiction, this numbers are somewhat elevated. However, given the sheer number of hours MMORPG gamers spend online (in comparison to the general population), even a 15% addiction rate is somewhat low. To illustrate the point, the college student spends 10 hours on the Internet per week. The average MMORPG gamer (addicted or not) spends 20-25 hours per week just playing MMORPGs, and an additional 10-15 hours per week in other Internet use. In other words, MMORPG players are spending 4x as much time online as non-gamers.”
My gosh. Twenty-five hours a week! Do you think that you could get those teenagers to work at a job for twenty-five hours per week?
If you find this interesting, the full results of the study are available at [Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead].
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