Feeds

Gamers not social misfits, after all

Old stereotype no longer true

Business security measures using SSL

It's official - gamers are not socially inept, even those who arguably spend far too much time with in front of the screen, joypad in hand.

That's the key finding of a research programme into so-called problem gaming conducted by Victoria University psychology Honours graduate Dan Loton.

Loton wanted to investigate gaming addiction, to see whether it could prove as dangerous to health and wellbeing as addictions to gambling, booze or drugs. To that end, he devised an online questionnaire designed to probe gamers' personalities.

Some 621 gamers - mostly male, mostly Australian - completed the survey, of which only 93 people - 15 per cent - could be described as 'problem gamers' - people who spend more than 50 hours a week playing online games.

That appears to contradict the volume of anecdotal evidence from online forums that a fair few gamers spend far too much time online, unable to disconnect from the computer and the virtual worlds it hosts.

"The characteristics that might define a 'problem gamer' would be things like an intrusive preoccupation with gaming, where the amount of time they spend playing is affecting their work, sleep and close relationships," said Loton. "They want to stop playing games but can't.

"We found that those who played Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs), such as World of Warcraft, were more likely to exhibit problematic game play," he added.

The survey's questions were designed to tease out a number of other details too, including social skills. Loton found, contrary to popular belief, that they're not socially inept. Only six people - one per cent of the total - showed signs of social difficulties, and that was primarily shyness.

Even those gamers classed as 'problematic' didn't show any particular tendency toward social inability. They're not spending many hours on line as a way of avoiding other people.

"Our findings strongly suggest that gaming doesn't cause social problems, and social problems are not driving people to gaming," said Loton.

"I think it's an evolution of social and cultural stereotypes that suggest only nerds and geeks play computer games," he added. "The reality is that nowadays everyone is playing video games."

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Apple's ONE LESS THING: the iPod Classic disappears
RIP 2001 – 2014. MP3 player beloved of millions. Killed by cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.