Did you know that 92% of children between the ages of 2-17 play video games, which is approximately 59 million players? Time commitment varies, but we know that some players play several hours pretty much every day.
Among frequent players, it is still unclear how many are actually addicted to video games. There is a growing concern about whether frequent video game play could really be an addiction, similar to addictions to drugs or gambling. In some cases, a heavy commitment to playing video games has had serious negative consequences. For example, in 2002 a 27-year-old man in Taiwan collapsed and died in an Internet café after playing video games for 32 hours without a break. In 2009, a teenager in Ohio who was said to be “dangerously addicted” to video games was convicted of murder after shooting his mother and father because the mother took away his copy of the violent video game, Halo 3. These are extreme and fortunately rare examples, but they tell us that it is important to study and understand the phenomenon of intense commitment to gaming.
We currently have no information about how well-informed parents are about the intensity of their child’s video game play. If many parents are not well-informed, then that could be a significant public health issue. Below this paragraph there are links (one for parents and one for children) to a study looking at issues about children’s involvement in video games. Please follow the link for the appropriate category and complete the questionnaire. Then we would like you to choose one of your children who is between the ages of 8 and 17, and who plays video games most often. After parents complete their questionnaire, they will be given an ID number. It is important that you write this number down and then enter it into your child’s questionnaire when they complete it. This will allow us to match responses between the questionnaires so that we can determine how well-informed parents are about their children’s video game habits.. We believe that it will take most parents about 30 minutes to complete the questionnaire. Children may take a little longer, depending on their age. Your help with this research is very important to understanding video game addiction in children. To thank you for your help, participants will be entered into a drawing to receive one of three $25 gift certificates to Target.
Below are the links to the questionnaire as well as additional links to web sites for information about the diagnosis and treatment of video game addiction if you are concerned about your child. The results of our study will be published here at education.com when it has been completed.
Video Game Addiction Website