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Video games addicts: just say ‘yes’ November 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Gadgets.

Too many video games can lead to addiction… but don’t worry, it is not necessarily a bad thing, scientists have discovered.

Getting hooked on playing online games can improve hand-to-eye coordination, reaction time and brain speed as well as helping hospital patients forget about their pain.

‘Many gamers play excessively and display few negative consequences,’ said Professor Mark Griffiths, who oversaw the research at Nottingham Trent University.

‘Video games are also used to teach and improve skills, such as driving and flying. It is clear that, in the right context, games can be used innovatively and imaginatively to help people learn.’ He added: ‘A healthy obsession adds to life, an addiction takes away.’

In the survey of 7,069 gamers, most were men aged around 21, one in nine who played for long periods showed signs of addiction.

The remaining gamers, who played less frequently and for shorter periods, displayed fewer signs of withdrawal symptoms and cravings, said Prof Griffiths last night in a lecture that was part of the British Science Museum’s Game On exhibition.

But Prof Griffiths did warn the number of 24-hour, never-ending online games becoming available to players could prove irresistible.

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