From: Secret Underground Lair
I have never played WOW. The only game I ever played and paid online was Air Warrior by the now long defunct GENIE / Aladdin days.
Interesting article. So the gist of it is they are addicts?
Not exactly. They don't show lower academic performance or more depression or anxiety nor any difference in drinking or smoking.
Using two instruments for assessing problem drinking (the T-ACE and AUDIT) adapted by replacing references to drinking/alcohol with references to gaming/games, they found that the gamers had higher GAME-TACE and GAME-AUDIT scores, which suggests more psychological problems associated with excessive gaming.
Bunch of the folks who study addiction have noted that addicts to various things (alcohol, cigarettes, gambling) show "cognitive bias" toward symbols and signs representing the focus of their addiction. For example, recovering alcoholics show faster, and more accurate information processing of alcohol-related words, even though they also show general signs of slower and less accurate cognitive processing of words in general. Interventions that target the disruption/distraction of these implicit cognitive processes seem to work better than ones that do not.
This small study shows that WoW players show a similar pattern of faster and more accurate information processing of game-related words, suggesting that the same cognitive biases exist for excessive gaming. Doesn't mean they are gaming addicts, but it does suggest the broader salience of similar cognitive processes in a frequent habit that could have negative consequences and which does not involve any drug, monetary reward (e.g., gambling) or other 'visceral' reward (sex).
However, in contrast to the work with those suffering from recognized addictions, the WoW players actually seem to be cognitively "enhanced" in that they show faster, and more accurate information processing for general English words as well, albeit even greater for the WoW jargon.
< Message edited by Anthropoid -- 12/12/2010 9:04:10 PM >