The study completed by Dr. Douglas Gentile at Iowa State University showed that 88% of American kids play video games and 8.5% of the kids who play video games show signs of addiction to gaming, similar to addictive gambling behavior.
When Space Invaders was launched, it was all about getting that high score and trying to develop a strategy on how to avoid the falling missiles. Even though it was a simple game, the need to achieve and exploration of a new digital world are what kept individuals playing for hours and hours at a time.
It is estimated that one in five college students are addicted to video games or the Internet. This behavioral addiction is rapidly infiltrating our society. Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate said the following in her speech at the Telecom Policy and Regulation Institute.
B.F. Skinner studied operant conditioning while a graduate student at Harvard University in the 1930s. Skinner is recognized for his Skinner box experiments. The Skinner box is a puzzle, or problem box, where the subject animal learns by trial and error that pressing a lever yields a reward.
In the game World of Warcraft, gamers need virtual gold to play the game. Virtual gold allows the player to upgrade their gear (armor and weapons), advance their skills, and acquire skills in the video game.
Seventeen-year-old Daniel Petric was convicted of shooting his parents in the head after they took away his Xbox and Halo 3 video game. Daniel killed his mother and wounded his father when they banned him from playing the video game.
What happens to our minds when we devote significant hours to a task or an activity? What happens to our brains when we focus hours and hours to a video game?
A study by Dr. Nick Yee, an expert in self-representation and social interaction in virtual environments, showed that nearly 40% of men and 53% of women who play online games said their virtual friends were equal to or better than their real-life friends, according to a survey of 30,000 gamers.
Utilizing results from the protein-manipulating "game" Foldit, scientists at the University of Washington were able to attain a successful model of the AIDS-causing monkey virus retroviral protease. For over a decade, researchers have not been able to determine the 3D protein structure of this AIDS protein. Now, in what they're calling a possible first, gamers were able to do what scientific brains and algorithms could not, creating a sufficient protein model.
The On-Line Gamers Anonymous website points out that some withdrawal symptoms that gamers can experience are very real and can be very extreme. I have experienced most of these symptoms in the height of my addiction to video games.
Tens of thousands of women are complaining on World of Warcraft widows websites about husbands who are mesmerized in front of their computers, many playing 25-35 hours and more weekly. A friend of mine is a marriage counselor who states excessive video game playing is an increasing problem observed in troubled marriages. Wives wished that they were a keyboard and mouse because computers receive the most attention from their husbands.
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