By John Walker on October 5th, 2009 at 9:40 am.
Having spent many months a couple of years back researching gaming addiction, speaking to all the experts in the field (both self-appointed and those in academia), and finally producing this article, if there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to make my eyes roll and my head shake it’s those who lazily throw around the term. So often we hear news outlets credulously repeating the unscientific and unevidenced claims of gaming addiction, without scrutiny or analysis. It’s infuriating, and I especially find this to be the case because if there is the potential for harmful use of gaming, whether that’s addiction or excessive use, then this constant trivialising of the subject is going to only make it less likely that it will be identified or treated. However, even more researched and nuanced articles can make the same mistakes. Someone who wants to keep people on their toes is one of the leading researchers into the topic, Neils Clark, who has just written an epic blog post on the subject.
Clark recently published the book Game Addiction and has consistently been one of the calm and research-focused voices on the subject for years. In his new essay he goes through ten of the most frequently repeated fallacies in these perennial stories and explains why they are at fault, using this particular piece as a template. It makes for some fascinating reading on the subject, going deeper than your average analysis, while also demonstrating Clark’s personal style. You should absolutely check it out.