Video game addiction could have serious effects on the mental health and relationships of gamers, according to a Victoria University researcher.
Video gaming researcher Daniel Loton is conducting a global study on the issue of video games and health to answer the contentious question of where to draw the line between a healthy hobby and something more damaging.
"Video game addiction may be a serious problem, but researchers are not yet sure how much of a problem, or even exactly how to define it," Mr Loton said.
His study will measure the impact of video game play on life satisfaction, as well as mental and physical health in adult gamers over a nine-month period.
"The goal is to establish the effects over time, as well as which comes first – video game play or associated problems," Mr Loton said.
He said participants would complete an initial 20-minute survey then follow-up 10-minute surveys each month.
"It will be like a diary that records your video game playing and general health," he said
Only adults are being asked to participate at this stage, with those completing all nine surveys going into the draw to win $500 dollars.
Mr Loton's previous research looked at whether people with social difficulties were more vulnerable to excessive play, and whether excessive play then exacerbated social difficulties.
Available for interview:
Daniel Loton, researcher
School of Education, Victoria University
0421 358 169; firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Quin, communications officer (research)
Marketing & Communications, Victoria University
(03) 9919 9491; 0431 815 409; email@example.com