By Staff Writer
Videogame and internet addiction in families with college students may be more common than previously thought. According to a new study, many students show signs of addiction.
A researcher from University of the Rockies examined the use of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games among those at college. She found that individuals who played the most showed symptoms similar to stimulant or opiate addiction.
These players tended to lose sleep, miss meals and become socially withdrawn as a result of excessive online game playing.
The researcher said that a number of factors play into online gaming abuse among college students. They often have long periods of unstructured time, unlimited internet access and virtually no supervision. These factors can turn an individual who may have been at an elevated risk of videogame and internet dependency into a full-blown addict.
While some positive benefits were found – players often cite social opportunities that allow them to break out of shyness and isolation as main reasons for playing – the researcher said that the overall effect of excessive videogame use is negative.