A UK researcher believes current MMO game addiction numbers are a bit higher than they truly are

A number of researchers are conducting studies as to whether or not the addiction to Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) can be harmful to gamers.  A recent report from Dr. John Charlton, psychology research fellow at the University of Bolton, found that "incidences of addiction could be 10% lower than some currently accepted classification schemes suggest."      

Comparing the symptoms of video game addiction and gambling addiction has been popular in the past, even though Charlton believes some of the symptoms in gaming addiction are not the same as in gambling addiction.  "This is my second research project in this field to confirm this outcome; that several symptoms researchers had thought were important in diagnosing computing-related addictions were actually only indicicative of high, but non-addictive, involvement," Charlton said.

Charlton wants to make it clear that he still realizes the devastating impact that gaming addiction can cause.  The addiction can be "potentially damaging for players' work, home and social life."  In a survey of 400 Asheron's Call gamers, 50 percent admitted to not getting a proper amount of sleep, 40 percent admitted their social life suffered, 40 percent said the amount of game play was causing issues at home, 35 percent said they missed meals to continue game play, and 30 percent admitted that gameplay interfered with work.

Research involving the MMOG genre exploded the past year or so, with researchers like Nick Yee leading the way.  Research firms expected there will be more than 10 million MMOG users worldwide by 2011.

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