Online gaming and addiction: a psychosocial investigation using mixed methods

Hussain, Z. ORCID: 0000-0002-7678-6615, 2010. Online gaming and addiction: a psychosocial investigation using mixed methods. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.


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Online virtual worlds known as Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) have gained increased popularity over the last decade. MMORPGs provide a sophisticated environment that enables complete immersion within the virtual world to the extent that it may become an alternative reality to its users. Some researchers have suggested that online gaming addiction is growing in prevalence among adolescents and adult gamers. It has been proposed that research is needed to establish the incidence and prevalence of MMORPG addiction. The aim of this body of research was to examine the impact of MMORPGs (psychologically and socially) on peoples' lives for the purpose of providing an empirical research base on which future research in the area can build. Using a mixed methods approach for data collection and analysis, an online scoping study, interview study and two questionnaire studies were conducted. The thesis provides a detailed conceptualisation of the psychological processes involved in MMORPG playing. The thesis was directed by previous research into video games, online gaming and addiction which provided a substantive picture of the psychosocial effects of online gaming. The findings showed that there were both positive and negative effects associated with online gaming; gamers used MMORPGs to alleviate negative feelings and to meet new people, learn about new cultures, and build friendships. Gamers also provided detailed descriptions of personal problems that had arisen due to playing MMORPGs. A small percentage of gamers (3.6%) were classified as addicted to MMORPGs, these gamers may find it difficult to control their game playing behaviour. However, there are still gaps in our knowledge of MMORPGs. Overall, the research has shown that the psychology of MMORPGs is an important topic that requires further in-depth investigation. The present research has revealed valuable information about the impact of MMORPGs on the lives of gamers that can be built upon by other researchers. Implications of the findings regarding excessive playing and addiction to MMORPGs, and social responsibility were discussed, and recommendations for future research studies were proposed.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Hussain, Z.
Date: November 2010
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 10:29

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