An Australian PhD student is offering a prize of AU$500 as an incentive for gamers to participate in a study on the effects of excessive gaming.
The research, conducted by Victoria University postgraduate student Dan Loton, will look at whether gamers who spend more than 33 hours per week playing games are more likely to show symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Those who play for longer than that were ranked as ‘excessive gamers’, as opposed to ‘balanced gamers’ who played for around 21 hours per week.
Excessive gamers have been found to score higher in surveys assessing emotional wellbeing than those who were balanced, which Loton says is ‘enough to determine clinical significance’.
Loton is now set to move on to the body of his research, asking players concerned with their gaming habits to complete an initial survey and then periodic surveys for the next nine months.
Previous research by Loton determined that only 1% of game addicts suffer from shyness, and that there is no direct connection between game addiction and a lack of social skills or self-esteem.
Those who participate fully in the research will be entered into the draw for the $500 prize. More information can be found at the study's blog.
Image: promo shot from I Am Alive, one of many forthcoming games which will offer hours and hours of engrossing gameplay.