Virtually addicted? Incidence of addiction could be 10% lower, research suggests

Internet computer gaming is potentially damaging for players' work, home and social life, a psychologist at the University of Bolton has shown in a study investigating levels of gaming addiction.

But a study refining criteria for the diagnosis of computer game addiction by Dr John Charlton, Research Fellow in Psychology in the School of Health, Psychology and Sport, shows that incidences of addiction could be 10% lower than some currently accepted classification schemes suggest.

Current research into internet-related addictions often classifies people as addicted by using symptoms that are also used in the diagnosis of gambling addiction. But Dr Charlton believes that some of these symptoms are not appropriate for dependencies such as multiplayer online game playing.

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