Game Addiction

The Experience and the Effects

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About the Book

An eleven-year-old boy strangled an elderly woman for the equivalent of five dollars in 2007, then buried her body under a thin layer of sand. He told the police that he needed the money to play online videogames. Just a month later, an eight-year-old Norwegian boy saved his younger sister’s life by threatening an attacking moose and then feigning death when the moose attacked him—skills he said he learned while playing World of Warcraft.
As these two instances show, videogames affect the minds, bodies, and lives of millions of gamers, negatively and positively. This book approaches videogame addiction from a cross-disciplinary perspective, bridging the divide between liberal arts academics and clinical researchers. The topic of addiction is examined neutrally, using accepted research in neuroscience, media studies, and developmental psychology.

About the Author(s)

Neils Clark lives in Gig Harbor and works in Redmond, Washington. He has lectured at DigiPen, and his work has appeared in BusinessWeek and PC Gamer Magazine. He was an invited speaker at the 2008 Games for Health conference in Baltimore.
P. Shavaun Scott is a practicing psychotherapist and has been active in the treatment of game addiction for more than a decade. She has been a guest on NPR and BBC Canada, interviewed by PC Gamer Magazine and MSNBC Online, and has written for numerous clinical publications.

Bibliographic Details

Neils Clark and P. Shavaun Scott
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 211
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4364-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5349-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface (by Neils Clark)      1

1. The Digital Living Room      7

2. Media Experience and Real Illusion      27

3. Why They Play      55

4. Anatomy of a Game Addiction      91

5. Games Are Not Babysitters      115

6. The Road Ahead      143

Afterword (by P. Shavaun Scott)      163

Appendix A. Helpful Activities During the Process of Change      167

Appendix B. Learning the Lingo      169

Appendix C. Commonly Used Internet and Gamer Slang      177

Appendix D. Seeking Help in an Unfamiliar World      183

Chapter Notes      187

Bibliography      195

Index      201

Book Reviews & Awards

Choice Outstanding Academic Title
“a uniquely interactive/connective form of art and mediation…most stimulating…comprehensive, intricate, yet accessible survey will appeal to and engage all readers…highly recommended”—Choice; “should definitely be read by a wide range of folks who are interested in knowing a bit more about where gaming now sits amid general electronic culture…probably the most important work yet written on the subject of habitual gaming…a wealth of information…straight-forward, well-constructed…points out that the problems of excessive gaming…probably the best set of resources on this topic that is available to us at the moment…pick up this book, arm yourselves with Clark and Scott’s research…a practical and sensible starting point to understanding a subject that is going to loom ever larger in all our lives.”—RockPaperShotgun; “Clark and Scott have blasted out a reasoned, hard-hitting account of video gaming that is both authoritative and non-judgmental. Their first-hand perspective yields useful information along with a powerful message about the potential and the peril inherent in our—and our children’s—growing dependence on the satisfactions of virtual worlds. Anyone who can still think deeply will do so after reading this book!”—Jane M. Healy, Ph.D. Educational psychologist and author of Failure to Connect: How Computers Affect Our Children’s Minds and What We Can Do About It.