ESL joins forces with independent researchers to advance understanding of gaming behaviours through a self-assessment tool and promote smart gaming
At ESL we believe in a world where everybody can be somebody and being somebody means that you are dedicated to the game but also to your family and life outside of gaming. We believe in being smart and responsible when gaming and we are committed to help contribute to help individuals to achieve the right balance between gaming and the broader life.
The World Health Organisation has identified just recently Gaming Disorder as type of mental illness associated with extreme cases of uncontrolled gaming behaviour, which due to its infancy can benefit from further studies and deeper understanding. We love gaming and believe gaming is in itself very beneficial for individuals but like in so many things in life repeated extreme behaviours concern us. And it is in this context that we are raising awareness and supporting studies on the topic of Gaming Disorder by encouraging all gamers to do the self-assessment test and learn more about their gaming behaviour.
We all know the feeling of going for just one more round, the excitement behind every game and looking forward to the next one, but like everything in life there’s a thin line between a lot and too much. It is with these shared values in mind that we stand as gamers and appeal to our community to support this initiative, on one side benefitting from personal feedback from a self-awareness test but also help researchers build robust and comprehensive studies on this subject.
By participating in this study, you will be able to get an instant feedback about your own gaming behaviour set into the context of everyone that participated in the study so far. This may be useful if you are concerned about your gaming activity, because due to the self-assessment test you can now compare your own reported gaming activity with those of the community. The results do not equal in any way a medical diagnosis – if you wish to seek and obtain further information on the topic of Gaming Disorder we can provide you with contact information of professional counsellors who specialized in the subject of Gaming Disorder.
We believe that gaming represents a joyful experience which lets you improve your skills, a fun leisure activity that is the best form of entertainment. Nevertheless, in society at large there is a growing concern about problems due to the excessive gaming. With the present work the researchers mainly want to get insights into which factors might represent vulnerability / resilience factors in Gaming populations.
Of note, the present research endeavour has been approved by the ethics committee of Nottingham Trent University (Pontes 2018/95) and registered officially as a study at the Open Science Framework (OSF) to ensure the highest transparency standards.
This is how the feedback after having done the self-assessment test will be provided to you. Of course, all graphs are accompanied by detailed text information.
You will see your own scores in respect to Gaming Disorder, Gaming Motivation and Personality compared to all other participants (note that at the beginning of the study, the researchers included for Gaming Disorder and Personality some already available data; scores on motivation will follow soon). Of importance: If you save the link to your personal feedback website with a bookmark, you will be able to come back later and compare your scores again to the then larger available data set. We are grateful if you consider participating and hope that you will discover the science behind video game effects!
On behalf of the research authors: The purpose of this survey is to examine your gaming behaviour alongside your psychological well being. The participation is voluntary and greatly appreciated. Please bear in mind that this survey is private, anonymous and confidential, therefore no information revealing your identity such as your e-mail-address or your name will be requested. Please note that once the study has been conducted and published as a scientific journal article, the collected dataset will be made available at an open science platform (www.OSF.io) to ensure the highest transparency of the research.
On behalf of research authors: There has been a steady rise in the popularity of (Internet-)video games as a pass time and leisure activity over the last few years. Without doubt playing games has become an integral part of many people’s lives and clearly also of pop-culture. Video games, particularly Internet gaming activities play a major role in the leisure and social pursuits of children, adolescents and adults.
According to a nationwide study conducted in the US, about 65% of all American households are home to someone who plays video games on a regular basis, with 67% of all American households owning a device used to play video games (Entertainment Software Association, 2017). Regarding the key demographics of gamers, the average gamer is 35 years old and about 41% of all gamers in the US are women (Entertainment Software Association, 2017). Interestingly, the female age group that plays the most is aged 50 years or more (13%), in comparison to under 18 years (11%), 18-35 years (10%), and 36-49 years (8%) gamers. In males, gaming is mostly prevalent among under 18 years (18%) in comparison to gamers with ages between 18-35 years (17%), 36-49 years (11%), and older than 50 years (13%).
These data illustrate that video games are widespread across society and played by both genders relatively equally at all age groups even though male and females play different types of video games. The motivation to play a video game is manifold and ranges from casual gaming with the aim to socialize via video games, explore all the features of a game or achieve the highest score to professional gaming, whereas in Europe gamers see their gaming activity as part of a professional career.
Video Game Effects
We truly believe Gaming is very positive overall, the best, most active way of entertainment and a great way for individuals to improve many skills. This belief is based on the fact that over the past two decades, researchers have been investigating a wide range of effects associated to video game play, finding positive effects but also negative ones when gaming is taken to an extreme behaviour.
Previous to the classification of Gaming Disorder, studies had indicated that lengthy and sometimes addictive gaming behaviour patterns may result in health issues such as aggressive behaviour and other controversial mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress.
On the other hand, we also know from studies that video games can result in a wide range of psychological, social, and cognitive advantages. For example, early research demonstrated that at the cognitive level, playing video games can result in significantly better hand-eye motor coordination on a rotary pursuit task (Griffith, Voloschin, Gibb, & Bailey, 1983). More recently, further research found that video game players exhibit better performance in perceptual and attentional tasks than non-gamers (Howard, Wilding, & Guest, 2016) and that video games may also help diminish cognitive decline in older adults, because older adults playing strategy games were shown to have obtained significant improvements in their working memory, abstract reasoning, distractor inhibition, and mental rotation and a significant reduction in task-switching costs after training compared with those receiving no intervention (Basak, Boot, Voss, & Kramer, 2008). Indeed, playing video games is for the most part a very healthy and highly enjoyable activity.
For all that is known further studies are needed and we support such effort.
About the Researchers
All researchers are working independently and haven't been influenced by ESL Gaming GmbH and their platform ESL.
Dr. Christian Montag
Professor for Molecular Psychology
Dr. Christian Montag is Professor for Molecular Psychology at Ulm University in Ulm, Germany and also works as visiting professor at UESTC, Chengdu, China. Among his research interests is the study of the psychological and neuroscientific underpinnings of Internet Use Disorders. He is on the editorial board of the journals Addictive Behaviors, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and Personality Neuroscience. He published numerous papers in international peer-reviewed journals with high reputation.
Dr. Halley Pontes
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
Dr. Halley Pontes is a Psychologist and Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London in the United Kingdom. He has expertise in conducting research on psychological health and well-being, with a focus on psychometric assessment. Dr. Pontes has carried out several studies focusing on behavioural and technological addictions involving the use of the internet, video games, and social media. Dr. Pontes’ research has been awarded with high-profile awards such as the Early Career Research Award (Australian Psychological Society, Australia) and the Durand Jacobs Award (McGill University, Canada).
Dr. Bruno Schivinski
Sociologist and Lecturer in Marketing
Dr. Bruno Schivinski is a sociologist and Lecturer in Marketing at Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom. He consults for online service providers, websites, and scientific institutions such as the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MNiSW) and the National Science Centre (NCN) in Poland. Dr. Schivinski is also Associated Editor for the Management and Business Administration, Central Europe Journal.