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#04 Adolescents' Addiction to Internet Gaming is Positively Correlated to TV Commercial Viewing Habits, Access to Technology and Peers' Internet Gaming Habits

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     Internet Gaming Addiction, also known as IGA, has become increasingly prevalent in today's society. The concept of internet gaming began with the millennial generation and will most likely continue into future generations. Because of this, more and more studies have been brought to the table in an attempt to identify the causes, risks and treatments of IGA.

     One of these conducted studies was aimed at discovering the causes of IGA in adolescents who were currently attending junior high school. Three different types of influences were tested: peer's/parent's frequency of internet gaming, peer's/parent's attitude towards those who play internet games, peer's/parent's recurrence of invitations to play internet games with them.

   The study was conducted in Taiwan with 2104 students. These students completed a series of surveys in order to determine the effects of peer/parent influences on IGA.

Researchers Use Four Modified Questionnaires to Determine the Effects of Peer/Parent Influences on IGA


     The Peer/Parent Influence for IGA surveys allowed researchers to test how different types of actions from parental figures and peers would effect one's level of IGA. Between these two surveys there was a total of nine questions that were rated on a scale of one to four.

     Positive Outcome Expectancy of Internet Gaming questionnaire was the key factor in relating the peer/parent influences to actually having IGA. This was a series of 15 questions that related to how playing video games make you feel. These questions were rated on a scale of one to six.

     The Chen Internet Addiction scale for IGA was the sole test in the experiment to measure one's addiction to internet gaming. The test however was modified to solely test for "internet" gaming addiction rather then all types of gaming addiction.

     The results of these surveys and questionnaires were run through a series of complex modeling equations. The final results were displayed by a Pearson Correlation Coefficient and Internal Consistency Coefficient.


   
     The Internal Consistency Coefficient is a measure of whether several questions in the same test that are supposed to lead to the same conclusion result in similar scores. For example, if someone responded yes to both "I like cars" and "I like to ride in cars" but responded no to "I hate sitting in cars," this would indicate good internal consistency. The coefficient is rated on a scale from zero to one and the higher the number, the higher the reliability of the test.




   

      The Pearson Correlation Coefficient is a measure that quantifies a set of data and gives it a value between negative one and positive one. If the value is positive it shows there is a positive correlation where on the other hand, if the value is negative, it shows there is a negative correlation. The closer the value is to one or negative one, the stronger the correlation.



     As previously mentioned, researchers are using "Positive Outcome Expectancy" in order to bridge the gap between parental/peer influences and IGA. Researchers are able to do this following the discovery that the positive outcome expectancy correctly predicted one's addiction to internet gaming. 

Peer Influence is Found to Have a High Positive Correlation With Adolescents' Addiction to Internet Gaming While Parental Influence Does Not


     The results from this one study showed that there was a positive correlation between peer influences and positive outcome expectancy. From this, we can deduce that the influences will in turn have a positive correlation with ones addiction to internet gaming.

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     On the other hand it showed that parental influences were not correlated or even in one case seen to be negatively correlated with positive outcome expectancy.

     It is interesting to note that the frequency of peers' invitation to play internet games scored the highest Pearson Correlation Coefficient (most likely to cause IGA), while also scoring the highest Internal Consistency Coefficient (the most reliable test).

Advertising Agencies Increase IGA Among Adolescents For Their Own Economic Gain With the Use of Hypnotizing Commercials 


     It would make sense that gaming companies' profits would increase as more gamers played their games. Thus, they employ commercial agencies to manipulate customers in becoming increasingly addicted to their games. 

     Research done by the Universiti Tecknologi Mara tells us that most people do not actively process commercials but instead they have subconscious effects on the viewer. The commercials provide viewers with the idea that games provide real achievement, endless freedom and a connection to all other players of the game.

     The fact that addiction can lead to great monetary gain is the reason why in 2005 gaming companies spent over 80 million dollars on advertising. In 2009, that number jumped to over 400 million dollars. The continual mass dumping of money by the gaming industry into advertising proves that the commercials are indeed working to hypnotize the consumers to be more addicted to internet gaming.

Adolescents' Addiction to Online Gaming Will Continue to Increase as Accessibility to Technology Increases


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     Douglas Gentile, a psychologist at Iowa State University, tells us that an easy way to wrap your head around this is to compare gaming addiction to drugs. When there are no drugs or the drugs are hard to come by, the risk of addiction greatly decreases. That being said, within the past ten years technology has been increasing exponentially, which would ultimately increase addiction among gamers.

     As it currently stands, 8.5% of children in America are considered to have some sort of addiction to internet gaming. Increasing accessibility to internet gaming is attributed to more and more people owning phones, tablets and computers. Gentile predicts that the number of addicted users will continue to increase as technology increases.  
     Internet Gaming Addiction (IGA) is a real and ever increasing issue in developed nations. IGA will continue to have more and more importance as technology and addiction continue to grow.

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