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Keynote speaker – Dr Mark Griffiths: The role of context in online gaming playing: Implications for education, therapeutic intervention, and addiction
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Keynote speaker – Dr Mark Griffiths: The role of context in online gaming playing: Implications for education, therapeutic intervention, and addiction

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Keynote speaker – Dr Mark Griffiths: The role of context in online gaming playing: Implications for education, therapeutic intervention, and addiction

Keynote speaker – Dr Mark Griffiths: The role of context in online gaming playing: Implications for education, therapeutic intervention, and addiction


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  • 1. THE ROLE OF CONTEXT IN ONLINE GAMING PLAYING: IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION, THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTION, AND ADDICTION Dr Mark Griffiths Professor of Gambling Studies International Gaming Research Unit Nottingham Trent University mark.griffiths@ntu.ac.uk
  • 2. BACKGROUND TO ISSUES • Long history of using VGs in a therapeutic capacity • However, VGs are often demonized and pathologized by the mass media in relation to excessive usage • The role of context in VG playing is critical in distinguishing excessive gaming from addictive gaming.
  • 3. • Argued that excessive gaming does not necessarily mean that a person is addicted• The reinforcing properties of potentially addictive gaming can be harnessed in both educational and therapeutic contexts• (e.g., skill development and learning, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, pain management, cognitive rehabilitation, etc.).
  • 4. KEY QUESTIONS (Griffiths, 1998)•What is addiction?•Does video game addiction exist?•If it exists what are people actually addicted to?
  • 5. TECHNOLOGICAL ADDICTIONS (Griffiths, 1995; 2008)• Technological addictions are operationally defined as non- chemical (behavioural) addictions that involve excessive human- machine interaction• Usually contain inducing and reinforcing features which may contribute to the promotion of addictive tendencies• Feature all the core components of addiction
  • 6. ADDICTION COMPONENTS (Griffiths, 1995; 1996; 2005; 2009)• Salience• Mood modification• Tolerance• Withdrawal• Conflict•Relapse
  • 7. GENERIC FACTORS THAT MAKE VIDEO GAMES ATTRACTIVE TO PLAYERS• Fun and exciting• Motivating and stimulating• Interactive• Challenging and engaging• Rewarding and reinforcing• Mood modifying• Provide novelty• Skill enhancing
  • 8. GENERIC FACTORS THAT MAKE INTERNET ATTRACTIVE TO USERS (Griffiths, 2003)•Access•Affordability•Anonymity•Convenience•Disinhibition•Escape
  • 9. VIDEOGAMES: POSITIVE BENEFITS (DeFreitas & Griffiths, 2008; Griffiths, 2005; 2010)• Educational benefits• Simulation/practice benefits• Perceptual-motor skills/hand- eye co-ordination• Social benefits• Pain management, physiotherapy, mental distraction• Cognitive rehabilitation (strokes and attention difficulties)• Psychotherapy/behaviour management in children
  • 10. THERAPEUTIC, MEDICAL AND HEALTH USES OF VIDEOGAMES (Griffiths, 2004; 2005; 2009)• VGs as painkillers• VGs in psychotherapeutic settings• VGs in cognitive rehabilitation• VGs in educative health care• VGs for the learning disabled• VGs for ‘exergaming’• VG therapy for ADD/impulsivity• VG therapy for anxiety (VRET)• VG therapy for the elderly
  • 11. VIDEOGAMES AS DISTRACTORS• Studies show cognitive distraction may block the perception of pain.• Distractor tasks consume some degree of the attentional capacity otherwise devoted to pain perception.• VGs likely to engage a person’s active attention because of the cognitive and motor activity required.• VGs allow possibility of sustained achievement due to level of difficulty (challenge) during extended play.
  • 12. ANALGESIC EFFECT OF VIDEOGAMES (Griffiths, Kuss & Ortiz de Gortari, 2012)• VGs have been used as a form of physiotherapy/occupational therapy in many different groups:• Increase strength in arm, hand and finger injuries/rheumatology• Respiratory muscle training aid for young patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy• Movement aid for cerebral palsy• Postural stability and balance• Increase strength for wheelchair users• Upper-limb physiotherapy for burns victims• Sitting tolerance for lower back pain• Scratch prevention for neurodermatitis
  • 13. CONCLUSIONS• Video game addiction appears to exist (depending upon addiction criteria used)• ‘Addictive’ components of VG playing can be harnessed for educational and therapeutic potential• There has been considerable success when games are specifically designed to address a specific problem or to teach a certain skill.
  • 14. • An activity cannot be described as an addiction if there are few (or no) negative consequences in the player’s life.• Gaming addiction should be characterized by the extent to which excessive gaming impacts negatively on other areas of the gamers’ lives rather than the amount of time spent playing.

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