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      EverQuest—It’s Just a Computer Game Right? An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Online Gaming Addiction

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          Breaking the stereotype: the case of online gaming.

          Despite the rise of computer games as a leisure phenomenon, there has been relatively little research into this area. Furthermore, almost all of the research to date has concentrated on arcade or console games. More recently, the Internet has become a new medium in which players can play videogames. Since there is no published research in this area, some "benchmark" data on which future research can build was collected from two online gaming fan sites. Sociodemographics showed that the majority of players were male (approximately 85%). Over 60% of players were older than 19 years. The data provide clear evidence that the game clientele is very much an adult profile and suggest a different picture to the stereotypical image of an adolescent online gamer. The stereotype of the typical online player being a socially withdrawn young male with limited sex role identity appears to be misplaced.
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            Demographic factors and playing variables in online computer gaming.

            Despite the growing popularity of online game playing, there has been no primary survey of its players. Therefore, an online questionnaire survey was used to examine basic demographic factors of online computer game players who played the popular online game Everquest (i.e., gender, age, marital status, nationality, education level, occupation). The survey also examined playing frequency (i.e., amount of time spent playing the game a week), playing history (i.e., how long they had been playing the game, who they played the game with, whether they had ever gender swapped their game character), the favorite and least favorite aspects of playing the game, and what they sacrifice (if anything) to play the game. Results showed that 81% of online game players were male, and that the mean age of players was 27.9 years of age. For many players, the social aspects of the game were the most important factor in playing. A small minority of players appear to play excessively (over 80 h a week), and results suggest that a small minority sacrifice important activities in order to play (e.g., sleep, time with family and/or partner, work, or schooling).
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              Online computer gaming: a comparison of adolescent and adult gamers.

              Despite the growing popularity of online game playing, there have been no surveys comparing adolescent and adult players. Therefore, an online questionnaire survey was used to examine various factors of online computer game players (n = 540) who played the most popular online game Everquest. The survey examined basic demographic information, playing frequency (i.e. amount of time spent playing the game a week), playing history (i.e. how long they had been playing the game, who they played the game with, whether they had ever gender swapped their game character, the favourite and least favourite aspects of playing the game, and what they sacrifice (if anything) to play the game. Results showed that adolescent gamers were significantly more likely to be male, significantly less likely to gender swap their characters, and significantly more likely to sacrifice their education or work. In relation to favourite aspects of game play, the biggest difference between the groups was that significantly more adolescents than adults claimed their favourite aspect of playing was violence. Results also showed that in general, the younger the player, the longer they spent each week playing.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
                Int J Ment Health Addiction
                Springer Nature
                1557-1874
                1557-1882
                July 2006
                August 2006
                : 4
                : 3
                : 205-216
                Article
                10.1007/s11469-006-9028-6
                © 2006
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