Friday, December 17th, 2010

Students Miss Meals, Sleep, and Classes While Playing Online Games

World of Warcraft

Photo: World of Warcraft

Can World of Warcraft cost you your degree?

A University of the Rockies study has released research that shows a college or university students’ online gameplay can hurt their sleep schedule, diet, social life, and grades.

“Virtual gaming, where participants take on an identity, has exploded in the past 10 years, particularly among 18 to 30-year-olds. Online game subscriber numbers are in the millions and profits for game developers are in the billions of dollars,” said Sabrina Neu.

Neu’s research found that 42% of college students reported their online gaming had interfered with work or academics. She studied students’ online gaming habits to explore “the relationship between demographic factors, social anxiety, and proneness to boredom, grade point average and Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game playing.”

While she found that men are more prone to overindulging, she found no difference between the effects on males or females. She also says the student lifestyle makes young people susceptible to the addiction, due to unlimited Internet access and a new absence of supervision. She also points to the many upsides that students may see in online gaming.

Players can overcome shyness, actualize previously untapped talents, mentor other players, free themselves from physical disabilities, develop a sense of purpose and achievement and engage in altruistic, heroic and generous acts,” said Neu.

“Despite many pro-social benefits, there is also a harmful side. Players can suffer consequences such as neglecting friends and family and arranging one’s real world life to fully accommodate game playing.”

Ryan Leclaire
Author: Ryan Leclaire
Ryan has been writing for 7 years and has been featured in Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Cottage life.
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