Maybe it’s not generational after all

 Posted by (Visited 4962 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Jun 252008

Slashdot | Children Concerned By Parents’ Web Habits

“Children are becoming increasingly worried about their parents’ Internet habits, according to a report just released in Sweden. Unsurprisingly, dads surfing for pornography is the most common problem, but chatroom addiction also featured in the report — as is a mother who has become obsessed with World of Warcraft. ‘This summer she has been sitting up all day and all night and she forgets what’s important to me,’ wrote the woman’s 13-year-old daughter. ‘And when she’s not at the computer she’s like a lost soul. She just looks straight ahead and says nothing.'”

  9 Responses to “Maybe it’s not generational after all”

  1. Still generational. As the gamer generation grows up, many will become parents, resulting in a new generation of parents.

  2. Addictive behavior is predictable in subsecond response systems. It’s there in the literature despite attempts to spin it away.

    But porn? That’s a completely different problem even if coupled to bandwidth speeds.

    “Ah look at all the lonely people…”

  3. I think this is great! I have been wanting to teach a sequence on gaming in my college English course. I think the idea of what is “generational” might make for some good argument. Thanks for the link.

  4. It seems the time has come to point towards the parents in order to make gaming an unhealthy hobby.

    Games can be an outlet for addiction however an addictive personality or another underlying cause is more to blame.

    After two years I am still questioned on my game time thanks to FOX’s portrayal of my chosen method of entertainment. It matters not that the entire “Reality” was scripted and edited. People want to place blame on games. It is the latest family destroying, life corrupting, soul eating topic.

    Attempt to compare game time to TV time and prepare to be slapped. That just makes me laugh. Four or more hours a day of TV is allowed. Two or three hours of games??? You are addicted!

  5. It’s rather funny that so many non-gamers are “think of the children!” focused that this kind of thing goes relatively unnoticed until someone keels over dead after playing for too long in one sitting.

    But it’s also a connundrum in that this might illustrate a “do as I say, not as I do” situation in many homes. Granted, parents have always taken that tack on various occasions, but it sounds like kids might need to put Net nanny on their parent’s PCs for a change.

  6. It isn’t just the games. Any subsecond feedback system with a reward becomes addictive. Nature of the beast. I mean the literature on that is predictable. Game play addiction is another example but not the only one. I believe one has to look at the types and strengths of various rewards. Porn reward is fairly strong in males although there is anecdotal evidence in some online porn worlds that when combined with social networks, it is even stronger in females.

    I don’t think Net Nanny is the answer to online addiction or that it is generational. It is mammal wiring. We will adapt.

  7. Len, you’re assuming that everyone knows that term “subsecond feedback system”…

  8. The only part of it that was ever generational was the fact that the younger generation was more likely to know how to do this stuff and be comfortable using the net.

  9. IBM did a study on interactive systems in the 1980s that showed once a systems’ interactive speed dropped below two seconds, it became harder to get the user off the system. As the speed dropped below a second, the user was almost glued to the screen. As I recall it was part of the sutdy to determine effects of eyestrain not ‘stickiness’. There was a recommendation that the user get up once every hour and stare out a windoe because the short focus on then 72dpi screens degraded vision.

    There are other studies on addictive behavior going back many decades related to reward strength over persistent behavior. Most indicated that a strong relationship exists in latency of stimulus to reward. The shorter the time, the stronger the learning.

    Note the emphasis on learning. These are acquired behaviors and that means the human is programmable and behaviors are ‘shaped’. This has been pointed out many times by game makers. What we haven’t been able to look at until recently and only by analogy to other media such as TV is the effects on masses of simultaneous players in a pseudo co-located setting at low latency rates. Games can shape behavior of large groups with the strength varying by individual. Those looking for large effects won’t find them in small samples, but time over size studies will.

    Does that mean violent games make people violent? Not strictly. It possibly means there are degrees of that where those near the edges of violence become less inhibited and those further away more accepting. It can also have the opposite effect depending on predispositions and other sources of SR affects. It isn’t a simple coupling.

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