Analysising the impact of excessive online games on the educational development and socialdynamics of 11-17 year olds in the uk

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree (BA)
May 2017
Keywords and Definitions
Keywords: Addiction, school, UK studies, online, game, adolescents,
gaming addiction, excessive playing, social, psychological, criminal,
impact, family dynamics, Fantasy Role Playing (FRP), General
Aggression Model (GAM)
ONLINE GAMING - Gaming is the operation of specific applications
identified as electronic games, video or computer games on game
consoles, such as the X-box and PlayStation or on PC’s (known as online
gaming). The expression "gaming" started as an equivalent word for
"gambling" as a substitute while most online games, currently do not
comprise gambling in customary terms.
ADDICTION - At its inception, "addiction" simply means to "giving
over" or being "exceedingly dedicated" to an individual, action or
movement, or taking part in a conduct frequently, which could have
positive or negative ramifications.
DSM - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Research Question:
Can online games be considered dangerous and addictive or do people simply have
addictive personalities?
Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of this study will follow a pattern that allows for the following:
History of games and its use in the Navy
Defining the terms, ‘gaming’ ‘addiction’ and ‘excessive.'
The psychological effects and possible dangers of online games
Research into the causal relationship between excessive playing and addiction
symptoms and evaluation
Distinguishing addiction and high engagement into the context of online game
The psychological perspective will delve into research already carried out, such as:
Mental health and emotional well-being of players
Health & safety within the online social environment
Policies and legislations
Critical Analysis
Researching and compacting findings from questionnaires, case studies, and
relevant sources to give a conclusion.
SECTION ONE Introduction
Video games have become the main attraction for young people as a preference
over television and music in some cases,(67%) according to BBC News, (2017). There
has been a rise in violent games being played which has caused parents, teacher and
psychologists to question whether these games do influence destructive behaviors
among the children. Games such as Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, FIFA, Battlefield,
Mine Craft and League of Leagues, where players assume the Fantasy Role Play (FPS)
position, fighting against the opposition and watching as blood spills and victims fall.
It’s a desensitizing process, which is subliminally taking place within the mind of the
player; and creating a normalcy based on the idea of playing certain games, solely for
the purpose of killing. Online games have advanced immensely regarding state of the
art graphics, weaponry, and sound effects practically drawing in its players through
unconscious and visual appeal. Previous studies using the General Aggressive Model
(GAM) have identified a causal pattern, and that is, violent games whether online or
offline impact on a player’s psyche, leading to aggressive behavior (Hollingdale &
Greitemeyer, 2014).
The History of Gaming
In recent years, intelligent electronic mediums have advanced from implicit
nonexistence to elemental entertainment necessity for the young people, especially
those in higher education. Within the last decade, the Internet has thoroughly
transformed the communications industry from a distinctive and motionless entity into
a tangible shared superhighway (Crayton, 2011, Yvonne H. C. Yau, 2016).One aspect
of interactive networking online is the advent of online gaming. Since 1972, videos
games have advanced, especially with the public emergence of the ‘Pong’ in the USA,
to an immense industry that is allowing younger people to start making a living by
becoming professional gamers. The era of online gaming and streaming has spawned a
whole new generation of people who are earning a living wage by playing video games,
competitively or simply by playing in front of a camera, making funny comments or
talking about all kinds of topics as they play
(Intanya and Jenkins, 2017).
World of War craft, most popular game with over 7.1 million supporters and Amazon’s Twitch, the greatest
online podium, where players earn a wage
This study will commence with the following:
o History of games and its purpose in military personnel implementation and
o The second section will define the term gaming,'
o The other section will cover the analysis of how gaming can impact young
people in education, parental fears and the implications of excessive playing.
o Finally, the paper will discuss the various consequences that online gaming has
on modern society, such as addiction and how this affects individuals from a
psychological perspective.
The purpose of this study is to examine adolescent attitudes and behavior as
well as analyze the impact that online games may have on their educational, social and
psychological development and; whether they run the risks of addiction.The aim is to
recognize-related patterns, including aggression, violence and negative characteristics
that may become a serious cause for concern and whether they are influenced by the
interaction on the Internet. Furthermore, the intention is to determine whether online
games can be considered dangerous and addictive or do people simply have addictive
personalities?Finally, the analysis will focus on using secondary research via the
Internet, journals, reports, studies and books to collate empirical evidence to gain
valuable insight.
Literature Review
The revolution of online gaming
“You know you’re a gamer when five minutes become five more hours.
Ralph H Baer in 1967, created the first console - the ‘brown box,' which could
be connected to a TV unit and came with six games (Orland, 2017).The first time that
online gaming was implemented in computers and consoles, it was seen as a very
flawed novelty that might not catch on as expected. However, the issue changed in
2005 when the Xbox 360 brought extremely effective online gaming networks for
most of their games; and the PlayStation three followed with the same level of
dedication to the online aspect of gaming. Today, the PS4 has the market popularity
of 70% in all mainland European country (, 2017).The expansion in
the gaming world gave a much-needed boost to an industry that seemed to be losing a
bit of steam. However, the ability to take your gaming from your living room to the
entire world engaged gamers in ways, that made them feel much more obsessed with
gaming than ever before (Bishop, 2017).
Games as Instructive, Professional and Exploration apparatuses
The use of coextensive computer programs served to upgrade education and
training, which is a requirement for military personnel. The program was absorbed from
serious games as a methodical mode of preparing fighters, developing practices without
subjecting them to disappointments, hazards, and setting them up for "21st-century"
wars. Within the armed forces, where education through involvement can be expensive
and hazardous, the creation of serious games satisfies that void in resolving those
issues. Soldiers acquire knowledge through re-enactments, prove to be speedy,
economical and secure.The Defense Academy of the UK Ministry of Defense, (2008),
used computer games as material for training in the British Army. The construction and
military preparation is the most significant element in the armed forces and additionally
tends to be the most dramatic and unsafe. Serious games convey substantial qualities
such as:
Averting threats and endangerments;
Decrease the necessity for costly apparatus and locations
Condense contamination and ecological damage;
Capability of performing unattainable tangible tasks;
Upsurge militaristic enthusiasm
Opportunity of skill acquirements as a result of sequential disappointments;
Accomplishing superior understanding;
Adaptation of innovative information and techniques
One of the first successful and serious military applications was a flight
simulator created in the USA, in the 1930’s. During the military preparation for World
War II, the need to reduce the time for training and instruction leading to the
development of a solution to instruct and train pilots quickly.Nowadays, there are
already several serious games
, created to train the various branches of the armed forces
and navy. A major example, and not limited are the following: the game Jane’s Fleet
Command came to be distributed freely to junior officers, who were on board to
motivate them to practice the game (Naval Force).
In the Air Force, Microsoft Flight Simulator was used in basic flight schools to
provide training to pilots, with several hours of virtual fights, before they had access to
the controls of a real airplane.Serious games were employed as part of the armed
See appendix 1B
preparation enlistment: A while back, the USA Military Defense built an online game,
titled America’s Army, where authorities screened the consequences of the players in
an attempt to select the most successful participants for the army. ‘Call of Duty,' an
added cybernetic combat game was constructed and set against harsh elements to
simulate real time battles the officers were unlikely to experience otherwise.
Socializing through the gaming world
Those who get involved in online gaming for the purpose of enjoyment and
relaxation found an incredible boost in replay value once they had the chance to bring
their gaming online. Accordingly, the research found that 11-17-year-old boys were
more likely to engage in online games than girls. 66% preferred to play from their
bedroom with 35% from the homes of their peers, and 25% said they preferred to play
from other areas in their homes. Adolescents were asked which, three events kept them
active, socializing online and gaming were at the top with 44% each, while associating
with companions, yielded 33%. An assessment involving 1000 adolescents within the
UK, disclosed that the principal gender-specific divide is in virtual interests, with 53%
of girls devoting time to online fraternizing, as opposed to 37% of boys. While 57% of
boys agreed that their most preferred activity was indulging in online gaming, only 29%
of girls’ population agreed to be addicted to online games. However, 34% revealed
that their ideal recreation time would be spent having a ton of fun in a sheltered
domain,' 28.9% would prefer to attempt playing some sport and 26% meeting new
friends (, 2017).
According to ‘get safe online,' 91% of parents reported that their children played
online games, with 5% fear for online safety as 16% revealed that their children have
already experienced online bullying or abuse. 37% of parents feel powerless in
controlling the online gaming activities of their children. 91% will monitor the length
of time their children are online, while 34% added that their children played online
games a minimum of once a day, using a tablet (62%) or mobile phone (47%). The
research indicated that monitoring length of time and type of games being played is
unlikely.Despite online gaming becoming a modern phenomenon, most parents are out
of synch with the risks of children playing online games. However, 16% of parents
recognize that online gaming rostrum leaves children exposed to bullying and verbal
abuse, which they may choose not to disclose with their parents, making the
percentages higher than anticipated (, 2017).
"Individuals who play games to get away from their lives or to pretend to be
other people seem to be those most at-risk for becoming part of a vicious cycle. These
gamers avoid their problems by playing games, which in turn interferes with their lives
because they're so busy playing games," (Joe Hilgard, 2017).
UK Statistics of Online Gaming Adolescents
32.9 million people in the UK play games
70% of 16 to 65-year-old game players consistently use gaming equipment, 72%
play on and offline
• 49% are conundrum and quiz game players, which are the most common games
30% of respondent’s preference was social interacting games the second most
common sort of game
84% of eight to 15-year-old gamers play habitually, 96% play socially
54% of social networking players have played with friends or family online or over
a network
41% of Internet browser game players have played with unknown people online or
across a network
31% of game players said it was impossible to do anything else while gaming
compared with 14% for browsing the Internet, 10% watching TV and 2% listening
to the radio (filtered to players who use these media) (, 2017).
Online Gaming Dangers
Online computer games are on the rise and are becoming an increasingly
widespread source of entertainment among teenagers. The aspiration for rivalry and the
fervor derived from playing makes online games addictive for some teenagers that
engage in play. These young people will go to extreme lengths to attain an
advantageous position within the game, equally disconnecting themselves from their
environments. Battling demanding obstructions and attaining newly elevated positions
in the game energizes and motivates the player while losing the games’ mission can
lead to anxiety issues (Morrison, 2001).
Does High Engagement In Online Gaming Mean Addiction?
As online gaming is particularly appealing to adolescents, it could be argued
that this group is more at risk, that is, more vulnerable and susceptible, of developing
gaming addiction. Research suggests an excessive engagement with online games
appears to lead to addiction in only a small number of players. However, some research
has suggested that excessive online gaming may in severe cases lead to symptoms
commonly experienced by substance addicts, namely salience, temperament alteration,
desire, divergence, retraction, patience and degeneration (Griffiths, 2001). Only a few
factions of players that engage in online gaming become addicted to it. The addiction
to online gaming has both rewards, demerits and has been studied by various scholars.
Durkin (2002) asserts that there are prospective rewards in playing online
games. In his analysis, he determined that adolescents who played online video games
demonstrated significantly lower amounts of risk-taking behavior, that is, substance
abuse, and self-reported defiance, than those adolescents who did not play.
Interestingly, Durkin also noted that online gamers, whether it was those who played
every so often or the “hardcore” player, participated in considerably less risky friend
networks than those adolescents who did not play. Other and even the average school
grades of those adolescent, video game players were significantly higher than their non-
gaming counterparts.Competition is based on ego, but could easily lead to addiction,
which is then a psychological issue.
Baranowski et al.,(2008) in his paper suggested that online video games could
be used to elicit positive behavior changes, suggesting, “Getting and maintaining an
individual’s attention is a crucial step in altering behavior, and it is here, those online
video games are most useful to the process.” Online Video games can also add an
element of fun and motivation to the process and can make the switch to a new behavior
easier. It was also noted that online video games might positively relate to behavioral
fluctuations in one of two principal methods: Firstly, the game could directly
encompass behavior altering measures into the games played, for example is required
to set goals or allowing the game to combine the new behaviors into the story. Finally,
online video games are not only known to have a positive pedagogical consequence of
social interact