Mark Griffiths (Nottingham Trent University, UK), Mark N.O. Davies (Nottingham Trent University, UK) and Darren Chappell (Nottingham Trent University, UK)
Copyright: © 2006
Despite the rise of computer games as a leisure phenomenon, relatively little research has been conducted in this area. A majority of the research to date has concentrated on adolescent players (Griffiths, 1996, 1997a). Furthermore, most of the research has tended to concentrate on the more negative aspects, such as excessive play and addiction (Griffiths, 1991, 1997b; Griffiths & Hunt, 1995, 1998; Phillips, Rolls, Rouse, & Griffiths, 1995), the effects of playing aggressive games (Griffiths, 1998, 2000) and the medical and psychosocial consequences (Griffiths, 1993, 1996). However, there have been a few psychologically-based studies on personality and computer game play (Douse & McManus, 1993; Griffiths & Dancaster, 1995) – although these have been exploratory. Thus, the image of a typical gamer (and the pastime of computer gaming) is seen as socially negative and remains firmly within a youth subculture. As the 1990s came to a close, a new generation of machines with increasingly sophisticated processing power began to replace the early 1990s consoles. However, an even more revolutionary development was also occurring, involving the Internet as a gaming forum. New games emerged that enabled people to link up online to game together. The games varied in their mode of operation. There are basically three main types of social virtual gaming over the Internet—Stand Alone Games, Local and Wide Network (LAWN) Games, and Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing (MMORP) Games.