By now, everybody’s surely seen – or at least heard of – the “Games Transfer Phenomena” report that has been all over the internet after an article appeared in both the Metro and the Daily Mail. Most gamers I know have been outraged – and so, it appears, has the study’s co-author.
Professor Mark Griffiths spoke with gaming site SPOnG, explaining that the tabloid media had gotten it wrong, twisting the scientific findings in order to better suit a negative story.
Please, pretend you’re surprised.
The report in the Metro suggests that gamers cannot tell the real world from fantasy, which has Griffiths seeing red. “For one thing, we never said that in our paper. And for a second thing, the findings don’t even hint at that.”
In fact, the findings were quite neutral – even positive in parts – according to Prof. Griffiths. He claims at least one of the reporters who spoke to him had come in with a definitely pre-defined agenda, and would do anything to get an appropriate soundbite.
The actual study looked at a mere 42 gamers aged between 15 and 21, asking them to think about performing gaming acts in real life. “Of course 42 gamers is not a representative sample,” Griffiths explains. “We’re actually following that up now on a much larger scale, with participants from all over the world.”
The new study will feature more than 2,000 gamers, directly focussing on Games Transfer Phenomena (which was merely a tangent of the initial survey).
If you want to read the paper for yourself, and make up your own mind, it’s available as a PDF from SPOnG. Thank you, SPOnG!