Study finds excessive gamers more depressed

Monday, 9 January 2012 05:46 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Early results from an Australian study show those who game to excess report greater levels of depression and anxiety.

The study, which is being conducted by Daniel Loton at Victoria University, examines “academic results, relationships and physical and mental health” across two groups of gamers – those who spend 21 hours or less per week on gaming, and those who squeeze in more than that.

The latter group has reported 25% more depression and 15% more stress and anxiety. Excessive gamers were also found to be more likely to use games as a “coping mechanism” to escape from problems.

Loton said in a statement that past studies had shown above-average stress, anxiety and depression in both groups.

“But most alarming was that excessive gamers scored more than half the maximum measure for each and enough to determine clinical significance,” he continued.

The study has not determined how serious the reported problems are, or whether excessive gaming is a contributive factor. Cheeringly, Loton has found no correlation between gaming and success at work or study, instead noting excessive gamers out-perform their own expectations academically.

Research is ongoing, and more participants are sought, with an AUD $500 prize on the line for those who complete a full course of surveys. Visit to sign up.