An attempt was made to come up with a scale that measured the severity of addiction to the game. The point was not to use it as a diagnostic tool, but rather, a way to see how scoring high on this scale might influence other in-game behaviors, or how the scale correlated with general demographics. The following statements were used, and respondents were asked to indicate how accurately the statement described them.

- I worry that my friends will level faster than me.
- I continue to play the game even when I am upset or frustrated with it and not really enjoying it.
- I feel better about myself when I am playing the game.
- I am going through problems or difficulties in real life, and playing the game allows me to temporarily avoid them.
- My playing habits have caused me academic, legal, health, financial, or relationship problems.
- Playing the game makes me feel guilty.
- Nothing gives me as much satisfaction as playing the game.
- I become anxious, irritable or angry if I am unable to play.
- When the servers go down unexpectedly, I feel like I don't know what else to do.

All the above statements inter-correlate to a high degree. A summated scale was then used to continue with the analysis.

It was found that UO players scored lower on this scale than EQ and DAOC players (p<.001 and p=.02 respectively).
EQ and DAOC male players scored significantly lower on this scale than female players (p=.003 and p=.03 respectively). UO male and female players did not score significantly differently from each other.

The scale correlated negatively with age across all 3 games: -.20 for EQ, -.25 for UO, and -.20 for DAOC. The effect is more dramatic when plotted against quintiles of the addiction scale.

The scale correlated positively with number of hours played each week: .30 for EQ, .32 for UO, .33 for DAOC. Between the top and bottom quartile is almost a 12 hour difference in average game play per week.

The addiction scale correlates positively with the Achievement, Grief and Relationship factors (.32, .26, and .26 respectively).


Copyright, March 2002, by Nicholas Yee.