Asperger Syndrome is NOT Caused by Gaming

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asplanet
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07 Apr 2008, 8:21 pm

Asperger Syndrome is NOT Caused by Gaming
Psychologist clarifies research findings to SPOnG - 7 Apr 2008
(Psychologists Link Videogame Addiction To Autism News:http://news.spong.com/article/15155)

Speaking to SPOnG, Dr John Charlton, a psychologist from the University of Bolton, has clarified that gaming does not cause Asperger Syndrome. Dr Charlton pointed out that some media outlets have been misinterpreting his research into video game addiction, which noted that some addicted gamers exhibit characteristics similar to those of people with Asperger Syndrome.

“In no way can it be said that Asperger's can be caused by game playing (Asperger's is thought to have a biological basis)”, SPOnG was told.

He told us that he wished this to be clarified because, "despite my best efforts in interviews last week, some of the press reports I have read and perhaps some of the reports that have started to appear on the internet seem to be factually incorrect."

“The point about Asperger's was just that the relationships between addiction and the personality characteristics that we examined suggested that MMORPGs MIGHT be particularly addictive to people with Asperger's given the properties of both this type of game and the psychological characteristics of people with Asperger's... We are not saying that all people who might be classifiable as addicts have Asperger's”, he went on.

Dr Charlton also told us that MMORPGs encourage higher-than-average levels of addiction for some, stating, “Yes. It is likely that the number of people addicted will vary depending upon the type of game considered, and that MMORPG's will have enhanced addictive potential for certain people (e.g. those with the personality characteristics that our study looked at), and that this will have influenced the results we reported.”

Getting to the specifics, Dr Charlton said, "our study showed that 3% of our sample showed signs of addiction (this is lower than some other studies because we used a more stringent index of addiction than some other studies; the main focus of our work is to distinguish addiction from non-problematic high engagement, a distinction that some previous researchers have not made)."

SPOnG was told that, while Asheron's Call is now somewhat dated, Dr Charlton still believes the research to be relevant. “All the participants were players of Asheron's Call. We realise that this game is not as popular as it once was: we collected the data in 2003 but have only just got around to working on the personality part of the data set that we collected. However, we consider that the work is still relevant given the large number of players of other MMORPG that there currently are.”

“We didn't target people with Asperger's in our data collection (we collected data from Asheron's call players in general)”, he continued.

Further clarifying the scope of the findings, Dr Charlton said, “It would be necessary to conduct specific studies to test whether people with Asperger's syndrome are over-represented in the population of MMORPG players and whether they are more likely to be classifiable as addicted than other players.”

He also reiterated what SPOnG told you on Friday – that none of those studied were classified during the research as having Asperger's


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OddballBen
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07 Apr 2008, 10:40 pm

Did some people think it was caused by gaming before they did this research? I've heard about vaccines and stuff causing AS but not gaming. :?



Mikomi
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07 Apr 2008, 10:58 pm

I'm going to puke if people actually spent money to prove this, which seems more than profoundly obvious to me (and anyone with half an ounce of common sense).


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asplanet
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07 Apr 2008, 11:16 pm

Mikomi wrote:
I'm going to puke if people actually spent money to prove this, which seems more than profoundly obvious to me (and anyone with half an ounce of common sense).

Agreed...

Maybe its about time other realized there are just in fact a whole group of people who are just different...

Maybe the government will fund me to see whats wrong with NTs and why they are different!


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KBABZ
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07 Apr 2008, 11:21 pm

If this theory is true, then I should have full-fledged, no holding back Autism by now. Like, the kind you sometimes read about where the kid can't put his shirt on (no offense to those, just an example).

Maybe people should pull their heads out of their asses and stop searching there, and realize that it's all to do with genetics, not this environment or Mercury mgargle.


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08 Apr 2008, 12:00 am

The problem alot of the time with these people who try to compare video-game addictions and aspergers is that they concentrate so hard on the social aspects of aspergers and completely forget about other things like sensory issues/stimming/etc. Many of them say, "Ok, the person has a bad social life, and has an addiction to the games (obsessive interests)! ASPERGERS!"

It's very likely and possible that they can be comorbid with eachother, as living in a virtual world can be a safe-haven for many people with AS, this is probably what is confusing these professionals.

It's absolutely retarded that some professionals actually believed playing video-games in large amounts can cause social deficits, sensory dysfunction, stimming behaviors, etc.



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08 Apr 2008, 6:59 am

the whole thing is stupid, i cannot believe that people would put up video game playing as being a factor or cause of autism spectrum disorders.



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08 Apr 2008, 9:57 am

it's just amazing and crazy that many theories about autism and AS are so out of whack.



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08 Apr 2008, 10:04 am

I'm sorry, I'm conducting a survey on the instance of people actually reading the first post before responding. Did you
1) Read the post and/or
2) check the study the article was talking about?
Thank you for your time.

I'm thinking this may shed some light on the instance of functional illiteracy in people with ASDs as well.


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08 Apr 2008, 12:12 pm

as a lower functioning autie who has been playing video games for years,and many of them ones that get called 'violent', autism has not got stronger,am have not burned anyone with a flame thrower [gta],stuck a crow bar in anyones skull [half life],suffocated anyone with a tesco carrier bag [manhunt],havent attempted to cut down trees with imaginary celestial brushes [okami],haven't attempted to breed pinatas in the back garden [viva pinata],or feed hedgehogs caffeine to get them spinning like sonic.
games have not changed am or reality for am in any way.

Maybe they should get Tanya Byron to do another gaming report-this time on the high rate of stupidity amongst game hating pyschs/media-is there a connection? K.O.R. wonders.


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12 Apr 2008, 9:01 am

Well that's kinda obvious. My friend (who doesn't have AS or traits of) played games as much as me and isn't affected the same aas me...


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12 Apr 2008, 2:28 pm

KingdomOfRats wrote:

Maybe they should get Tanya Byron to do another gaming report-this time on the high rate of stupidity amongst game hating pyschs/media-is there a connection? K.O.R. wonders.


Doing research on researchers isn't anything new. I recently read about a case where a professor had given his students rats to study. He told half the students that their rats were bred to be "maze bright" and half that their rats were bred to be "maze dull". Even though in reality all the rats were the same, the students consistently scored the rats they were told were "maze bright" significantly higher then the rats they were told were "maze dull". This reflects a principle known as confirmation bias, where researchers will find what they expect to find regardless of the actual data.

I think that anti-video game activists could be another example of confirmation bias. Basically they are looking really hard for evidence against video games and then they will find it. Even if the net effect across the entire population is actually positive.

Also this is another example of the popular media completely misrepresenting actual research. It happens way more often then you'd think nowadays.


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12 Apr 2008, 4:19 pm

twoshots wrote:
I'm sorry, I'm conducting a survey on the instance of people actually reading the first post before responding. Did you
1) Read the post and/or
2) check the study the article was talking about?
Thank you for your time.


ROFL!! !!

I find posters often respond to the title of a thread, and not the actual content of the original post.


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12 Apr 2008, 5:25 pm

I have only one question. What have some of these researchers been smoking? Gimmie some. As long as it doesn't make you autistic. I am, and I'd be afraid that smoking something like these folks seem to be ingesting might make me and NT.

Horrors.


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12 Apr 2008, 5:36 pm

Uhh, guys, I posting a thread of one of the doctors clearing this up do to the media twisting the story a little bit, but in a way I'm not surprised that my posts are being ignored. AGAIN.


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