My name is Dan Loton and i'm a researcher and Psychology PhD student at Victoria University investigating video game addiction and health. I have a brief history in this area; I completed my Psych honours study on video game addiction and social skills (www.computergameresearch.com), finding a lack of social skills is not likely to be a major cause of video game addiction.
This time around i'm undertaking an extended PhD on the topic, and i'm hoping to discover the exact impact (if any) excessive video game play can have on health, as well as major life domains, including working, studying and relationships. I'm hoping to learn more about the point at which gaming becomes problematic, something which isn't yet agreed upon by researchers.
The study is online and involves completing a 10-15 minute survey once a month for 9 months - like a diary that measures video game playing habits and general health. All information is confidential and accessible only to the researchers, and identifying information will be separated and deleted at the end, as per the ethics approval for the study. No one will be identified in any publications and the results will be statistically analysed for relationships.
Anyone who completes all 9 surveys goes into the draw to win a $500 Australian dollar money order. The study is for adults only (18 and up) as it is thought the negative consequences of excessive gaming may be more severe for adults than teenagers, so if you'd like to take part, please visit videogamestudies.net
The study will be popping up around various forums and probably the media. I'll try to check back here every now and again to answer any questions, and thanks for reading.
I am actually interested specifically in adult gamers, as it's thought the negative consequences associated with excessive gaming will be more severe for adults, as they're normally financially independent.
The other reason is that parental consent is required for under 18 years of age, and this introduces some difficulties when delivering the study online. However, i'll be pursuing permission to do just that.
Thanks for your interest though, if anyone has any specific questions about excessive video game play it'd be good to have a discussion about it.