Gamespot reports on a recent study, conducted by the National Development and Research Institutes' Special Populations Research branch, that links "problem gaming" to first person shooters and, to a lesser degree, open world games and RPGs. They surveyed 3,380 adults who admitted to playing games for at least an hour in the past week, and found that only 5% exhibited problem gaming.
"Recent sales figures for blockbuster series such as Call of Duty and Halo indicate a huge audience for the FPS genre in America; our findings suggest that a considerable sub-population is experiencing at least moderate degrees of problem video game playing," the study says.
"Perhaps the immersion potential of a first-person perspective, commonly combined with online competition, largely accounts for the higher rates of problem game playing. For action adventure games, a trend toward nonlinear 'open-world' style environments in which extensive, time-consuming exploration is encouraged may create a context for more pervasive experiences of problem game playing."
They admit the findings are speculative, but hope to encourage further research on the subject. We love when there's actual, objective research done on gaming, the type that doesn't try to link Halo to every school shooting over the last two decades. All they're saying is that some people spend too much time gaming, and those people tend to play Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Grand Theft Auto. That's not exactly far-fetched.
Do you consider yourself a "problem gamer"? Even if you don't, do you think five prestiges in Modern Warfare 3 is maybe a bit much? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.