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If you are over 18 years of age and would like to take part, please read the information below and click on this link to consent - http://vuaehd.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1Mwwdme7b4lnw0c

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INFORMATION TO PARTICIPANTS INVOLVED IN RESEARCH

You are invited to participate

You are invited to participate in a research project entitled Video Game Addiction: Health and Well-Being

This project is being conducted by a student researcher Daniel Loton as part of a PhD at Victoria University under the supervision of Prof. Remco Polman from the Faculty of Health, Engineering & Science.

Project explanation

Excessive video game play, also called video game addiction, may be a serious problem, with some early studies showing possible negative effects on mental, social and physical health. However, there are still few studies investigating the link between video game play and negative consequences, particularly over a period of time. Instead, single time-point studies have mostly been undertaken, which give no indication of which variables come before or after video game addiction. Further, few studies have investigated variables that may mediate any negative relationships found between video game addiction and health. To address these questions, this study measures relationships between mental, social and physical health and video game addiction over a period of nine months, including variables that may mediate relationships found such as stress and life satisfaction. It is important to further study the possible effects of video game addiction, particularly across a prolonged period of time.

What will I be asked to do?

If you decide to take part, you will be asked to complete a psychological questionnaire online on a monthly basis, nine times across approximately ten months. The first questionnaire will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete, and the subsequent follow-up scales will take 10-15 minutes

Some parts of the questionnaire only need to be completed once as these do not change over time (e.g. personality), while other parts are repeated each times in order to see how responses change over a period of time, and how this connects with video game play and addiction. This duplication of questions each time is necessary. The questionnaire gathers information on mental, social and physical health, life satisfaction, social networks and performance in several life domains. It contains psychological scales that have been validated and used in previous studies.

What will I gain from participating?

You will not gain anything directly. However, by taking part you will also help to contribute to the study of video game playing and its possible effects, which is an important topic given the rising popularity of video games and comparatively little research. 

There was also a raffle prize of 500 Australian dollars for participants, but this closed on April 12th, 2012, to allow for a winner to be drawn nine months from that time.

How will the information I give be used?

All information you supply will be kept confidential, stored on password-protected computers. Only the researchers will have access to your information. Your responses to the questionnaires will be converted into numbers and statistically analysed to look for relationships between the variables of interest. This analysis aims to answer this central question: Is video game playing related to physical, social and mental well-being, and if so, under what conditions?

These statistical analyses will form the key outcome of the study and will be published in the PhD thesis and subsequent scientific articles – an abridged report will also be made available on the website for participants. Only aggregate data and results will be present in information to the public and no individuals will be identifiable in the published reports. 

What are the potential risks of participating in this project?

There is a psychological risk associated with participation. By completing scales about your video game playing and health, they may prompt distress, particularly if you have had bad experiences or significant difficulties related to video game playing. To address this risk, the researchers have included information about seeking mental health services, and included a recommendation to contact a mental health professional (or a general practice doctor) to discuss these issues if they arise.

If you feel distressed as a result of taking part in this research or reading about it, please click here in order to find more information on seeking mental health treatment

How will this project be conducted?

The study will be advertised through various means, including online via video game relevant forums, gaming websites, as well as pamphlets housed in organisations that agree to advertise the study, including Universities.

A website will house information on the study and the links to the surveys. Participants who consent to take part will be asked to complete a questionnaire online comprised of validated psychological scales, nine times across approximately ten months.

On conclusion of data collection, the results will be screened for errors and analysed using a statistical analysis program. The results will explore the strength or relationships between video game play (and addiction) and well-being, including possible mediating variables. These results will then be published in the PhD thesis and subsequent reports.

Who is conducting the study?

The project is being conducted by Victoria University, Melbourne Australia.

Prof. Remco Polman

Remco.Polman@vu.edu.au

Daniel Loton

Daniel.Loton@vu.edu.au

Any queries about your participation in this project may be directed to the Principal Researcher listed above.

If you have any queries or complaints about the way you have been treated, you may contact the Ethics and Biosafety Coordinator, Victoria University Human Research Ethics Committee, Victoria University, PO Box 14428, Melbourne, VIC, 8001 phone (03) 9919 4148.