Research: Game addicts show traits of autism


Researchers at the British Psychological Society's Annual Conference in Dublin presented a study showing that video game addicts have similar personality traits to those with Aspergers (a high funcutioning form of autism). The study of 391 gamers (86% male) found that players who showed signs of "addiction" had three personality traits that are typically linked with Aspergers: neuroticism, lack of extraversion and agreeableness.

The scientists don't believe these people have Aspergers, but "share some of the same characteristics because they find it easier to empathize with computer systems than other people." They say professions like engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists are closer to the non-empathizing end of the spectrum, but Aspergers is much farther along that line. Their main point is their research supports the idea that those heavily involved in game playing may be nearer to the autistic spectrum disorders than those who don't play at all -- and here we thought it just meant they were nearer to nerd spectrum disorders.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.