New research on Internet addiction coming from Canada

Psychologists at the University of Montreal will soon begin studying Internet addiction.

Their study will focus on teens who don’t leave home, who don’t have relationships with other human beings and who “only speak in the language of the characters they play iwth in network video games” — no doubt a subtle prod at MMORPGs, such as World of Warcraft, and their copious jargon.

Professor Loise Nadeau, head of the university’s new addictions center said, “There is no reliable study or clinical data on the issue. … We are starting from scratch.”

It seems to me that Internet addiction was a big deal about a decade ago when people, you know, first started studying it. (for example) The Chronicle of Higher Education linked to three articles from its archives on Internet addiction, one published as early as 1998.

Perhaps Nadeau and her colleagues are looking at Internet addiction in a different way, taking a path that hasn’t been academically trod yet. I don’t know. But it’s a bit unfair and inaccurate for her to say that the University of Montreal is “starting from scratch” on this.

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