The immense popularity of the game Fortnite has reinvigorated public debate around video gaming and adolescents. While a body of research exists on video game content, overuse and addiction affects, many gaps still remain in the literature. Predominantly there is a lack of longitudinal data to examine risk factors and outcomes including behavioural issues and mental health, particularly in younger cohorts. The constantly evolving nature of the industry creates the potentialy for many new research opportunities.
One recent concern is the increasing prevalence of microtransactions – small in-game purchases for virtual goods.These systems are highly lucrative and often designed to encourage player spending. Some are also analogous with gambling. Despite some existing research, we still have limited understanding of how microtransactions affect adolescents and young adults over time.
The Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study (CATS) at CAH has longitudinal data on adolescent video game use from grade 3 through to year 9, and is therefore well-placed to investigate these issues.
For an early look at gaming in CATS, please see their recent blog: https://cats.mcri.edu.au/videogames/