The use of online methodologies in data collection for gambling and gaming addictions

Abstract

The paper outlines the advantages, disadvantages, and other implications of using the Internet to collect data from gaming addicts. Drawing from experience of numerous addiction studies carried out online by the author, and by reviewing the methodological literature examining online data collection among both gambling addicts and video game addicts, the main issues concerning data collected using the Internet are discussed and reviewed. This paper extends upon previous methodological papers in the area by outlining some of the methodological and ethical issues associated with specific (rather then generic) online methodologies that have been used to carry out gaming addiction research. The specific online data collection methods examined include the collection of gambling and video game addiction research data via (i) online questionnaires, (ii) online forums, (iii) online participant observation, (iv) online secondary data, (v) online interviews, (vi) online exemplar websites, and (vii) mixed methods online evaluation. It is concluded that the many advantages of online research methods can be a useful and practical way of examining many different aspects of gambling and video game addictions.

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