At the beginning this is a slow cycle that can suddenly become very fast.

At the beginning this is a slow cycle that can suddenly become very fast.

Average age: 36 years. According to figures from the Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software, gaming is also popular with older age groups: 8.7 million gamers, i.e. one in four, is 50 years old.

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Sources used: press release game

Smartphone games are already more popular than gaming on the computer or console. No wonder: many mobile games rely on sophisticated reward systems. An expert warns of the consequences. 

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Some smartphones can now replace a game console – and the German game developers who are currently meeting at Gamescom in Cologne are now making more money with apps than with classic computer games. In doing so, however, they use mechanisms that can make people addictive, as the psychologist Hans-Jürgen Rumpf from the Lübeck University Hospital criticized in an interview with the AFP news agency.

"You bet on quick wins at the beginning, which become more and more difficult to achieve as the game progresses"he explains. "So a player has to invest more and more time or money for his reward." Games that have to be solved together with other tasks, such as online role-playing games, are particularly dangerous. "There quickly arises social pressure to keep playing"says hull.

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Video game addiction is on the rise worldwide. In June, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared it a disease. So far, most of the patients in the therapy centers have been to the "classic" Addicted to consoles or the computer. But the more powerful smartphones become and the more complex the apps, the more dangerous they become for people prone to addiction.

"The problem with the cell phone is its constant availability"says hull. "The user always has it with him. If he just wants to check the news, the game waves a notification. This is a stimulus that the player can hardly turn off."

According to Rumpf, addicts often combine certain characteristics: "They are mostly male and sometimes have psychological problems or disorders. Unemployment or a migration background can also be risk factors."

The result: some addicts drop out of school or training, or face dismissal. You lose real friends and partners. In contrast to gambling addiction in the casino, according to Rumpf, the financial consequences are usually not existential.

For them, a game could mean an escape route from reality. "They play when they are bored, stressed, or sad. Then they perform less, which pulls them down even more often – and they pick up the cell phone again", describes Hull. "At the beginning this is a slow cycle that can suddenly become very fast."

Rumpf criticizes the game industry for taking responsibility for the issue: "We sat down at the table with the addiction commissioner of the federal government and the games industry. Unfortunately, the industry showed no great willingness to cooperate", he says.

His suggestion: "Games with a high potential for addiction should only be approved for older people." So far there have been age restrictions for games with violence or sexual content, but not for potentially addictive games. According to Rumpf, warnings could also help if players play for more than two or three hours a day. A function that the game switches itself off after a certain period of time could also help.

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Most gamers would not be addicted, though, assures Hull. "I should worry if I find myself losing control"says the psychologist. "If I play late into the night and am constantly overtired at work, university or school, that is a sign that the game has power over me." Those affected can then turn to local addiction counseling. The Federal Center for Health Education also offers help on the Internet.

Sources used: AFP

The action game "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" won the main prize at Gamescom in Cologne "Gamescom Award" cleared away. Activision Blizzard’s new game title was featured in the category on Saturday "Best of Gamescom" excellent, as announced by the organizers. The decision was made by a jury of experts. Other trophies were also awarded. The audience award won "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" from Nintendo. The game "Fortnite" was awarded for the best booth at Gamescom.

Gamescom is one of the most important gaming fairs worldwide. The first prizes in special categories were at "Gamescom Award" already distributed at the start on Tuesday. By the closing day on Saturday, the organizers had around 370,000 visitors to the fair.

Shoulder cramps instead of thigh strains: More than four million people in Germany have already participated as players in e-sports tournaments or league matches. This was the result of a Yougov survey commissioned by the industry association BIU.

Around nine million other video players can imagine participating in competitive game tournaments in the future. Popular games are currently titles like "League of Legends", "Dota 2", "Counter Strike: Global Offensive" and "Fifa 17".

However, the survey shows a big difference between professional and recreational e-athletes. During the most highly endowed and most watched competitions of the professionals in "League of Legends" or "Dota 2" both games are much less common in the hobby area. Only 26 percent said they had already played these titles competitively.


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In Germany, the international game collection goes online. The database should be able to look up information on thousands of games of all kinds – and it will be expanded in the future.

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First stage success: The international computer games collection is online as a database and is accessible to all interested parties.

The aim of the project, which is also funded by the German government, is now to expand the collection into the world’s most extensive and important database, said Cigdem Uzunoglu, managing director of the Digital Game Culture Foundation. It currently holds around 40,000 computer and video games that have been on the market since the 1970s. A good 60,000 titles are planned to be put online with cover, publication date and background information.

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With the start of the online database, the aim of the first project phase, also funded by the federal government, has been implemented, announced the initiators. "With the help of politicians, we now want to quickly usher in the second phase and bring the exhibits together in one place so that they can actually be used"said Uzunoğlu. In the second project phase that follows, the collection will also be physically brought together in one place. The collection is to become the world’s most extensive and important database and a beacon for Germany as a gaming location.

"As more and more institutions around the world begin to build computer game collections, we can create the world’s largest collection in one fell swoop by pooling the joint holdings of the ICS partners", said Felix Falk, managing director of the industry association game. The industry is now hoping for financial support from politicians.

The federal government supports the project

In Digital State Minister Dorothee Bär (CSU) she already has a colleague: "The international game collection must be in Germany", confirms Bear. She herself is to a certain extent a family part of the collection, as she has given some of her grandfather’s Atari games to the initiators. The Bundestag member Rüdiger Kruse is also committed to the ambitious project. It was a strong idea and it was time to implement it now, said the responsible rapporteur in the budget committee of the Bundestag.

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The project is organized and coordinated by the Digital Game Culture Foundation, which has set itself the task of increasing the acceptance and importance of digital games in society. The partners in the project, which started in 2017, include the Berlin Computer Game Museum, the USK self-control entertainment software and the University of Potsdam’s Center for Computer Game Research, Digarec. In the first project phase, the collection received financial support from the federal government.

Sources used: dpa news agency website of the international computer games collection

Chemnitz (dpa) – Magnificent colors, lively graphics, full-sounding background noise – most of the attraction, however, exerts an archaic element in many computer games: death.

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"Games without death are boring"says Miriam Schreiter. The 35-year-old is not a passionate gamer. Rather, she has the role of death while gambling for her with "very good" evaluated dissertation at the TU Chemnitz scientifically examined for three years.

Ghost, ghost, grim reaper, cemetery, headless rider or simply as a corpse – the player encounters death in a variety of ways. This not only applies to the large, high-turnover console and computer games such as "World of Warcraft", "Destiny", "Battlefield" or "Call of Duty"but also so-called casual games.


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Schreiter has concentrated on these casual games, which can also be played quickly on mobile phones or tablets during the tram ride or during the lunch break. "This is a new area of ​​research", explains the research assistant at the Professorship for Intercultural Communication.

For her research, she has made one game in particular: "Cursed Fates – The headless rider" by the German developer Purple Hills. In it, tasks have to be solved and hidden objects have to be found. Your dissertation under the title "How does death come into play? About corpses and ghosts in casual games" 200 pages long and has an interesting insight. "Hidden object game players are often older than 35 years and women", reports author Schreiter.

Overall, the players are getting older. The annual report of the German games industry gives an average age of 36.1 years for 2018; in 2017 it was 35.5 years. "The age group over 50 is growing particularly rapidly"the report says. Of 34.3 million gamers, 9.5 million are over 50 years old and the largest group in Germany. And the industry association has another trend "game" which supports the information provided by Schreiter: 47 percent of the players are women.

The functions of death are as varied as the manifestations. It is both the beginning and the end and always an element of tension. "Death creates disorder. You are constantly creating order"says the scientist. If the headless rider, who already symbolizes death in folk tales, tears down the bridge over a river, for example, you have to find an alternative way to the other side.