Researchers studying the effects of online gaming have come to the conclusion that more must be done by game developers to reduce the chances of addiction or face government intervention.

The research was conducted by members of the Nottingham Trent, Cardiff and Derby Universities in England and Wales who claim their research uncovered approximately 11 per cent of gamers are “pathological” and engage in excessive sessions of up to 90 hours.

The study looks at games without a typical ending such as World of Warcraft or The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim which players can play for hours without running out of things to do.

For many years now, game developers have put messages in their games encouraging players to take breaks. These are commonly seen in the startup screens of most games and you’re likely to never see them again afterwards.

“As a first step online game developers and publishers need to look into the structural features of the game design,” the University of Derby’s Cyber psychologist Dr. Zaheer Hussain explains to the BBC, “for example the character development, rapid absorption rate and multiplayer features which could make them addictive or problematic for some gamers.”

Hussain proposes the idea of shortening the length of quests so it takes less time for players to achieve a goal.

However, representatives from the gaming industry have responded to the findings of the research.

“There is no medical diagnosis of game addiction but like anything enjoyable in life, some people play games excessively,” argues Dr. Jo Twist from the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment. ”We actively promote safe and sensible game playing through our site and encourage all players to take regular breaks of at least five minutes every 45-60 minutes.”

“The games industry takes the health and wellbeing of all consumers very seriously and has a number of measures in place to ensure that games can be enjoyed safely and sensibly.”

Twist also added most gamers are able to regulate themselves and play games safely without causing any damage to themselves whatsoever.

Should game developers do more to prevent gaming addiction or is that a responsibility of the individual? Let us know in the comments below. It’s an interesting topic.