At present, little is known about why subjective time loss occurs whilst playing video games other than that it may relate to features of escape, immersion and arousal—all of which have been implicated in the development of addictive behaviours. This study examined subjective time loss of 40 undergraduate students (26 males and 14 females with a mean age of 21.4 years) whilst playing one of two video games in an experimental setting. Mood state before and after game playing was also examined using the Profile of Mood States—Short Form (POMS-SF, Grove & Prapavessis, 1992). Results found that, females significantly underestimated the time that they were playing compared to males. Total Mood Disturbance increased after playing one of the games, but only for participants who reported that they would liked to have continued playing for longer. There were no gender differences in relation to mood state. It is concluded that time loss is not (in itself) a precipitating or facilitating factor relating to addictive behaviour patterns.
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