Playing videogames is now a major leisure pursuit, yet research in the area is comparatively sparse. Previous correlational evidence suggests that subjective time loss occurs during playing videogames. This study examined experiences of time loss among a relatively large group of gamers (n = 280). Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through an online survey. Results showed that time loss occurred irrespective of gender, age, or frequency of play, but was associated with particular structural characteristics of games such as their complexity, the presence of multi-levels, missions and/or high scores, multiplayer interactions, and plot. Results also demonstrated that time loss could have both positive and negative outcomes for players. Positive aspects of time loss included helping players to relax and temporarily escape from reality. Negative aspects included the sacrificing of other things in their lives, guilty feelings about wasted time, and social conflict. It is concluded that for many gamers, losing track of time is a positive experience and is one of the main reasons for playing videogames.
Wood, D. R. T. A., Griffiths, M. D., & Parke, A. (2007). Experiences of time loss among videogame players: an empirical study. Cyberpsychology and Behavior, 10(1), 38-44. https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2006.9994