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About me: Dr. Armin Kaser

Computer games are a great hobby for most people. That's OK. Unfortunately, some of them develop a pathological addiction. These people need help. That is why I offer online advice on computer game addiction.

Detailed biography

My involvement with computer games began in 1988 when my father retrained from television to computer technician and brought home a Compaq Portable II 80286 "to practice".

Heavy, bright, but a working computer

The 3 color screen (black, yellow, brown) is enough for my first computer game Digger, and to tie me and my brother to the screen for a high score hunt.

This was followed by a Nintendo NES (with DIY hardware mod for several regional codes) and adventures with Link, Mario and the unmanageable Dragons Lair - despite the help of the Nintendo game advisor. Later an upgrade to Super NES with tough Mario Kart duels.

In 1994 an 80486 took over before the N64 hit the market. The PC brought home "for practice" managed a number of more demanding games: F1GP, Fifa and, above all, Command & Conquer and Warcraft.

The Internet is coming to South Tyrol

Also brand new: the Internet. A connection at home was not yet possible, but a campaign for pupils at Volksbank made it possible for the first time to surf the web in the bank branch in the nearest town.

Computers remain fascinating. In my summer job in an engineering office, I am promoted from copier and runner to programmer. From then on a script draws the wooden beams of the roof trusses all by itself.

Studying computer science in Innsbruck is the next logical step - but after 2 semesters the air is out. I find it more exciting: psychology.

Computer games in psychology studies

Computer games are more than just a hobby. In a seminar in general psychology at the University of Innsbruck, Prof. Pierre Sachse shows students how to research human problem solving with computer games.

In the specially developed management game “Moro” you have to manage a small country in West Africa, its inhabitants (the Moros), their cows, pastures and pest control - if possible without causing a famine.

The other participants use the rewind function - trial and error - to find a good solution. On the other hand, I click the fast-forward button every second and restart umpteen times after the Moros bless the time every time. You're dying in the name of science, and I'm slowly starting to see how the game mechanics work in the background.

The professor noticed my “experimental” approach. He invites me to his select research group in general psychology. The reason for my “effective approach”, however, was that I had simply overlooked the rewind button (it hasn't seen it until today).

In the research group I work on neural networks. In my first own study, I can show that search engines like Google can store and organize information in a very similar way to our brains. Psychology and computer science go well together.

Doctoral thesis: Fun & User Experience

Computer games and advertising have one thing in common: They have to entertain, influence and be fun. That's why I choose a topic from advertising and consumer psychology for my doctoral thesis: "How do IT products have to be designed so that people use them, love them and ultimately buy them in the online shop?"

For psychologists, “user experience” is like “fun” for gamers. A nice experience that is fun, makes us forget the time and: seduces to buy.

After my doctorate in 2012, I was drawn to management consulting for a few years, again with a focus on advertising psychology. I manage marketing budgets, optimize online advertising and Google Ad (Word) s, design customer journeys and curb overly creative web designers.

Computer games deliberately use the same psychological tricks and tricks to bring us fun, excitement and the “just one more game” moment.

The path to becoming a clinical psychologist

In order to be able to work with patients in Austria, psychologists need additional clinical training after graduation: 536 hours of theory, supervision, self-awareness and 2098 hours of practical work as a psychologist.

I do most of them at the Center for Mental Health: Sonnenpark Lans, a psychiatric rehab near Innsbruck.

In order to get more experience in working with children and adolescents, I am completing the second part of the practical training in the therapeutic youth community “Space” (2019). And learn an iron rule of the youth community: no smartphone at the dinner table.

From now on self-employed: Online advice on computer game addiction

With the diplomas from the psychology degree, doctorate and training as a clinical psychologist, it will go straight to the Federal Ministry of Health in 2019.

The list entry entitles you to work independently as a psychologist. And since then there has been online advice on computer game addiction.

Quora: 40+ questions answered

Quora is a platform on which you can ask questions (also anonymously) and have them answered. Many of the answers are provided by experts in the field.

In my Quora account, I answer questions about computer game, internet and online addiction and sometimes about other exciting areas of psychology.

The highlights from 40+ Quora answers

  • What can I do if a child is addicted to computer games?
    In mild cases you can try to work with the child yourself. Measures for self-help are: 1. Clever ... to the full answer
  • How do I know if my partner is a narcissist?
    As a layperson, you can see evidence of a narcissistic personality disorder. The symptoms are ... to the whole answer
  • Why are more people depressed today than in the 20th century?
    That is probably not the case at all. Between 2005 and 2015 the WHO shows an increase ... to the full answer
  • Where can parents find help if their child is addicted to computer games?
    First of all, online tests for computer game addiction can help to assess whether it could still be normal gaming or already computer game addiction ... to the full answer
  • Why are so many children addicted to all kinds of games?
    Games includedMechanics that some kids are addicted to ... Good games work in the brain in the reward center ... to the full answer
  • How can you get an Internet addiction under control without completely giving up the Internet?
    That's fine. The goal of internet addiction therapy will definitely not be completely ... to the full answer
  • What can make a seemingly happy person suffer from depression or worse?
    Do you know the last private video "Depression doesn't have a face" with Chester Bennington, the singer from Linkin Park? It shows him in a good mood 36 hours before his suicide ... the full answer

Amazon: 15+ book reviews

In my Amazon.de account, I rate books on computer, online and internet addiction. There is a separate blog article for book recommendations on computer game addiction.

The best books (so far):

  • Practical Guide Video game and internet addiction (★★★★★ | go to review)
  • Computer game and internet addiction: A cognitive-behavioral treatment manual (★★★★★ | go to review)
  • Digital junkies: Internet addiction and its consequences for us and our children (★★★★★ | to the review)
  • Online addiction: A guide for parents, those affected and their environment (★★★★★ | to the review)
  • Video game and internet addiction guide: Help for everyday life (★★★★★ | to the review)

Google reviews

You can rate me and my work on Google Business and Google Maps. Any feedback is welcome.

Do you like my website? How do you find the online tests for computer game addiction and personality disorders? Are you still missing information about computer game addiction? You can also write to me directly (anonymously) using the contact form.

Top 5: Scientific publications

Research, studies and scientific findings must be made available to specialist colleagues and the public. I present my publications in blog articles.

FAQ - The most common questions

Do you (Dr. Armin Kaser) also play?

Yes - and I believe that an expert on computer game addiction should also know as much as possible about computer games themselves. Not necessarily Starcraft at diamond league level, no Dota MMR> 5k or a Meatboy Speedrunnner. Like a soccer coach, he doesn't have to have become world champion. But he should know what is offside and be rushed across the field in football boots.

You can find more about me in the section “The detailed biography”. And to answer one of the most burning questions directly: There is a more or less complete list of the games I have played.