Research talent from the IT University receives prestigious Tietgen Award

Critical, original research in computer games, health, and e-sports, and, not least, a strong commitment to collaboration projects and public debate, earned Rune Kristian Lundedal Nielsen, assistant professor and PhD from the IT University, this year’s significant Tietgen Award. The award comes with a sum of 500,000 DKK.

In Rune Kristian Lundedal Nielsen’s doctoral thesis on computer game addiction, he asserted that there is no element in computer games that makes the body addicted to playing. Scientifically, there is no evidence that computer games cause addiction in the same way as, for example, nicotine. Thus, Rune’s research contributes to the significant debate on how society addresses children and young people’s use of computer games.

The Danish Society for Education and Business (DSEB) presents the award, which is one of the largest for young researchers in Scandinavia in business-oriented humanities and social sciences.

‘The computer-game industry is still young and rapidly growing. Rune’s research allows us to scientifically address the development and use of computer games, which is very valuable to society,’ said Torben Möger Pedersen, chair of the DSEB board and CEO of PensionDanmark.

According to the jury, Rune Kristian Lundedal Nielsen’s research on computer-game addiction has significant visionary potential. Additionally, the committee is very impressed with Rune’s communication and engagement in the public debate.

‘It’s important that we critically examine the concept of “computer game addiction” because there is no solid scientific evidence that it constitutes genuine addiction on a par with substance addiction. Whether you’re a politician, business executive, educator, or parent, you may have to make decisions regarding computer games, and you should ideally do so on an informed basis,’ said Rune Kristian Lundedal Nielsen, who was pleased to receive the award for a research field that does not have many funding channels.

‘It’s a great honour for me and for the IT University to receive the Tietgen Award. In a world where competition for research funding is becoming increasingly tough, it is invaluable to be able to conduct the basic research that one is passionate about.’

‘Rune contributes with strong and relevant research on how to develop a healthy gaming culture with focus on teamwork, communication, and personal development – without risk behaviours like gambling and an unhealthy lifestyle,’ said Peter Møllgaard, chair of the Tietgen Award jury and dean at Maastricht University School of Business and Economics.

The Tietgen Award has been awarded since 1929, established to mark the centenary of the birth of C.F. Tietgen. The award is one of the most prestigious Danish honours bestowed on young researchers in Northern Europe in recognition of research talents in business-oriented social sciences and humanities, who have achieved remarkable results internationally.

The award was presented at the annual dinner of the ICC Denmark and the DSEB at the Old Stock Exchange on 20 November, 2019.