Video game addiction - Wikipedia

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2017

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Video game addiction , also known as gaming disorder or internet gaming disorder , is generally defined as the problematic, compulsive use of video games that results in significant impairment to an individual's ability to function in various life domains over a prolonged period of time. This and associated concepts have been the subject of considerable research, debate, and discussion among experts in several disciplines and has generated controversy within the medical, scientific, and gaming communities.

Such disorders can be diagnosed when an individual engages in gaming activities at the cost of fulfilling daily responsibilities or pursuing other interests without regard for the negative consequences. The World Health Organization included gaming disorder in the 11th revision of its International Statistical Classification of Diseases.

Controversy around the diagnosis includes whether the disorder is a separate clinical entity or a manifestation of underlying psychiatric disorders. Research has approached the question from a variety of viewpoints, with no universally standardized or agreed definitions, leading to difficulties in developing evidence-based recommendations.

In its report, the Council on Science and Public Health to the American Medical Association AMA used this two-hour-per-day limit to define "gaming overuse", citing the American Academy of Pediatrics guideline of no more than one to two hours per day of "screen time". While the American Psychiatric Association APA does not recognise video game addiction as a disorder, in light of existing evidence, the organisation included video game addiction as a "condition requiring further study" in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as Internet gaming disorder.

APA suggests, like Khan, the effects or symptoms of video game addiction may be similar to those of other proposed psychological addictions. This decision was based upon the large number of studies of this condition and the severity of its consequences.

Because of the distinguishing features and increased risks of clinically significant problems associated with gaming in particular, the Workgroup recommended the inclusion of only internet gaming disorder in Section 3 of the DSM Excessive use of video games may have some or all of the symptoms of drug addiction or other proposed psychological addictions.

Some players become more concerned with their interactions in the game than in their broader lives. Players may play many hours per day, neglect personal hygiene, gain or lose significant weight, disrupt sleep patterns resulting in sleep deprivation , play at work, avoid phone calls from friends, or lie about how much time they spend playing video games. One of the most commonly used instruments for the measurement of addiction, the PVP Questionnaire Problem Video Game Playing Questionnaire , was presented as a quantitative measure, not as a diagnostic tool.

In May , the DSM-5 included for the first time "Internet gaming disorder" IGD as a condition warranting further study before being fully recognized as a genuine mental health problem.

This screening tool has been translated to several languages including Chinese [23] , English [22] , German [24] , Slovenian [25] , Italian [26] , Persian [27] , Polish [28] , European Portuguese [29] , South American Portuguese [30] , and Turkish [31]. On June 3 rd , the world's first screening tool for Gaming Disorder as defined by the World Health Organization was published in a journal article [2] published at the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

Instructions : The questions below are about your gaming activity during the past year i. Please indicate how often the following issues occurred on average over the past twelve months until today. According to the authors of the study, the GDT provides a total score that indicates a player's overall degree of disordered gaming symptoms. Total scores can be obtained by summing up all responses given to all four items of the GDT and can range from a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 20 points, with higher scores being indicative of a higher degree of gaming disorder.

Younger people and men are more likely to experience a gaming disorder than older people and women respectively. Comorbid psychiatric disorders act as both risk factors and consequences. Some personality traits, such as high neuroticism, high impulsivity, and high aggressiveness are consistently significant predictors of internet gaming disorder, and combination of personality traits seem to play a pivotal role in the acquisition, maintenance and development of the disorder.

Although there is much research since the s on problematic online gaming use, the mechanisms are not well understood, due to inconsistent definitions used in studies.

Some theories focus on the presumed built-in reward systems of video games, such as compulsion loops , to explain their potentially addictive nature. Mark Griffiths has proposed another reason online video games are potentially addictive is because they "can be played all day every day.

Long-term internet video game playing affects brain regions responsible for reward, impulse control and sensory-motor coordination. A meta-analytic review of the research concluded the evidence suggests video game addiction arises out of other mental health problems, rather than causing them. As concern over video game addiction grows, the use of psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, twelve-step programs, and use of continuing developing treatment enhancements have been proposed to treat this disorder.

Some countries, such as South Korea, China, the Netherlands, Canada, and the United States, have responded to the perceived threat of video game addiction by opening treatment centres. China was the first country to treat "internet addiction" clinically in Treatment for the patients, most of whom have been forced to attend by parents or government officials, includes various forms of pain including shock therapy.

In , China set up a curfew, banning minors from playing between certain hours. In June , the Smith and Jones clinic [64] in Amsterdam —which has now gone bankrupt—became the first treatment facility in Europe to offer a residential treatment program for compulsive gamers.

In , the National Health Service announced its plans to open a treatment center, run by the Central and North West London NHS foundation trust, that will initially focus on gaming disorder, but is planned to expand to cover other internet-based addictions.

Internet gaming disorder is associated with increased anxiety, social phobia and depression, with adults and young adults being more affected than adolescents. The most frequent physical health-related outcome are alterations in physical functioning such as somatisation and sleep disturbances.

The prevalence of internet gaming disorder range from 0. A longer time spent on video games predicts a tendency towards pathological gaming in the future. The studies however used various methodologies and definitions, which renders consensus difficult to achieve and may explain the wide range of prevalence. Barnett and Coulson [70] expressed concern that much of the debate on the issue of addiction may be a knee jerk response stimulated by poor understanding of games and game players.

Such issues may lead both society and scholars to exaggerate the prevalence and nature of problematic gaming, and over-focus on games specifically, while ignoring underlying mental health issues. Other scholars have cautioned that comparing the symptoms of problematic gaming with problematic gambling is flawed, and that such comparisons may introduce research artifacts and artificially inflate prevalence estimates. For instance, Richard Wood has observed that behaviors which are problematic in regards to gambling may not be as problematic when put into the context of other behaviors that are rewarding such as gaming.

Rather than video gaming disorder being a subtype of gambling disorder, a majority of researchers support the idea of video game addiction being a part of a more comprehensive framework of impulse control disorders with "pathological technology use" with similar characteristics, including the pathological use of video games, internet , computers and other interactive medias. On the contrary, a literature review found that as the video game addiction develops, online gaming addicts spend increasing amounts of time not only playing but also preparing for and organizing their playing sessions, suggesting this addiction may be behavioral rather than a disorder of impulse control.

Some scholars suggest that psycho-social dependence may revolve around the intermittent reinforcements in the game and the need to belong.

Common challenges involve the reliability of the methodology and validity of the results in some studies. Many rely on self-surveys from university students and also lack time frames making it difficult to study the impact, if any, of addiction on a long term scale.

Other concerns also address the definition of addiction and how to measure it, questioning whether or not time is a proper unit to determine how addicted someone is to gaming.

Griffiths have argued the current scientific knowledge on internet gaming addiction is copious in scope and complexity. In addition, they caution the deployment of the label "addiction" since it heavily denotes the use of substances or engagement in certain behaviors.

Finally, the researcher promotes other researchers to assess the validity and reliability of existing measures instead of developing additional measurement instruments. Other challenges include the lack of context of the participant's life and the negative portrayal of gaming addicts.

Negative portrayal also deals with the lack of consistency in measuring addictive gaming. This leads to discussions that sometimes exaggerate the issue and create a misconception in some that they, themselves, may be addicted when they are not. Though the critiques are present, studies on this topic are still relatively young and growing and there is much to still be explored in this realm.

The evidence of video game addiction to create withdrawal symptoms is very limited and thus debated, due to different definitions and low quality trials. The concept of video game disorder is itself being debated, with the overlap of its symptoms with other mental disorders, the unclear consensus on a definition and thresholds, and the lack of evidence raising doubts on whether or not this qualifies as a mental disorder of its own.

Michael Brody, M. A major issue concerns the lack of consistent measures and definitions and of acquisition of follow-up data. A survey conducted in of scholars shown that Video game addiction has been studied since the s, and has seen a significant increase in the number of empirical studies since then.

Press reports have noted that some Finnish Defence Forces ' conscripts were not mature enough to meet the demands of military life and were required to interrupt or postpone military service for a year. One reported source of the lack of needed social skills is overuse of computer games or the internet. Forbes termed this overuse "Web fixations" and stated they were responsible for 13 such interruptions or deferrals over the five years from to The boy's father compared the condition to heroin addiction.

In an April article, The Daily Telegraph reported that surveys of players of Asheron's Call showed that three percent of respondents suffered from agitation when they were unable to play, or missed sleep or meals to play.

The article reports that University of Bolton lead researcher John Charlton said, "Our research supports the idea that people who are heavily involved in game playing may be nearer to autistic spectrum disorders than people who have no interest in gaming. On 6 March , the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 's CBC national news magazine program the fifth estate aired an hour-long report on video game addiction and the Brandon Crisp story, titled "Top Gun", subtitled "When a video gaming obsession turns to addiction and tragedy.

He alleged he would not have begun playing if he was aware he would become addicted. The film attracted widespread coverage on television, radio and in newspapers around the world. In it he documents his experience with gaming addiction and how he was able to overcome it. In , a man from China observed his son's addiction to video games, and having studied these conditions for 25 years, decided to take action. He hired online assassins to kill his son's virtual avatar every time he logged in.

He hoped that being relentlessly killed would help his son lose interest in this destructive habit. In the draft versions leading to the final ICD document, gaming disorder was included alongside gambling disorder under "Disorders Due to Addictive Behaviors". Vladimir Poznyak, the coordinator for the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, defended the addition of gaming disorder, believing the backlash against the addition to be a moral panic as they chose a very narrow definition that encompasses only the most extreme cases of gaming disorder.

He said evaluating a disorder for inclusion is nominally done without any external feedback "to avoid interference from commercial and other entities which may have vested interest in the outcome of the process". Poznyak asserted that several medical professionals consulting on the ICD did believe gaming disorder to be real, and by including it in the ICD, there can now be earnest efforts to define its causes and symptoms betters and methods to deal with it, and now include the video game industry within the conversation to help reduce the effects of video games on public health.

The addition of "gaming disorder" to the ICD was criticized by gamers and the video game industry, while some researchers remained skeptical.

A report, prepared by mental health experts at Oxford University , Johns Hopkins University , Stockholm University and the University of Sydney , sponsored by The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment argues that while there may be potential addiction associated with video gaming, it is premature to consider it a disorder without further study, given the stigmatisation that surrounds video, and ask the WHO to use caution when finalising the ICD draft.

This report was promoted by 22 video game industry trade organizations including the Entertainment Software Association of the United States and Interactive Software Federation of Europe []. As the final approval of the ICD neared, several video game trade associations issued a statement requesting WHO to reconsider the addition of "gaming disorder", stating that, "The evidence for its inclusion remains highly contested and inconclusive".

According to ABC News , parents have many concerns about their children playing video games, such as:. Other concerns are addiction, safety concerns and violence, aggression and misbehavior. The first video game to attract political controversy was the arcade game Space Invaders.

In , a political bill called the Control of Space Invaders and other Electronic Games Bill was drafted by British Labour Party MP George Foulkes in an attempt to ban the game for its "addictive properties" and for causing "deviancy". The bill was debated and only narrowly defeated in parliament by votes to 94 votes.

In August , the government of the People's Republic of China, where more than 20 million people play online games, introduced an online gaming restriction limiting playing time to three hours, after which the player would be expelled from whichever game they were playing.

After three hours, players under 18 are prompted to stop and "do suitable physical exercise". If they continue, their in-game points are "slashed in half". After five hours, all their points are automatically erased. In , one of the five Federal Communications Commission FCC Commissioners, Deborah Taylor Tate , stated that online gaming addiction was "one of the top reasons for college drop-outs".

A systematic review identified in three types of currently attempted governmental policies: 1 limiting the availability of video games shutdown, fatigue system, parental controls , 2 reduce the risks and harm warning messages , 3 provide addiction help services to gamers.

Most of these policies were either not as efficient as intended or not yet evaluated for efficiency, [] which lead some researchers to prompt for a global public health approach to prevent the onset and progression of this disorder. There have been at least a few deaths caused directly by exhaustion from playing games for excessive periods of time.

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