Video Game Addiction: The Push To Pathologize Video Games

  title={Video Game Addiction: The Push To Pathologize Video Games},
  author={Anthony M. Bean and Rune Kristian Lundedal Nielsen and Antonius J. Van Rooij and Christopher J. Ferguson},
  journal={Professional Psychology: Research and Practice},
With proposals to include “gaming disorder” in both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) and International Compendium of Diseases (ICD), the concept of video game addiction has gained traction. However, many aspects of this concept remain controversial. At present, little clarity has been achieved regarding diagnostic criteria and appropriate symptoms. It is unclear if symptoms that involve problematic video gaming behavior should be reified as a new disorder, or are the expression of… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Not Yet Game Over: A Reappraisal of Video Game Addiction

The rapid expansion of video gaming in an internet-using society has brought on a renewed focus on the phenomenon of video game addiction. Despite this focus, there remains a crucial absence of

Lack of consensus among scholars on the issue of video game “addiction”.

Whether pathological video game overuse constitutes a distinct mental disorder remains an issue of controversy among scholars. Both empirical data and scholarly opinions differ regarding the status

Policy on unreliable game addiction diagnoses puts the cart before the horse.

Internationally, several policies have been designed to prevent pathological or “problematic” gaming issues in youth, commonly referred to simply as ‘game addiction’. Particularly following the

Helping Parents Make Sense of Video Game Addiction

Digital technologies, including video games, are the cause of much concern and much optimism. Many parents are concerned by reports in the popular press about the concept of video game addiction.

Contextualizing Pathological Gaming - A Proof-of-Concept Study

It is argued, that decontextualized questionnaire items are insufficient to gauge whether a given behaviour is problematic and if those problems are best understood as an addiction or something else.

Pathological gaming: a longitudinal study from the perspectives of mental health problems and social stress model.

Debates about pathological gaming continues in the wake of the World Health Organization's (WHO) decision to establish a gaming disorder diagnosis. Questions persist whether gaming disorder is best

Neuropsychological Constructs in Gaming Disorders: a Systematic Review

With the increasing popularity of video games, a subset of players develop addiction-like behaviours, the frequency of severity thereof warranting the DSM-5 to include Internet gaming disorder (IGD)

Methodological inertia and neoliberal bias in the scientific discourse on internet gaming disorder

The World Health Association has recently made Gaming Disorder a new official behavioral addiction diagnosis, against critique of growing pathologization of everyday behaviors and discontent in gamer

High Involvement Versus Pathological Involvement in Video Games: a Crucial Distinction for Ensuring the Validity and Utility of Gaming Disorder

Available evidence supports the crucial need to distinguish between high and pathological involvement in video games, in order to avoid overdiagnosis and pathologization of normal behavior.

Gaming Motivations as a Guide to Treating Problematic Gaming Behaviors

With the recent edition of Gaming Disorder to the ICD-11, it is imperative for clinicians to explore avenues to treat individuals who may seek treatment for videogame-related difficulties. An

Turning Data into People: Player Perspectives on Game Addiction

  • R. Nielsen
  • Psychology
    2015 International Conference on Interactive Technologies and Games
  • 2015
A qualitative investigation of the face-validity of quantitative research on video game addiction shows that the respondents often misunderstood the intention of the questions, misjudged the severity of the negative effects that the questions probed and often interpreted the questions very differently.

Scholars’ open debate paper on the World Health Organization ICD-11 Gaming Disorder proposal

It is claimed that the premature inclusion of Gaming Disorder as a diagnosis in ICD-11 will cause significant stigma to the millions of children who play video games as a part of a normal, healthy life and the healthy majority of gamers will be affected negatively.

Internet Gaming Disorder: Investigating the Clinical Relevance of a New Phenomenon.

The evidence linking Internet gaming disorder to game engagement was strong, but links to physical, social, and mental health outcomes were decidedly mixed and comparison to gambling disorder revealed that Internet-based games may be significantly less addictive than gambling and similarly dysregulating as electronic games more generally.

Chaos and confusion in DSM-5 diagnosis of Internet Gaming Disorder: Issues, concerns, and recommendations for clarity in the field

The DSM-5 has caused more confusion than clarity regarding the disorder, reflected by researchers in the field contesting a supposedly reached consensus for IGD diagnosis.

An international consensus for assessing internet gaming disorder using the new DSM-5 approach.

This report is the first to achieve an international consensus related to the assessment of internet gaming disorder, and describes the intended meaning behind each of the nine DSM-5 criteria for internetGaming disorder.

A critical account of DSM-5 criteria for internet gaming disorder

Abstract The inclusion of assessment criteria for internet gaming disorder in the DSM-5 appendix means that research in this area is likely to increase. However, a standardized assessment instrument

Video Game Addiction: Past, Present and Future

Gaming addiction has become a topic of increasing research interest. The last decade has witnessed a significant increase in the number of empirical studies examining various aspects of problematic

Problems with the Concept of Video Game “Addiction”: Some Case Study Examples

  • R. Wood
  • Psychology
    International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
  • 2007
This paper argues that the recent concerns about video game “addiction” have been based less on scientific facts and more upon media hysteria. By examining the literature, it will be demonstrated

From Pong to Pokemon Go, catching the essence of the Internet Gaming Disorder diagnosis

This commentary proposes some issues regarding the diagnosis of Internet Gaming Disorder discussed in Kuss et al. (2016) and suggests that avatar identification, playing motivations, and types of video games should be considered for diagnosis.