, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 247-253
Date: 12 May 2009

Videogame Addiction and its Treatment

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For many, the concept of videogame addiction seems far-fetched, particularly if their concepts and definitions of addiction involve the taking of drugs. This paper overviews the small, but growing area of videogame addiction and then examines the treatment options available for those affected by excessive videogame playing. An overview of the available empirical literature appears to indicate that adverse effects are likely to affect only a relatively small subgroup of players and that frequent players are the most at-risk for developing problems. Worldwide, there are relatively few practitioners that specialise in the treatment of videogame addiction and this may be because there are so few players who are genuinely addicted to playing videogames. However, the Internet may be facilitating excessive online game playing as evidenced by the increasing number of specialist addiction treatment clinics for online videogame addiction. This paper overviews the various approaches that have been used as an intervention in treating videogame addicts, including online support groups, 12-step programmes, behavioural and cognitive-behavioural therapies, and motivational interviewing.