International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 169-178

First online:

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

  • Richard T. A. WoodAffiliated withInternational Gaming Research Unit, Division of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University Email author 

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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 that the current criteria used for identifying this concept are both inappropriate and misleading. Furthermore, by presenting four case studies as examples it will be demonstrated how such claims of video game addiction can be inaccurately applied. It is concluded that the most likely reasons that people play video games excessively are due to either ineffective time management skills, or as a symptomatic response to other underlying problems that they are escaping from, rather than any inherent addictive properties of the actual games.


Video games Video game addiction Addiction definitions Diagnostic criteria Problem gambling Substance abuse