The Contribution of Game Genre and Other Use Patterns to Problem Video Game Play among Adult Video Gamers

  • Luther Elliott
  • Geoffrey Ream
  • Elizabeth McGinsky
  • Eloise Dunlap
Article

Abstract

A nationally representative online survey (n = 3,380) was used to assess the contribution of patterns of video game play to problem video game play (PVGP) symptomatology. Game genre, enjoyment, consumer involvement, time spent gaming (gaming days in the past month and hours on days used), and demographic variables were all examined. The study confirms game genre’s contribution to problem use as well as demographic variation in play patterns that underlie problem video game play vulnerability. Identification of a small group of game types positively correlated with problem use suggests new directions for research into the specific design elements and reward mechanics of “addictive” video games. Unique vulnerabilities to problem use among certain groups demonstrate the need for ongoing investigation of health disparities related to contextual dimensions of video game play.

Keywords

Video games Problem video game play Game play patterns Genre Game mechanics 

References

  1. Anderson, C. A., Gentile, D. A., & Buckley, K. E. (2007). Violent video game effects on children and adolescents: Theory, research, and public policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Association for UK Interactive Entertainment. (2010). Ukie comments on panorama programme on video game addiction. Retrieved Jun. 6, 2012, from http://www.ukie.info/content/ukie-comments-panorama-programme-video-game-addiction.
  3. Bartle, R. (2003). Designing virtual worlds. New Riders Publishing.Google Scholar
  4. Beutel, M. E., Brähler, E., Glaesmer, H., Kuss, D. J., Wölfling, K., & Müller, K. W. (2011). Regular and problematic leisure-time internet use in the community: Results from a german population-based survey. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 14(5), 291–296.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boellstorff, T. (2008). Coming of age in second life: An anthropologist explores the virtually human. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Brady, S. S., & Matthews, K. A. (2006). Effects of media violence on health-related outcomes among young men. Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, 160(4), 341–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bryce, J., & Rutter, J. (2002). Spectacle of the deathmatch: Character and narrative in first-person shooters. ScreenPlay: Cinema/Videogames/Interfaces, eds, 66–80.Google Scholar
  8. Castronova, E. (2005). Synthetic worlds: The business and culture of online games. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  9. Chou, T. J., & Ting, C. C. (2003). The role of flow experience in cyber-game addiction. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 6(6), 663–675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Corneliussen, H., & Rettberg, J. W. (2008). Digital culture, play, and identity: A world of warcraft reader. The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  11. Cunningham-Williams, R. M., Cottier, L. B., Compton, W. M., & Spitznagel, E. L. (1998). Taking chances: Problem gamblers and mental health disorders—results from the St. Louis epidemiologic catchment area study. American Journal of Public Health, 88(7), 1093–1096.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cunningham-Williams, R. M., Grucza, R. A., Cottler, L. B., Womack, S. B., Books, S. J., Przybeck, T. R., Spitznagel, E. L., & Cloninger, C. R. (2004). Prevalence and predictors of pathological gambling: Results from the St. Louis personality, health and lifestyle (slphl) study. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 39, 377–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cunningham-Williams, R. M., Ostmann, E. L., Spitznagel, E. L., & Books, S. J. (2007). Racial/ethnic variation in the reliability of DSM-IV pathological gambling disorder. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 195(7), 551–559.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. D’Angelo, W. (2012). Call of duty: A sales history. Retrieved June 6, 2012, from http://www.vgchartz.com/article/250163/call-of-duty-a-sales-history/.
  15. Dillman, D. A. (2000). Mail and internet surveys: The tailored design method (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  16. Dini, K. (2008). Video game play and addiction: A guide for parents. Bloomington: iUniverse.Google Scholar
  17. Dworak, M., Schierl, T., Bruns, T., & Struder, H. (2007). Impact of singular excessive computer game and television exposure on sleep patterns and memory performance of school-aged children. Pediatrics, 120(5), 978.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Elliott, L., Golub, A., Ream, G., & Dunlap, E. (2012). Video game genre as a predictor of problem use. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 15(3), 155–161.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Entertainment Software Association. (2011). Essential facts about the computer and video game industry: 2011 sales, demographic and usage data.Google Scholar
  20. Fisher, S. (1994). Identifying video game addiction in children and adolescents. Addictive Behaviors, 19(5), 545–553.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Frostling-Henningsson, M. (2009). First-person shooter games as a way of connecting to people: “Brothers in blood”. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 12(5), 557–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ghuman, D., & Griffiths, M. D. (2012). A cross-genre study of online gaming: Player demographics, motivation for play, and social interactions among players. International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning, 2(1), 13–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Griffiths, M. D. (1991). Amusement machine playing in childhood and adolescence: A comparative analysis of video games and fruit machines. Journal of Adolescence, 14(1), 53–73.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Griffiths, M. D. (1993). Are computer games bad for children? The Psychologist: Bulletin of the British Psychological Society, 6, 405.Google Scholar
  25. Griffiths, M. D., & Hunt, N. (1998). Dependence on computer games by adolescents. Psychological Reports, 82(2), 475.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Griffiths, M. D., Davies, M. N. O., & Chappell, D. (2004). Demographic factors and playing variables in online computer gaming. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 7(4), 479–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Grüsser, S. M., Thalemann, R., & Griffiths, M. D. (2006). Excessive computer game playing: Evidence for addiction and aggression? Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 10(2), 290–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gursoy, D., & Gavcar, E. (2003). International leisure tourists’ involvement profile. Annals of Tourism Research, 30(4), 906–926.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Haines, L. (2008, January 17). Online gamer murders rival clan member, The Register. Retrieved from www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/17/gaming_murder/.
  30. Han, D. H., Lee, Y. S., Yang, K. C., Kim, E. Y., Lyoo, I. K., & Renshaw, P. F. (2007). Dopamine genes and reward dependence in adolescents with excessive internet video game play. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 1(3), 133.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Haninger, K., & Thompson, K. M. (2004). Content and ratings of teen-rated video games. Journal of the American Medical Association, 291(7), 856–865.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hill, J. (2007, Sept. 20). Ethical dilemmas: Exploitative multiplayer worlds don’t deserve to be called art, The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/news/articles/ethical-dilemmas/2007/09/19/1189881577195.html.
  33. Hoeft, F., Watson, C. L., Kesler, S. R., Bettinger, K. E., & Reiss, A. L. (2008). Gender differences in the mesocorticolimbic system during computer game-play. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 42(4), 253–258.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hsu, S. H., Wen, M. H., & Wu, M. C. (2009). Exploring user experiences as predictors of MMORPG addiction. Computers in Education, 53, 990–999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hutchins, B. (2008). Signs of meta-change in second modernity: The growth of e-sport and the world cyber games. New Media & Society, 10(6), 851.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jakobsson, M. (2011). The achievement machine: Understanding XBOX 360 achievements in gaming practices. Game Studies, 11(1).Google Scholar
  37. Jansz, J., & Tanis, M. (2007). Appeal of playing online first person shooter games. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 10(1), 133–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. King, D., Delfabbro, P., & Griffiths, M. (2010a). The convergence of gambling and digital media: Implications for gambling in young people. Journal of Gambling Studies, 26, 175–187.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. King, D., Delfabbro, P., & Griffiths, M. (2010b). Video game structural characteristics: A new psychological taxonomy. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 8(1), 90–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. King, D. L., Delfabbro, P. H., & Griffiths, M. D. (2010c). The role of structural characteristics in problematic video game play: An empirical study. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 9, 320–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Klimmt, C., Schmid, H., & Orthmann, J. (2009). Exploring the enjoyment of playing browser games. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 12(2), 231–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ko, C., Liu, G., Hsiao, S., Yen, J., Yang, M., Lin, W., Yen, C., & Chen, C. (2009). Brain activities associated with gaming urge of online gaming addiction. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 43(7), 739–747.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Koepp, M. J., Gunn, R. N., Lawrence, A. D., Cunningham, V. J., Dagher, A., Jones, T., Brooks, D. J., Bench, C. J., & Grasby, P. M. (1998). Evidence for striatal dopamine release during a video game. Nature, 393(6682), 266–268.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kropko, M. R. (2009). Ohio teen convicted of killing mom over video game: Judge rejects video game addiction defense, convicts Ohio teen who shot parents over ‘halo 3’, ABC News.com. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=6627788.
  45. Kuss, D. J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2012a). Internet gaming addiction: A systematic review of empirical research. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 10(2), 278–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kuss, D. J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2012b). Online gaming addiction in children and adolescents: A review of empirical research. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 1(1), 3–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lang, K. B., & Omori, M. (2009). Can demographic variables predict lottery and pari-mutuel losses? an empirical investigation. Journal of Gambling Studies, 25, 171–183.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Laurent, G., & Kapferer, J. N. (1985). Measuring consumer involvement profiles. Journal of Marketing Research, 22(1), 41–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Lee, M., Ko, Y., Song, H., Kwon, K., Lee, H., Nam, M., & Jung, I. (2007). Characteristics of internet use in relation to game genre in Korean adolescents. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 10(2), 278–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Liu, M., & Peng, W. (2009). Cognitive and psychological predictors of the negative outcomes associated with playing MMOGs (massively multiplayer online games). Computers in Human Behavior, 25(6), 1306–1311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Loftus, G. R., & Loftus, E. F. (1983). Mind at play: The psychology of video games. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  52. Lucas, K., & Sherry, J. (2004). Sex differences in video game play. Communication Research, 31(5), 499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. McMahan, A. (2003). Immersion, engagement and presence. The Video Game Theory Reader, 67–86.Google Scholar
  54. Mentzoni, R. A., Brunborg, G. S., Molde, H., Myrseth, H., Mar Skouverøe, K. J., Hetland, J., & Pallesen, S. (2011). Problematic video game use: Estimated prevalence and associations with mental and physical health. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 14(10), 591–596.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Moore, C. (2011). Hats of affect: A study of affect, achievements and hats in team fortress 2. Game Studies, 11(1).Google Scholar
  56. Nardi, B. A. (2010). My life as a night elf priest: An anthropological account of World of Warcraft. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press: University of Michigan Library.Google Scholar
  57. Parker, S. (2011). Halo: A sales history. Retrieved June 6, 2012, from http://www.vgchartz.com/article/87043/halo-a-sales-history/.
  58. Petry, N. M. (2011). Commentary on van rooij et al. (2011): ‘Gaming addiction’—a psychiatric disorder or not? Addiction, 106(1), 213–214.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Poole, S. (2000). Trigger happy: Videogames and the entertainment revolution (1st ed.). New York: Arcade Pub.Google Scholar
  60. Ream, G., Elliott, L., & Dunlap, E. (2011a). Patterns of and motivations for concurrent use of video games and substances. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8(10), 3999–4012.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Ream, G., Elliott, L., & Dunlap, E. (2011b). Playing video games while using or feeling the effects of substances: Associations with substance use problems. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8(10), 3979–3998.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Ream, G. L., Elliott, L. C., Dunlap, E. (2011c, October). Development and biopsychosocial correlates of video game playing through childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood. Paper presented at the 5th conference on Emerging Adulthood, Providence, RI.Google Scholar
  63. Roberts, D. F., & Foehr, U. G. (2004). Kids and media in america. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  64. Sim, T., Gentile, D. A., Bricolo, F., Serpelloni, G., Gulamoydeen, F. (2012). A conceptual review of research on the pathological use of computers, video games, and the internet. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 10.Google Scholar
  65. Smyth, J. (2007). Beyond self-selection in video game play: An experimental examination of the consequences of massively multiplayer online role-playing game play. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 10(5), 717–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Stewart, C. S. (2010, February). The lost boy. Wired, 18.Google Scholar
  67. Sublette, V. A., & Mullan, B. (2010). Consequences of play: A systematic review of the effects of online gaming. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 1–21.Google Scholar
  68. Taylor, T. L. (2006). Play between worlds: Exploring online game culture. Cambridge: MIT.Google Scholar
  69. Tejeiro Salguero, R. A., & Bersabé Morán, R. M. (2002). Measuring problem video game playing in adolescents. Addiction, 97(12), 1601–1606.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Thompson, K. M., Tepichin, K., & Haninger, K. (2006). Content and ratings of mature-rated video games. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 160(4), 402–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Tran, M. (2010, Friday, March 5). Girl starved to death while parents raised virtual child in online game, The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/05/korean-girl-starved-online-game.
  72. Volkow, N. D., Wang, G. J., Fowler, J. S., Logan, J., Schlyer, D., Hitzemann, R., Lieberman, J., Angrist, B., Pappas, N., & MacGregor, R. (1994). Imaging endogenous dopamine competition with [11 c] raclopride in the human brain. Synapse, 16, 255–262.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Volkow, N. D., Fowler, J. S., Wang, G. J., Swanson, J. M., & Telang, F. (2007). Dopamine in drug abuse and addiction: Results of imaging studies and treatment implications. Archives of Neurology, 64(11), 1575.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Weinstein, A. M. (2010). Computer and video game addiction—a comparison between game users and non-game users. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 36, 268–276.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Welte, J. W., Barnes, G. M., Wieczorek, W. F., Tidwell, M. C., & Parker, J. (2002). Gambling participation in the u.S.-results from a national survey. Journal of Gambling Studies, 18(4), 313–337.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Welte, J. W., Barnes, G. M., Wieczorek, W. F., & Tidwell, M. C. (2004). Gambling participation and pathology in the United States—a sociodemographic analysis using classification trees. Addictive Behaviors, 29, 983–989.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Wiley, C. G. E., Shaw, S. M., & Havitz, M. E. (2000). Men’s and women’s involvement in sports: An examination of the gendered aspects of leisure involvement. Leisure Sciences, 22, 19–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Wolf, M. J. P. (2002). Genre and the video game. In M. J. P. Wolf (Ed.), The medium of the video game (pp. 113–134). University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  79. Wood, R. T. A. (2008). Problems with the concept of video game “addiction”: Some case study examples. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 6(2), 169–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Wood, R. T. A., Griffiths, M. D., Chappell, D., & Davies, M. N. O. (2004). The structural characteristics of video games: A psycho-structural analysis. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 7(1), 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Young, K. S. (2009). Understanding online gaming addiction and treatment issues for adolescents. American Journal of Family Therapy, 37(5), 355–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luther Elliott
    • 1
  • Geoffrey Ream
    • 2
  • Elizabeth McGinsky
    • 3
  • Eloise Dunlap
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Special Populations Research, National Development and Research InstitutesNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkAdelphi UniversityGarden CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations