Being There: A Preliminary Study Examining the Role of Presence in Internet Gaming Disorder

  • Vasileios Stavropoulos
  • Tyrone L. Burleigh
  • Charlotte L. Beard
  • Rapson Gomez
  • Mark D. Griffiths
Brief Report


Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) has been introduced as an emerging mental health condition requiring further study. Associations between IGD and gaming presence (i.e., absorption in the virtual environment) have been implied. The aim of the present study was twofold: (a) to evaluate the extent to which presence contributes to IGD severity and (b) to examine longitudinal differences in IGD according to the initial level of presence experienced. The participants comprising 125 emerging adults aged 18 to 29 years completed either (i) three face-to-face assessments (1 month apart, over 3 months) or (ii) a cross-sectional, online assessment. IGD was assessed with the 9-item IGD Scale Short Form and presence was assessed using the Presence Questionnaire. Regression and latent growth modeling analyses were conducted. Findings demonstrated that the level of gaming presence related to IGD severity but not to linear change in severity over a 3-month period. The study shows that emergent adults who play Internet games may be at a high risk of IGD given a more salient sense of being present within the gaming environment. Clinical implications considering prevention and intervention initiatives are discussed.


Internet Gaming Disorder Video gaming Presence Immersion Emerging adulthood 


Author Contribution

VS and TLB contributed to the literature review, hypotheses formulation, data collection and analyses, and the structure and sequence of theoretical arguments. CLB contributed to the theoretical consolidation of the current work and revised and edited the final manuscript. RZ contributed to the theoretical consolidation of the current work. MDG contributed in revisions and editing of the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards—Animal Rights

All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Confirmation Statement

Authors confirm that this paper has not been either previously published or submitted simultaneously for publication elsewhere.


Authors assign copyright or license to the publication rights in the present article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vasileios Stavropoulos
    • 1
  • Tyrone L. Burleigh
    • 2
  • Charlotte L. Beard
    • 3
  • Rapson Gomez
    • 2
  • Mark D. Griffiths
    • 4
  1. 1.Cairnmillar InstituteHawthorn EastAustralia
  2. 2.Federation UniversityMount HelenAustralia
  3. 3.Palo Alto UniversityCaliforniaUSA
  4. 4.Nottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK

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