The Importance of Being Playful
The current DSM-5 research diagnosis of Internet Gaming Disorder has led to a great number of publications, dealing with the importance of differentiating between normal, extensive and addictive gaming. Online cultures and online social relations have become more and more important for people of all ages and gaming is one of the most common leisure activities of all children and adolescents. How can we distinguish healthy gaming from pathological gaming respecting individual differences and still define the right moment for interventions if they are needed in terms of either prevention or treatment for individuals with internet gaming disorder? Results from our SEYLA (Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Austria)-Study, where baseline data from school-aged adolescents (14–20 years old) has been collected regarding health and well-being in Austrian adolescents indicate that we do not need to prevent children and adolescents from gaming in order to prevent addiction. Instead, we need to support them so that they can play for fun and not as a mechanism to avoid or cope with other problems. Further research from a multiprofessional approach is needed to build a realistic and comprehensive understanding of this ‘gaming-continuum’, because those gamers who experience addiction-related symptoms require professional support without being stigmatized.
KeywordsExcessive gaming Online gaming disorder Addiction prevention SEYLA MMORPGs Online activities Videogames
- Austrian Federal Ministry of Health (BMG). 2015. The Austrian addiction prevention strategy. https://broschuerenservice.sozialministerium.at/Home/Download?publicationId=643.
- Carr, Nicholas. 2010. Wer bin ich, wenn ich online bin…: und was macht mein Gehirn solange? Munich: Blessing.Google Scholar
- Deleuze, Jory, Jiang Long, Tie-Qiao Liu, Pierre Maurage, and Joel Billieux. 2018. Passion or addiction? Correlates of healthy versus problematic use of videogames in a sample of French-speaking regular players. Addicitve Behaviors 82:114–121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.02.031.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fuchs, Martin, David Riedl, Astrid Bock, Gerhard Rumpold and Kathrin Sevecke. 2018. Pathological internet use – An important comorbidity in child and adolescent psychiatry: Prevalence and correlation patterns in a naturalistic sample of adolescent inpatients. BioMed Research International, Vol 2018, Article ID 1629147. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/1629147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Király, Orsolya, Robert Urban, Mark D. Griffiths, Csilla Agoston, Katalin Nagygyorgy, Gyongyi Kokonyei, und Zsolt Demetrovics. 2015. The mediating effect of gaming motivation between psychiatric symptoms and problematic online gaming: An online survey. Journal of Medical Internet Research 17 (4): e88. https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.3515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kühn, Simone, Tobias Gleich, Robert C. Lorenz, Ulman Lindenberger, und Jurgen Gallinat. 2014. Playing Super Mario induces structural brain plasticity: Gray matter changes resulting from training with a commercial Video Game. Molecular Psychiatry 19:265–271. https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2013.120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest (Ed.). 2018. JIM-Studie 2018. Basisuntersuchung zum Medienumgang 12-19-Jähriger. mpfs. https://www.mpfs.de/fileadmin/files/Studien/JIM/2018/Studie/JIM_2018_Gesamt.pdf. Accessed 26 Nov 2018.
- Moggi, Franz, Hrsg. 2002. Doppeldiagnosen. Bern: Huber.Google Scholar
- Newzoo. 2019. Most popular core PC games | global. Newzoo. https://newzoo.com/insights/rankings/top-20-core-pc-games/. Accessed 1 Dec 2018.
- Waddell, Margot. 2018. On adolescence. The Tavistock clinic series. London: Karnac.Google Scholar
- Winnicott, Donald W. 1971. Playing and reality. London: Tavistock Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
- World Health Organization. 1992. The ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioural disorders: Clinical descriptions and diagnostic guidelines. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar