University of Leicester
2011FarmerSDClinPsy.pdf (1.14 MB)

Video game 'addiction': a new clinical disorder?

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posted on 2011-11-18, 10:48 authored by Steven Farmer
The aim of the present literature review was to critically appraise the most recent research in the field of gaming „addiction‟. Eighteen papers were selected from a literature search of prominent databases published between 2005 and 2010 and included „gaming‟ and „addiction‟ as the focal point. The papers explored several themes including: prevalence, time spent, individual traits, „addictive‟ potential of games, consequences of play and the concept of addiction. Current research paid scant attention to contextual factors and clinical assertions were made based on limited evidence. It was recommended that future studies synthesise the diverse subjects under investigation using different methodologies in order to create a holistic picture of gaming. The current study sought to understand the experiences of gamers who had encountered difficulty and to learn how these participants related to the activity and the feasibility of gaming „addiction‟. The aim was to offer a new insight into a poorly understood group. Seven adult male console gamers were recruited through online message boards and personal referral and interviewed using a loosely structured schedule. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to develop the themes of: love of gaming, illusion, goal-directed behaviour, game crazy, derision and self-help. A label of gaming „addiction‟, particularly for adult console gamers was considered to be unsuitable. For these participants, they did not appear to fulfill the core criteria of „addiction‟. Limitations of the current study included: self-sampling, poor response rate, and the use of face to face interviews. Research with children and adult gamers was recommended that did not emphasise the word „problem „and used online interview techniques. Intervention delivered via technology was suggested, as was the possibility of information sheets for clinicians to improve their understanding of gaming. The critical appraisal contained reflections of the experience of conducting a small scale piece of research.



Christie, Marilyn

Date of award


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



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