Making the Case for Video Game Addiction: Does It Exist or Not?

  • Halley M. PontesEmail author


Video games are becoming increasingly popular as a leisure activity across different age groups and societies. Although research on video game effects has found a wide range of positive and negative effects associated to video game play, the present chapter will critically evaluate evidence supporting the potential addictive effects stemming from excessive video game play. This chapter aims to contribute to the debate on a controversial effect that affects a minority of gamers. This is particularly important and timely since video game addiction is currently being considered as a tentative disorder by different medical bodies such as the American Psychiatric Association and World Health Organization. The present chapter summarizes some of the key arguments supporting video game addiction as a potential psychiatric disorder by considering the following sources of scientific evidence: theoretical, empirical, and clinical evidence. Based on the evidence examined, it is concluded that while video game addiction remains controversial at best, preliminary evidence exists suggesting that video game addiction may be a feasible concept and a potential mental health disorder even though several limitations in the existing research have been found and that far more research into this issue is needed. The implications of these findings are further discussed within the chapter.


Video game addiction Internet Gaming Disorder Behavioral Addiction Video game effects 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology DepartmentNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK

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