Helping Parents Make Sense of Video Game Addiction

  • Rune K. L. NielsenEmail author
  • Daniel Kardefelt-Winther


Digital technologies, including video games, are the cause of much concern and much optimism. Many parents are concerned by reports in the popular press about the concept of video game addiction. This chapter aims to critically examine some of the most prolific concerns surrounding the concept of video game addiction and provide a discussion of the science behind such concerns. Among the concerns discussed in this chapter are (1) the idea that increasing amount of time spent playing is a symptom of addiction, (2) the notion that video games are forms of digital substances akin to cocaine or heroin, (3) the concern that Internet descriptions of symptoms can be used for diagnostic purposes, and 4) the concern that video games necessarily have negative consequences. We argue that the term “addiction” is not well suited to describe children’s involvement with digital media.


Gaming disorder Internet gaming disorder Video games Addiction Children Digital media Digital games 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rune K. L. Nielsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel Kardefelt-Winther
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Digital DesignIT University of Copenhagen, Center for Computer Games ResearchCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Clinical NeuroscienceKarolinska Institutet, Centre for Psychiatry ResearchStockholmSweden

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