Report Gaming addiction probably isn’t a real condition, study suggests

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  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    There may be no such thing as internet gaming addiction. People play excessively not because they are hooked on gaming itself, but because they feel unhappy about other areas of their life, according to a study that followed thousands of online gamers over six months.

    Internet gaming disorder is referenced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a “condition of further study”, meaning the American Psychiatric Association thinks it warrants further research as a potential psychiatric condition.

    The manual suggests that people suspected of suffering from gaming disorder must fulfil five or more criteria from a list of nine that include: lying about time spent gaming; jeopardising jobs, careers or education because of participation in gaming; and using gaming to relieve anxiety. They must also feel distress over their gaming habits for a – yet to be defined – period of time.

    To investigate the potential prevalence of the disorder based on these criteria, Netta Weinstein at Cardiff University, UK, and her colleagues used a nationally representative sample informed by US census data to identify 2316 people over the age of 18 who regularly play games online.

    Participants filled in a questionnaire covering aspects of their health, physical activity and lifestyle. At the start of the study, only nine participants met five or more criteria and experienced distress as a result of their gaming. However, none still met this criteria six months later and therefore weren’t diagnosed with addiction.

    Three people matched four or more criteria at the beginning and end of the study. However, none felt ongoing distress over their gaming habits.

    “We didn’t see a large number of people with clinical problems,” says Weinstein. “The study’s results suggest that it’s not clear how many resources should go to gaming addiction, compared to other addictions like drugs.”

    Read more here. (New Scientist)

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