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Is it possible to get addicted to video games? Have YOU ever been addicted to a video game or gaming in general? I’m frequently asked about this topic when people learn that I write and talk about psychology and video games or when I’m invited to give a talk or appear on a podcast. People –parents especially– are worried that their loved ones and/or children are addicted to video games and they wonder if they should do anything about it.
And they’re not the only ones. In 2013 the American Psychiatric Associated included Internet Gaming Disorder in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSM-5). This is the manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental disorders. Now, it is critical to note that the DSM-5 doesn’t include Internet Gaming Disorder as an actual disorder. Rather, it proposes it as a “a condition warranting more clinical research and experience before it might be considered for inclusion in the main book as a formal disorder.” They even present specific symptoms that might be used to diagnose someone.
But, as they say, more research is required. In this episode of the podcast I talk to an expert on this kind of research. We discuss the concept of gaming addiction, the difficulties inherent in studying it, the flaws of our research to date, and some ways to address those flaws through open science standards.