Is there such a thing as online video game addiction? A cross-disciplinary review

M Hellman, TM Schoenmakers, BR Nordstrom, RJ van Holst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on explanatory pluralism this cross-disciplinary theoretical study asks whether excessive compulsive online gaming can be called an addiction on the basis of what is known about the disorder. This article discusses the concept of addiction; the social seating of the problems and it reviews, recent scientific literature on criteria used for diagnosing addictions. In addition, contributions by brain science are discussed. The study unfolds different dimensions of the problem and concludes by stating that research indicate that there indeed seems to be a type of problematic online gaming behavior, which bears similarities to such an extent with the essence of the concept and the phenomenon of addiction that it can beneficially lend itself and be compared to it. The authors suggest that this behavioral addiction may differ from drug addictions in magnitude, but not in kind. In addition, the authors find a possible solution for conceptualizing behavioral addictions by a general de-medicalization of the concept of addiction.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)102-112
Number of pages11
JournalAddiction Research and Theory
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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