The Risk Factors for Video Game Addiction

How do you know if you have a video game problem? Easy: do you lie about how much time you spend playing? Do you blow off sex or work to play? Does your room look like this? If no, then enjoy your hobby. If you said yes, read on and maybe schedule an appointment with a shrink.

Well, according to a new study published in Frontiers of Psychology, the risk factors are:

  • Escapism. The biggest factor, players to game to get away from daily life seem to be the most at risk.
  • Socializing with others. Perhaps counter intuitively, players who game for an online social life are also at risk, because they can feel obliged to game if their online friends have something like a WOW raid planned.
  • Reward seeking. Gamers who like getting the next in-game item, the next level, or the next turn of Civ V can find it hard to stop playing.

So, what’s the worst culprit? Unsurprisingly, MMORPGs are fingered by researchers as the most addictive form of video game, which, given the risk factors listed above, makes a lot of sense. Don’t think that video game addiction is a problem? Trust us, the results aren’t pretty.

Photo courtesy of Kleemo

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