Contextualizing Pathological Gaming: – A Proof-of-Concept Study

Capser Boonen, Mikkel Christiansen, Agnete Ilsøe, Marie Staunstrup, Rune Kristian Lundedal Nielsen

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In 2013, “Internet Gaming Disorder” (IGD) was proposed as a formal disorder, by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
We present the results of a qualitative interview study wherein we apply a screening tool to “gaming professionals”. We compare our subjects’ perception of their own gaming habits, with how they are scored by a questionnaire and discuss where and how they differ or overlap. Our results indicate that screening tools designed to measure game addiction may not measure what they are intended to measure. Questionnaire items that are not properly contextualized may over-pathologize otherwise healthy players without appropriate context. The context of the individual’s everyday life is crucial to understanding and evaluating their relationship to gaming. We argue, that de- contextualized questionnaire items are insufficient to gauge whether a given behaviour is problematic and if those problems are best understood as an addiction or something else.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiGRA '18 - Proceedings of the 2018 DiGRA International Conference : The Game is the Message
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventDiGRA 2018: The Game is the Message - University of Turin - Campus Luigi Einaudi, Turin, Italy
Duration: 25 Jul 201828 Jul 2018


ConferenceDiGRA 2018
LocationUniversity of Turin - Campus Luigi Einaudi
Internet address


  • gaming
  • video games
  • Addiction
  • internet gaming disorder


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