Turning Data into People: Player Perspectives on Game Addiction

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


Internet gaming disorder, also known as video game addiction and pathological gaming, has officially been proposed as a psychiatric disorder. Numerous studies have investigated the prevalence of the disorder, but the prevalence rates that they arrive at vary in the extreme (from 0.6% to 44.5%). This discrepancy between studies inevitably raises questions about what they actually measure. To explore this further five young men who were candidates for this new diagnosis where asked to fill out a questionnaire probing pathological gaming and interviewed about how they understood the questions and their thoughts on video game addiction in general. Thus, this paper presents the results of a qualitative investigation of the face-validity of quantitative research on video game addiction. The interviews showed that the respondents often misunderstood the intention of the questions, misjudged the severity of the negative effects that the questions probed and often interpreted the questions very differently. Only one of the respondents believed pathological gaming to be a primary disorder, but he also believed it to promote more positive than negative effects. The rest of the respondent either did not believe in the disorder at all or believed it to be secondary to other problems, such as anxiety or depression.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationITAG '15 Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Interactive Technologies and Games (iTAG)
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationWashington
PublisherIEEE Computer Society Press
Publication date23 Oct 2015
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4673-7874-1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2015


  • Internet gaming disorder
  • Video game addiction
  • Pathological gaming
  • Prevalence rates
  • Qualitative investigation


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