Gaming addiction, definition, and measurement: A large-scale empirical study

M.L.C. Spekman, E.A. Konijn, P.H.M.P. Roelofsma, M.D. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Although the general public appears to have embraced the term 'videogame addiction', the scientific debate as to whether 'gaming addiction' can actually be considered an addiction similar to substance addictions of DSM-IV is still unsettled. To date, research on gaming addiction has focused on problematic behavior from the gaming activity itself and there has been little empirical research related to pathological personality patterns that usually are associated with substance addictions. Therefore, the current study examined how game exposure and 'problematic gaming behavior' are related to personality patterns associated with addiction by means of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). A large-scale survey study was performed among 1004 adolescent boys (age-range 11-18, M = 14.18, SD = 1.36) measuring problematic gaming behavior, physical game-related symptoms, gaming behavior and three MMPI-2 subscales measuring personality patterns usually associated with substance addiction (MAC-R, APS, AAS). Results showed that problematic gaming and physical symptoms were positively related to all MMPI-2 subscales, while game exposure was not related to the indirect measures of addictive personality patterns (i.e., MAC-R, APS). Thus, problematic gaming should be clearly distinguished from high game exposure. High game exposure merely indicates enthusiasm for some although it may be psychopathological for others. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2150-2155
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number6
Early online date31 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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