Research15 indicates that a number of risk factors are associated with Internet gaming addiction. These risk factors include certain personality traits, gaming motivations, and structural game characteristics. The personality traits most commonly associated with Internet addiction include neuroticism,37,50 aggression and hostility,43,50–52 and sensation-seeking.43,50 Factors that appear to protect frequent online gamers from developing problems with their gaming were found to be conscientiousness and extraversion,53 suggesting that for different individuals the same behavior can have different psychological repercussions.In addition to this, the following gaming motivations were found to be most commonly associated with gaming addiction: coping with daily stressors and escapism,5,16,44,54–57 online relationships,16,51,57–59 and mastery, control, recognition, completion, excitement, and challenge.34,56,60 This indicates that the reasons for game play may be an important indicator of potential risk for Internet gaming addiction. Specifically, in comparison with non-MMORPG players, MMORPG players preferred their online friends over their real-life friends.16 Similarly, significantly more dependent gamers were found to prefer spending time with their online friends than their offline friends relative to nondependent gamers and felt their social needs were met better online than offline.44 Moreover, while online games provide nonaddicted players with satisfaction, addicted players play to avoid dissatisfaction,55 which can be an indication of withdrawal symptoms they want to overcome by engaging in gaming compulsively.
The motivational differences to play games
Between dependent and nondependent as well as MMORPG and other gamers appear to be useful clinical information because these motivations can be specifically targeted in treatment sessions. For instance, elements of exposure therapy may be used for the socially fearful in order to decrease discomfort and reintroduce clients to real-life social environments. Also, alternative pastime activities that superslot are perceived as satisfying can be encouraged specifically in group therapy sessions. Encouraging engagement in group sports might satisfy both the need to engage in competitive and satisfying activities and the need to interact with peers in real life.Moreover, a number of structural game characteristics have been found to increase the risk for developing Internet gaming addiction, namely online relative to offline gaming,61 positive reinforcement,62 the enjoyment of particular game features, such as adult content, finding rare in-game items, and watching game cut scenes,63 and viewing one’s virtual persona as better than oneself.64 These characteristics indicate that particular games can be more addictive than others,15 which appears important for game developers and public prevention campaigns that focus on decreasing risk and raising awareness of potential problems. Prevention campaigns could target school-aged children, teachers, and parents in education settings. They could be based on the principles of providing information and a discussion platform concerning Internet and gaming use and possible negative consequences via psychoeducation, with the ultimate goal of encouraging healthy media use. Success could be determined over the long term using triangulation of data and reports obtained from the targeted populations.
Paid little attention to the context of online gaming
However, a few studies have now shed some light on the embedding of Internet gaming addiction in the context of the individual,71 the game and gaming environment,6,72 and the broader framework of culture.73 Each of these will be addressed in turn.Griffiths71 provided case study evidence of two young men who spent an average of 14 hours a day playing MMORPGs in order to emphasize that the context of the individual’s life is an important factor demarcating gaming excess from gaming addiction. Aged 21 years, unemployed and single, “Dave” reported that gaming had a positive influence on his life because his social life revolved almost exclusively around the game, and playing boosted his self-esteem and gave structure to his everyday life. Dave did not perceive that his excessive gaming impacted upon his life negatively at all. For Dave, his extensive gaming did not lead to significant distress or have a negative impact in his daily life, and therefore his behavior cannot be classified as a condition that would fulfill the requirements of a mental disorder classification as outlined in the DSM-5.74 Upon starting a new job and entering into a relationship with a woman he met in-game, his excessive gaming decreased significantly.The second case reported was that of “Jeremy”, a 38-year old financial accountant who was married with two children and experienced detrimental consequences due to his “severe gaming addiction”, namely a relationship breakdown, lack of time for family activities, and loss of his job. Moreover, his playing time, craving for the game, and feelings of low mood and anxiety had increased dramatically.