Distinguishing between addiction and high engagement in the context of MMOGs: An investigation into meaningful prevalence rates

Year: 2012

Author: Seok, Soonhwa, DaCosta, Boaventura

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Much of today's research on video game addiction is plagued with a lack of reliable evidence creating an urgent need for solid prevalence study. Building upon prior research, this paper presents a study which sought to better determine the magnitude of pathological online video game play using a distinction between core and peripheral criteria for behavioral addiction. The aim of the present study was to determine the magnitude of online video game addiction by clearly distinguishing addiction from highly engagement. A distinction lost on earlier research that may have also led such studies to misclassify video game addiction.

The study adopted the approach presented by Charlton (2002) and subsequently Charlton and Danforth (2007), in which only core criteria central to addiction must be met for a positive video game addiction diagnosis. The study adopted the approach delineating peripheral criteria (cognitive salience, euphoria, and tolerance) from core (behavioral salience, withdrawal, relapse, and conflict [interpersonal and intrapersonal]) criteria to separate addicted players from those who are highly engaged. In so doing, the study distinguishes itself from other studies which may have inadvertently classified highly engaged video game players as addicted.