Adolescent Video Game/Internet Game Playing Term Paper

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This term seems to have been coined in the 1990s when researchers were attempting to describe a constellation of behaviors observed in persons using the Internet to such an extent that it began to cause other aspects of their lives to become dysfunctional. The DSM-IV disorder most similar to the pattern of behaviors observed with overuse of video games is pathological gambling. Presumably, the more colloquial term addiction was derived from the similarities to gambling addiction. For this report, this pattern of heavy video game playing is referred to as "video game overuse." (Khan, 2007) Kahn additionally relates that: "Symptoms of time usage and social dysfunction/disruption appear in patterns similar to that of other addictive disorders. It is not clear whether withdrawal symptoms are associated with video game overuse; some excessive users do not exhibit "cravings" for the games if they are unavailable, while other users insist they cannot reduce the time they spend on the games. Dependence-like behaviors are more likely in children who start playing video games at younger ages." (2007) Khan relates that the American Medical Association supports the recommendation of 1 to 2 hours "of total daily screen time..." (Khan, 2007)

In a news report entitled: "A Special Report: Video Game Addiction" it is stated that mental health experts believe that "spending too much time playing video games can become an addiction." (2005) According to the National Institute on Media and the Family, in the work entitled: "Computer Games Addiction?" whether to consider someone addicted to video gaming may be gauged on the amount of time that the individual spends playing video games. The National Institute of Media reports specifically states that computer and video game addiction is "When time spent on the computer, playing video games or cruising the Internet reaches a point that it harms a child's or adult's family and social relationships, or disrupts school or work life..." (2005)

The work of Taylor (2006) entitled: "Video Game Addiction a Treatable Mental Condition" states that according to Maressa Orzack, McLean Hospital Computer Addiction Study Center Director and an assistant clinical psychology professor at Harvard University states that: "Computer addiction is an activity in which the person spends too much time, risking everything from relationships to finances." (2006) a separate report entitled: "Game Away the Day" states that researchers states that the Society for Neurosciences has stated indications that the individual who spends an excessive amount of time video gaming has "the same physiological responses that trigger a smoker's craving" and that this research was established through use of electroencephalography (EEG) measurement of brain activity in those addicted to video gaming.


Throughout the course of the foregoing literature review studies have noted the link between the amount of time spent video gaming and the addiction of an individual to video gaming. There are also other factors associated with addiction to video gaming, which are individual characteristics that contribute to the amount of time spent by the individual video gaming. While the amount of time spent video gaming is acknowledge and stated in study findings there are still factors that are yet unidentified or that are not completely understood in relation to the development of an addiction of video gaming. Future research should seek to identify which individual characteristics combined with excessive video gaming is likely to result in the individual becoming addicted to video gaming.


Hauge, Marny R. And Gentile, Douglas a. (2003) Video game addiction among adolescents: associations with academic performance and aggression - Presented at Society for research in child development conference, April 2 -- 3 Tampa Florida.

Special Report: Video Game Addiction (2005) New Orleans 24 Feb 2005. Online available at

Khan, Mohamed K. (2007) Emotional and Behavioral Effects, Including Addictive Potential, of Video Games. Report of the Council on Science and Public Health. CSAPH Report 12-a-07

Computer Games Addiction (2005) National Institute on Media and the Family. Online available at

Taylor, Alex (2006)Video Game Addiction a Treatable Mental Condition.. The Daily Free Press. 31 March 2006. Online available at

Singer, Emily (2005) Game Away the Day. Technology Review. 15 Nov 2005. Online…[continue]

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