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      The relationship between gaming disorder and addiction requires a behavioral analysis : Commentary on: Scholars’ open debate paper on the World Health Organization ICD-11 Gaming Disorder proposal (Aarseth et al.)

      , 1 , * , 1

      Journal of Behavioral Addictions

      Akadémiai Kiadó

      addiction, behavior, gaming, gambling

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          In their position paper, Aarseth et al. (2016) bring to light several timely issues concerning the categorization of gaming disorder as a form of addiction and as a discrete mental disorder. In our commentary, we welcome their caution toward this move and their discussion of the equivocal scientific data in its support and the potential negative consequences for gamers. We suggest that a more heterogeneous approach is required for understanding any behavioral addiction, as concepts from gambling appear to be more relevant for aspects of mobile gaming than for video games more generally. In addition to a greater need for clinical research, we argue that studying gaming at a different level of analysis than the epidemiological study is required to gain a meaningful understanding of the harm video games may or may not entail.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Are we overpathologizing everyday life? A tenable blueprint for behavioral addiction research

          Background Behavioral addiction research has been particularly flourishing over the last two decades. However, recent publications have suggested that nearly all daily life activities might lead to a genuine addiction. Methods and aim In this article, we discuss how the use of atheoretical and confirmatory research approaches may result in the identification of an unlimited list of “new” behavioral addictions. Results Both methodological and theoretical shortcomings of these studies were discussed. Conclusions We suggested that studies overpathologizing daily life activities are likely to prompt a dismissive appraisal of behavioral addiction research. Consequently, we proposed several roadmaps for future research in the field, centrally highlighting the need for longer tenable behavioral addiction research that shifts from a mere criteria-based approach toward an approach focusing on the psychological processes involved.
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            Withdrawal symptoms in internet gaming disorder: A systematic review.

            Internet gaming disorder (IGD) is currently positioned in the appendix of the DSM-5 as a condition requiring further study. The aim of this review was to examine the state of current knowledge of gaming withdrawal symptomatology, given the importance of withdrawal in positioning the disorder as a behavioral addiction. A total of 34 studies, including 10 qualitative studies, 17 research reports on psychometric instruments, and 7 treatment studies, were evaluated. The results indicated that the available evidence on Internet gaming withdrawal is very underdeveloped. Internet gaming withdrawal is most consistently referred to as 'irritability' and 'restlessness' following cessation of the activity. There exists a concerning paucity of qualitative studies that provide detailed clinical descriptions of symptoms arising from cessation of internet gaming. This has arguably compromised efforts to quantify withdrawal symptoms in empirical studies of gaming populations. Treatment studies have not reported on the natural course of withdrawal and/or withdrawal symptom trajectory following intervention. It is concluded that many more qualitative clinical studies are needed, and should be prioritised, to develop our understanding of gaming withdrawal. This should improve clinical descriptions of problematic internet gaming and in turn improve the quantification of IGD withdrawal and thus treatments for harmful internet gaming.
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              The convergence of gambling and digital media: implications for gambling in young people.

              Adolescents' use of the Internet and other digital media for the purpose of gambling represents a serious concern in modern society. This paper overviews some of the available monetary and non-monetary forms of gambling within new digital and online media and monetary forms of games with gambling-like experiences. With reference to current psychological knowledge on the risk factors that promote adolescent gambling, it is suggested that new gambling technologies may: (a) make gambling more accessible and attractive to young people, (b) may promote factually incorrect information about gambling, (c) provide an easy escape from real world problems such as depression and social isolation, (d) create a gambling environment that easily facilitates peer pressures to gamble, (e) ease parental transmission of gambling attitudes and beliefs, and (f) make gambling more ubiquitous and socially acceptable. The unique risks of Internet gambling for young people are critically discussed, as well as the lack of restricted classification for video games and other media that feature interactive, non-monetary forms of gambling.

                Author and article information

                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                J Behav Addict
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                17 August 2017
                September 2017
                : 6
                : 3
                : 306-309
                [ 1 ] School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, University Park , Nottingham, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Richard J. E. James; School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK; Phone: +44 115 951 5281; Fax: +44 115 95 15324; E-mail: lpzrj@
                © 2017 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 28, Pages: 4
                Funding sources: None.


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