New Study Suggests Gaming Addiction is not a Clinical Disorder By Sean Carey, 21 Oct 2019 CommentsResearch conducted by the Oxford Internet Institute and Cardiff University has found that those with dysfunctional gaming habits, or "gaming addiction" likely have underlying frustrations and more profound psychological issues — not video games themselves. Based on data from over 1000 adolescents and their caregivers, the study — Investigating the Motivational and Psychosocial Dynamics of Dysregulated Gaming — found that those with a dysfunctional gaming habit were likely using video games as a way of seeking contentment rather than being negatively impacted by the hobby. The study comes after the recent classification of "Gaming Disorder" officially being recognised as a disease by the World Health Organisation. Professor Andrew Przybylski, director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute said previous research "failed to examine the wider context of what is going on in these young peoples' lives."This is something we seek to address with our new study. For the first time, we apply motivational theory and open science principles to investigate if psychological needs satisfactions and frustrations in adolescents’ daily lives are linked to dysregulated – or obsessive – gaming engagement."The study found no evidence that an unhealthy relationship with video games accounts for emotional and behavioural problems. Instead, Przybylski concluded that gaming habits are linked to whether certain psychological needs are met or if there are other wider functioning issues. "In light of our findings, we do not believe sufficient evidence exists to warrant thinking about gaming as a clinical disorder in its own right."The study involved adolescents completing questionnaires about their gaming behaviour — including details about how long they spent playing, whom they played with and if they played online, while their caregivers rated their child's emotional and social health. The study found that most participants played at least one game online daily, less than half reported "obsessive gaming" symptoms and were playing an average of three hours per day. The study also states that "there was little evidence that obsessive gaming significantly impacted adolescent outcomes."Dr Netta Weinstein, senior lecturer from Cardiff University and co-author of the report said, "We urge healthcare professionals to look more closely at the underlying factors such as psychological satisfactions and everyday frustrations to understand why a minority of players feel like they must engage in gaming in an obsessive way."Professor Przybylski added, "Whilst the growing popularity of gaming has incited concerns from health care and mental health professions, our research provides no compelling evidence that games, on their own, are to blame for problems facing players. We need better data and the cooperation of video gaming companies if we are to get to the bottom of all this."Source: University of OxfordIndustry News View comments Written by Sean CareyHey everyone! I'm Sean. I have been writing gaming content for various outlets over the past few years while studying a degree in Journalism. I grew up on everything PlayStation — mainly Metal Gear Solid, with a brief foray into the world of Xbox. Nowadays, you'll find me mainly playing multiplayer PC games, but with the recent addition of the Xbox Game Pass for PC, I'm looking forward to improving my TA Score.