Some gamers commonly suffer from Internet gaming disorder. Nevertheless, they do not recognize that their interest in gaming might be an addiction. According to Karim and Chaudri (2012), the number of gamers is constantly increasing, and 10 to 15 percent among them are game addicts. From this perspective, understanding the concept of addiction is critical in order to cope with the issue. The main challenge with understanding behavioral addictions is the fact that they go beyond social norms and are determined from the perspective of medicine, neurology, and psychology. For instance, in the case of Internet gaming disorder, the same brain periods as in the case of drug addiction are activated (Grant, Potenza, Weinstein, & Gorelick, 2010). It means that the problem shifts into the area other than social because it is a clinical matter – a stable psychiatric disorder (Na et al., 2017).
Internet gaming disorder can be understood in light of both traditional and contemporary approaches to treating behavioral addictions. Two common traditional approaches to behavioral addictions are personality theory and the disease model. According to the first traditional approach, Internet gaming disorder is a result of an inborn predisposition to addictions so that it is a person, not a game genre, that invokes addiction. From the perspective of the disease theory, although the initial choice is made by an individual themselves, once they are addicted, they cannot make choice regarding gaming due to the tight grip of the problem.
On the other hand, contemporary treatment approaches are more progressive. For instance, according to one of them, addictions are provoked by an individual’s social environment. In other words, in case of being exposed to social groups that are interested in Internet gaming, the risks of related disorders and addictive behaviors are high. Based on another approach, Internet gaming approach is caused by dissatisfaction with one’s life so that it is a chance of getting away from reality (King & Delfabbro, 2014). Still, regardless of the approach to determining the causes of Internet gaming disorder, it is a critical matter similar to substance abuse so that professional assistance is needed to cope with it.
- Grant, J. E., Potenza, M. N., Weinstein, A., & Gorelick, D. A. (2010). Introduction to behavioral addictions. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 36(5), 233-241.
- Karim, R., & Chaudri, P. (2012). Behavioral addictions: An overview. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 44(1), 5-17
- King, D. L., & Delfabbro, P. H. (2014). Internet gaming disorder treatment: A review of definitions of diagnosis and treatment outcome. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 70(10), 942-955.
- Na, E., Choi, I., Lee, T. H., Lee, H., Rho, M. J., Cho, H., … Kim, D. J. (2017). The influence of game genre on Internet gaming disorder. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 6(2), 248-255.