Cognitive Daily

Interesting article in the Washington Post about video game addiction in South Korea (via Slashdot). From the article:

An estimated 2.4 percent of the population from 9 to 39 are believed to be suffering from game addiction, according to a government-funded survey. Another 10.2 percent were found to be “borderline cases” at risk of addiction — defined as an obsession with playing electronic games to the point of sleep deprivation, disruption of daily life and a loosening grip on reality. Such feelings are typically coupled with depression and a sense of withdrawal when not playing, counselors say.

We have reported on a similar phenomenon, “internet addiction.” I think the objection that was raised by commenters there could also apply to video game addiction: is gaming addition a discrete problem, or simply the focus of a larger problem in the individual?

Regardless of the answer to that question, the scale of the problem in South Korea is quite disturbing.


  1. #1 staffpsy
    May 29, 2006

    With game and internet problems i’m weary about how they are defining it as an “addiction”. I view it more as a compulsion, one that does not require the same intensity for “recovery” as drugs and alcohol. Great post.

  2. #2 josh g.
    May 29, 2006

    I sometimes worry about my own compulsive behaviours with games and the internet, but I do doubt the ‘addiction’ term as well. Still, I’d be interested to know if there are studies out there comparing the phenomenon to, eg. compulsive movie or TV watching, and other forms of stimulus-heavy entertainment.

  3. #3 liz
    June 11, 2006

    i love video games. besides its not a problem.they are so cool.

  4. #4 Parenting Mom
    February 24, 2007

    Actually, you’re right–the word “addiction” is overused in our society, but brain researchers are calling excessive video game play an addiction for other reasons which I detail in an article I just wrote. Parents would do well to read it. Of utmost concern is
    how excessive video game play affects a growing brain.

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