Negative and positive impacts of technology

Adolescent Video Game/Internet Game Playing: Amount of Time Per Day Considered Addictive

Video gaming addiction has been recognized as a new form of addiction requiring treatment. Today’s video games are extremely graphic and realistic. Youth who escape into the world of video gaming, spending excessive time in this particular pursuit are at a high risk of developing video gaming addiction. Video gaming addiction is linked to violence among youth and specifically among boys. Time spent video gaming has been indicated in research to be an indicator of the individual’s addiction or potential of developing an addiction to video gaming however, there are other characteristics of the individual that play a contributing role in the individual becoming addicted to video gaming. Future research should concentrate on identification of individual characteristics that, when combined with excessive time spent video gaming is likely to lead to the individual developing an addiction to video gaming.

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Current research is exploding with reports of a new addiction and specifically video game addiction. In fact, this phenomenon has bee noted on a worldwide basis. In fact, there are reports of new clinics just to deal with this problem triggered by technological applications in the form of video games. These games are very graphic and very realistic and these games are taking their toll on the world’s youth. Society can testify most certainly that with every new technology, including the telephone, radio and television that research has reported findings as to both negative and positive impacts that the technology has shown upon adolescents. Recently, online gaming, similar to activities in previous generations, has raised concerns regarding the effects on children’s behavior. These games appeal to adolescents for many reasons. A large number of the studies have dealt with video game playing teens (boys) and violence. Another growing area of concern is addiction. It is not so much the video/Internet game itself, but the time spent playing the game that raises an issue. This present study is one that focuses upon video game addiction and specifically in making some type of determination as to how many hours per week spent occupied with playing video games would indicate an addiction.


In the work entitled: “Video Game Addiction among Adolescents: Association with Academic Performance and Aggression” reports a National Institute of Media and the Family study relating to video games among children and adolescents. This study reports a “self report measures of video game habits” among 607 8th and 9th graders for hand-held devices, video game consoles, and the computer.” (Hauge & Gentile, 2003) in this work, it is reported that findings are based upon a scale of addiction identified as two groups: (1) addiction; and (2) non-addiction. Findings of this study include the fact that: “The addicted group revealed more reports of involvement in physical fights in the last year, more arguments with friends and teachers, higher hostile attribution scores, and lower grades. ” (Hauge & Gentile, 2003) the addiction questions used in the research were based on “modified DSM-IV criteria for Pathological Gambling.” (Hauge & Gentile, 2003) These authors state that results in Fisher’s 1994 study indicated that: “6% of the sample (N=450, 48% male and 52% female) was defined as ‘pathological players’. Males played more video games overall, but a significant gender bias as not found in the group defined as ‘pathological players’.” (Hauge & Gentile, 2003) Included in the measures of video game habits in this study was a seven-item scale of addiction, rated on a 3-point Likert scale with participants in the top 15% of the sample answered ‘yes’ to four of more of the addiction items (N=265) which were those classified as ‘Non-Addicted.” (Hauge & Gentile, 2003; paraphrased) the remainder of participants were excluded from the study.” (Hauge & Gentile, 2003) This study is reported and shown in the following figure labeled Figure 1: Means (and Standard Deviations) of Variables.

Means (and Standard Deviations) of Variables.

Non-addicted Addicted group

Weekly amount of play

4.53(5.86)a 21.65 (18.24)a

Arguments with teachers

1.59 (.96)b 2.07 (1.22)b

Arguments with friends

1.71 (.87)c 2.03 (1.08)c

Arguments with parents

2.56 (1.02) 2.81 (1.08)

Hostile attribution bias

32 (.20)d

43 (.26)d

School grades

9.84 (2.27)e 8.27 (2.98)e

Source: Hauge & Gentile (2003) study entitled: “Emotional and Behavioral Effects, Including Addictive Potential of Video Games” Presented by Mohamed K. Khan, MD, PhD in a ‘Report of the Council on Science and Public Health – CSAPH Report 12-a-07’ states that:,” the term Internet addiction has been used to describe the phenomenon of Internet and video game overuse, or excessive time spent using these media.

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 available at,300,p1.html

Adolescent Video Game/Internet Game Playing:

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