Problematic Mobile Gameplay Among the World’s Most Intense Players: A Modern Pandemic or Casual Recreational Pursuit?

This study investigated problematic mobile gameplay. Adopting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-style criteria for pathological gambling to identify cases of problematic play, the study compared the mobile gaming habits, preferences, and demographics of problematic and nonproblematic game players. Of the 1,950 mobile players sampled, 3% (n = 58) demonstrated signs of possible pathological behavior. The nonproblematic players showed characteristics identifiable with the casual mobile game player, who plays as a quick distraction to pass time when waiting or out of boredom. By comparison, the problematic players were found to play as a means of avoiding responsibilities and as a possible distraction from pain and discomfort. The findings help substantiate claims that mobile gameplay is a casual activity at least for the majority of individuals. However, for some, mobile gaming can interfere with different aspects of life and, in worst cases, may lead to pathological dependence. © 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.

This study investigated problematic mobile gameplay. Adopting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-style criteria for pathological gambling to identify cases of problematic play, the study compared the mobile gaming habits, preferences, and demographics of problematic and nonproblematic game players. Of the 1,950 mobile players sampled, 3% (n = 58) demonstrated signs of possible pathological behavior. The nonproblematic players showed characteristics identifiable with the casual mobile game player, who plays as a quick distraction to pass time when waiting or out of boredom. By comparison, the problematic players were found to play as a means of avoiding responsibilities and as a possible distraction from pain and discomfort. The findings help substantiate claims that mobile gameplay is a casual activity at least for the majority of individuals. However, for some, mobile gaming can interfere with different aspects of life and, in worst cases, may lead to pathological dependence. © 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.

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