Internet Gaming Addiction

A study appearing in the medical journal Pediatrics, conducted by research scientist Douglas A. Gentile, Ph.D., examined video game usage rates of 3,034 children and teenagers. Video game addiction statistics from this study revealed the following:

  • The average length of time spent playing video games was 20 hours per week.
  • An estimated 72 percent of American households play video games.
  • An estimated nine percent of the 3,034 participants in the study showed signs of video game addiction.
  • Four percent of study participants were categorized as extreme users who played video games 50 hours per week on average.

Additional Gaming Addiction Statistics:

  • Forty-one percent of people who play online video games admitted that they played computer games as an escape from the real world. The researchers classified seven percent of these gamers as “dependent.” The authors claim that the addicted gamers used video games to modify their moods, demonstrated tolerance, and showed signs of relapse. Hussain (2009)
  • The likelihood of developing video game addiction depends on the curiosity of the player, the inclusion of a role-playing element, feeling obligated to the team members, a sense of belonging to an online gaming community, and rewards for playing. Hsu (2009)
  • Video game addiction is associated with a strong desire to seek new sensations and experiences, a favorable view of one’s intelligence, and a negative view of the gamer’s ability and competence in relationships. Zheng (2006)
  • Online role-playing games (especially multiplayer games or MMOs) are more likely to result in video game addiction than other computer game genres. Van Rooij (2010)
  • Students addicted to video games have lower academic grades than their non-addicted peers. Chiu (2004)
  • People who have higher levels of trait anxiety, aggressive behavior, and neuroticism are at a higher risk for video game addiction. Mehroof (2010)
  • Males are more prone to video game addiction than females. Boys tend to enjoy violent or aggressive games, and girls generally prefer puzzle games and platformers. Griffiths (2008)
  • High school video game addicts in China tend to have parents with an authoritarian parenting style. Wang (2006)
  • The most recommended and most common treatment orientation for video game addiction is cognitive behavioral therapy. King (2010)
  • The same regions of the brain that are activated when cravings occur in alcohol and drug addicts are also activated in video game addicts when they see images of computer games. Ko (2009)
  • Video game addicts may play online role-playing games to avoid or distract themselves from negative moods. Hussain (2009)
  • In a German sample, 1.5 – 3.5% of teens who use the internet were found to demonstrate symptoms of video game addiction. Video game addiction was also found to be correlated with a higher probability of depression, anxiety, and poorer school grades. Peukert (2010)
  • Video game addiction may be the result of ineffective time management and a desire to avoid other difficulties (rather than theoretical “addictive” qualities of the game). Wood (2008)
  • Compared to females, males are more likely to play online video games. Male video game addicts are more likely to be older, have lower self-esteem, and be less satisfied with their lives compared to those who are not addicted. Ko (2005)
  • In a German study, just over six percent of teenagers were classified as addicted to video games. The majority of these addicted gamers were male, came from families with lower academic achievement, and tended to use video games as a way of coping with negative moods. Klaus (2008)
  • In another German study (using a different definition of video game addiction), it was concluded that 3% of teenage males and 0.3% of teenage females were addicted to video games. Rehbein (2009)
  • In a large study of seven thousand video gamers, close to twelve percent were classified as being addicted to video games. Grusser (2007)



Subscribe to our newsletter that will help you unlock the secrets to a healthier lifestyle and give you up-to-date information on advancements in genetics and other news.