What's the Problem in Problem Gaming

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology (editor)

Abstract

The concept of video- or computergame addiction has entered the popular vocabulary as a common way of talking about the conflicts and troubles emerging in relation to video gameplay in the socio-cultural contexts of everyday life. Whether they appear in newspaper articles announcing the advent of a new grave diagnosis, or in the arguments between teenagers and their adults with regard to the proper way of spending their time the concept of video game addiction has become a common signifier for the various types of crises and disagreements that may arise within and around the playing of video games. Actually, the concept of ‘video- or computergame addiction’ has outranked ‘video game violence’ as the key trigger of media panics surrounding the new medium. Whereas the 1990’s and 2000’s offered a plethora of studies and academic debates on the possible effects of video game violence on ‘the affect, cognition and behaviour’ of the gamers (Carnagey and Anderson 2005), the focus of (research) concerns more recently have turned away from the content of video games and toward the time spent playing. This research interest builds on the idea that an excessive amount of gameplay can be a sign of ‘addiction’ in a manner similar to the way the pathological gambler is addicted to gambling and the heroine addict is addicted to heroine. The approach has largely been upheld by psychology and neurophysiology as the primary disciplinary frameworks dealing with the issue. Accordingly, the alleged ‘pathology’ has been formulated in extension of existing concepts and definitions such as gambling and behavioural disorders within psychology (Chumbley and Griffiths 2006; Griffiths, Davies, and Chappell 2004; Grüsser, Thalemann, and Griffiths 2006) and the release of dopamine within neurophysiology (Koepp et al. 1998). In this way, the majority of research on video game addiction has emerged from applying concepts and definitions of addiction from existing disciplines to the field of video games.

In this anthology we would like change the research agenda away from ’videogame addiction’ as a psychological pathology ascribed to the individual toward a situated understanding of ’problem gaming’ as something that takes place between people in the socio-cultural contexts of everyday life. That is, we would like to translate the concept of ‘video game addiction’ into the concept of ‘problem gaming’ in the process questioning the general assumption that problems relating to excessive gaming necessarily be approached as addiction problems.

Details

Authors
  • Jessica Enevold (Editor)
  • Anne-Mette Thorhauge (Editor)
  • Andreas Gregersen (Editor)
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of Copenhagen
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cultural Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Interaction Technologies

Keywords

  • computer games, game addiction, game culture, problem gaming, game studies, everyday culture, family, youth research, play research, media criticism
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNordicom
Number of pages123
ISBN (Electronic)978-91-87959-89-5
ISBN (Print)978-91-87957-88-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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Enevold, J. (Speaker)
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