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Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2012 Mar;15(3):155-61. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2011.0387. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

Video game genre as a predictor of problem use.

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  • 1Institute for Special Populations Research, National Development and Research Institutes, 71 W. 23rd St., New York, NY 10010, USA.


This study assessed how problem video game playing (PVP) varies with game type, or "genre," among adult video gamers. Participants (n=3,380) were adults (18+) who reported playing video games for 1 hour or more during the past week and completed a nationally representative online survey. The survey asked about characteristics of video game use, including titles played in the past year and patterns of (problematic) use. Participants self-reported the extent to which characteristics of PVP (e.g., playing longer than intended) described their game play. Five percent of our sample reported moderate to extreme problems. PVP was concentrated among persons who reported playing first-person shooter, action adventure, role-playing, and gambling games most during the past year. The identification of a subset of game types most associated with problem use suggests new directions for research into the specific design elements and reward mechanics of "addictive" video games and those populations at greatest risk of PVP with the ultimate goal of better understanding, preventing, and treating this contemporary mental health problem.

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