The relationship between gaming disorder and addiction requires a behavioral analysis

Richard J.E. James*, Richard J. Tunney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In their position paper, Aarseth et al. (2016) bring to light several timely issues concerning the categorization of gaming disorder as a form of addiction and as a discrete mental disorder. In our commentary, we welcome their caution toward this move and their discussion of the equivocal scientific data in its support and the potential negative consequences for gamers. We suggest that a more heterogeneous approach is required for understanding any behavioral addiction, as concepts from gambling appear to be more relevant for aspects of mobile gaming than for video games more generally. In addition to a greater need for clinical research, we argue that studying gaming at a different level of analysis than the epidemiological study is required to gain a meaningful understanding of the harm video games may or may not entail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-309
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Addiction
  • Behavior
  • Gambling
  • Gaming


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