Factors that form addiction to online games

Factors that form addiction to online games

Author: Denisov A. MSMSU (Russia)
Addiction, online games, Internet
Due to the spread of pathological phenomena associated with various aspects of the use of the digital environment and, in particular, computer offline and online games, the category "Gaming disorder" was included in ICD 11. The aim of our study was to identify and describe the factors influencing the problematic use of the Internet and online games. The research results made it possible to single out two groups of factors. The first group of factors is related to the structure of game activity proposed by developers, including the plot, game goals and means to achieve them, options for interacting with other people and game characters, the design of these elements, etc. The creators of online games purposefully apply the methods of addiction formation, using the system of control and management of behavior due to certain incentives and the reward system developed by B. Skinner. The second group is personal factors associated with the implementation of various needs and values in the conditions of gaming activity. Online games, while providing ample opportunities to meet the needs, at the same time form certain ways of their implementation. The main psychological factors contributing to the involvement in the game are: - formation of alternative goals; - structuring time; - receiving reinforcements; - interpersonal in-game interaction and support for the gaming community; - the illusion of personal growth. The main negative result of the spread of online games is connected, in our opinion, with the formation of a cycle of predictable behavior that satisfies a number of needs and forms a certain structure for the realization of values. With the appearance of their purposefulness and a sense of self-realization in the process of playing, the player is more likely to experience an existential crisis in later periods of life.

Russian Psychological Society

e-mail: ruspsysoc@gmail.com


Federal Scientific Center for Psychological and Interdisciplinary Research,
Moscow, Russia

e-mail: forumdigitalchildhood@gmail.com

Psychology Department of MSU

Psychology Department of the Lomonosov Moscow State University,
Moscow, Russia

e-mail: psy@psy.msu.ru