Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG): Association between its addiction, self-control and mental disorders among young people in Vietnam (20)

June 19, 2012, doi: 10.1177/0020764012445861

Int J Soc Psychiatry vol. 59 no. 6 570-577

Dinh Thai Son1

Junko Yasuoka2

Krishna C. Poudel2

Keiko Otsuka2

Masamine Jimba2

  1. 1Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, Hanoi, Vietnam
  2. 2Department of Community and Global Health, School of International Health, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Japan
  1. Junko Yasuoka, 7 – 3 – 1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan. Email: [email protected]


Aims: To explore the association between MMORPG addiction and mental health status, and between self-control ability and mental health status among young male MMORPG players in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 10 computer game rooms were randomly selected out of 77 in five communes in Hanoi. From these game rooms, 350 MMORPG players were purposively recruited as a study group, of whom 344 completed the questionnaire. In the same five communes, 344 non-players were selected as a control group. An online game addiction scale, a self-control scale and the Vietnamese SRQ-20 were used to measure the degree of MMORPG addiction, self-control ability and level of mental disorders.

Results: MMORPG players had significantly higher mental disorders scale scores than non-players (p < .001). The strongest positive correlation was detected between MMORPG addiction scale scores and mental disorders scale scores (r = 0.730, p < .001). Self-control scale scores were negatively associated with mental disorders scale scores (r = -0.345, p < .001). The average amount of money spent on games per month, MMORPG addiction scale score and self-control scale score were considered the best predictors of a higher mental disorders scale score.

Conclusion: Young, male MMORPG players with higher addiction scores were more likely to have higher mental disorders scale scores, and such mental status was negatively associated with the level of self-control in Hanoi, Vietnam. Closer attention should be paid to prevent mental disorders among MMORPG players.