Role-Playing and Real-Time Strategy Games Associated with Greater Probability of Internet Gaming Disorder.

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2015 Aug;18(8):480-5. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2015.0092.

Eichenbaum A1, Kattner F1, Bradford D1, Gentile DA2, Green CS1.


Research indicates that a small subset of those who routinely play video games show signs of pathological habits, with side effects ranging from mild (e.g., being late) to quite severe (e.g., losing a job). However, it is still not clear whether individual types, or genres, of games are most strongly associated with Internet gaming disorder (IGD).

A sample of 4,744 University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduates (Mage=18.9 years; SD=1.9 years; 60.5% female) completed questionnaires on general video game playing habits and on symptoms of IGD. Consistent with previous reports: 5.9-10.8% (depending on classification criteria) of individuals who played video games show signs of pathological play.

Furthermore, real-time strategy and role-playing video games were more strongly associated with pathological play, compared with action and other games (e.g., phone games). The current investigation adds support to the idea that not all video games are equal. Instead, certain genres of video games, specifically real-time strategy and role-playing/fantasy games, are disproportionately associated with IGD symptoms.