Problematic Video Gamers in The Netherlands

Gaming is a wide spread and popular activity in The Netherlands. Myself I enjoy quite some time in game playing. Mostly on my computer. In The Netherlands addiction health care is addressed by a separate institute in mental health. Although Dr Shock holds a liberal view on gaming and Internet reports sometimes publish evidence of negative effects of game playing including the risk of video game addiction or Internet addiction. Won’t go in any further on my objections to these constructs, they published elsewhere on this blog. Video game addiction might be included in the new DSM V, but then this bible of psychiatry possibly makes some more mistakes with including modern timely diagnoses.

This present study assessed not only problematic game play in adolescents but in a representative sample of the Dutch population, from 14-81 years old. Since problematic gaming behavior is a very subjective measure the researchers defined it as:

PGB was used with the following three items: ‘I think I spend too much time on gaming’, ‘I think my game behavior is problematic’, and ‘I think I’m
going to seek help’ (scale ranged from (1) ‘‘certainly not’’ to (5) ‘‘certainly’’.

Almost 50% reported playing video games, mean age was 38 years, almost two third were women.Gaming was most prevalent among adolescents and youn adults such as your own Dr Shock. The gaming prevalence significantly decreased with age for both men and women.Overall, no significant differences were found in mean playing time per week regarding gender and age. Browser games and offline games were the most popular types of games, online games are played by a relatively small part of the respondents, yet considerably more time is spent on these online games than on browser games, offline casual games, and offline games. Problematic video gaming was most prevalent among young male online game players.

The prevalence of problematic gaming in the total sample is 1.3 percent. Among adolescents and young adults problematic gaming occurs in 3.3 percent of cases.
Haagsma MC, Pieterse ME, & Peters O (2012). The prevalence of problematic video gamers in the Netherlands. Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking, 15 (3), 162-8 PMID: 22313358