Am I Addicted to Video Games, Gaming?
The question, “Am I addicted to video games and gaming?” isn’t always easy to answer. First, gaming disorder and the concept of video game addiction are still new, so researchers, mental health professionals, and gamers themselves are trying to figure things out. Also, as with any addiction, when you’re immersed in gaming, it can be difficult to tell if you have a problem. Use this questionnaire as a tool to help you answer the question, “Am I addicted to video games and gaming?”
Am I Addicted to Video Games, Gaming? Consider These Criteria
Before you complete the questionnaire, some important concepts will help you put your own experiences in context.
Dr. Mark Griffiths is a professor in the School of Social Sciences at Trent University in the UK. He studies behavior addictions, including gaming disorder and addiction. Griffiths identifies specific criteria for Internet addiction and video game addiction:
- Gaming is all-consuming and becomes the center of your life (known as salience)
- Gaming gives you a buzz, pulls you out of a funk, or otherwise changes your mood
- You get used to the effects of gaming, so if you want that buzz, you need to play more (known as tolerance)
- You feel distress and discomfort when you try to stop playing for any amount of time (withdrawal)
- If you do take a break from playing, you fall back into your gaming patterns very easily (called relapse).
To help determine if you’re addicted to video games and gaming, consider Dr. Griffiths’ five criteria. You can also use the below tool to assess whether gaming is a problem in your life. (If you're a parent concerned for your child, see How to Help Your Child Addicted to Video Games.)
Am I Addicted to Video Games, Gaming? A Self-Assessment Questionnaire
When you’re caught up in gaming (or any other behavior), it can be hard to see problems and struggles in yourself and your own life. If you’re asking, “Am I addicted to videogames,” it can help to have a way to reflect on what you’re experiencing.
This “Am I Addicted to Video Games, Gaming” questionnaire is designed to walk you through some of the gaming addiction symptoms and signs of addiction to video games. This is not a formal psychological assessment and is not meant to diagnose. Instead, it will help you answer, “Am I addicted to gaming?”
- Am I male? (Almost half of video game players are female, but the nature of their gaming makes them less likely to become addicted.)
- Am I in my teens or twenties? (Gaming addiction can happen at any age, but this range is most common.)
- Do I find it harder to relate to others?
- Do I feel out of control, like I want to stop but I can’t?
- Do I play video games so I don’t have to deal with things that stress me out?
- Has gaming replaced things that I used to have fun doing?
- Am I losing sleep because I’m up late playing games?
- Is my health starting to suffer (feeling tired, achy, generally unwell)?
- Is my mental health starting to suffer (Do I feel upset, sad, or anxious more than I used to)?
- Have I gained weight (from lack of exercise and/or poor eating habits)?
- Am I withdrawn, isolated from people and activities?
- Do people annoy me and make me mad so I get into more conflicts than before?
- Have my grades started to drop?
- Have I been fired from work because I don’t show up or am too tired to do my job?
- Am I skipping school or work to play videogames?
- Does gaming make me feel better or forget my problems?
- Have I been aware of problems in my life but believed that gaming isn’t the cause?
It can be effective to write down your answers because it lets you think about them and answer them in more detail. It can also put your thoughts in front of you, out of your head, so you can see them differently.
Take your time with this questionnaire. Your first thoughts might be to brush off the question or minimize the answer. That’s normal. Answering honestly will help you help yourself take back your life.
Above all, answer these questions without being hard on yourself. The questions aren’t meant to judge and condemn, and they’re not negative. They’re just a tool to help you understand what’s happening. In asking, “Am I addicted to video games and gaming?”, if you discover that you are, you can then begin reclaiming your life (Addicted to Video Games and Online Gaming: What Now?).
Peterson, T. (2018, July 17). Am I Addicted to Video Games, Gaming?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, February 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/addictions/gaming-disorder/am-i-addicted-to-video-games-gaming