Is the proposed distinction of Gaming Disorder into a predominantly online vs. offline form meaningful? Empirical evidence from a large German speaking gamer sample

Nov. 19, 2021

The eleventh revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), Gaming Disorder (GD) distinguished between disordered gaming occurring predominantly online, offline, and/or unspecified. Currently, no previous study has investigated whether such a distinction is meaningful in diagnosing disordered gaming. Therefore, a large group of gamers with varied tendencies towards disordered gaming was recruited to examine this issue. A large sample (N = 2,768) was recruited and data were collected on disordered gaming, along with information on their preferred gaming mode and device used to play. The present study shows that the distinction between online and offline gaming mode proposed by the WHO is meaningful because online gamers presented the highest disordered gaming scores followed by mixed gamers (those stating to equally prefer online and offline gaming), and offline gamers. Finally, it was also observed that the type of device for gaming also associated with disordered gaming levels. Specifically, those reporting mostly to use their desktop computer for gaming showed the highest disordered gaming scores. The present study gives empirical support for the notion to both consider gaming mode and gaming device in the study of disordered gaming. 

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