1.How to define IGA, differentiate it to normal gaming (killing time, professional player). 

IGA is a hypothetical behavioral addiction characterized by excessive or compulsive use of computer games or video games, which interferes with a person’s everyday life. Video game addiction may present itself as compulsive gaming, social isolation, mood swings, diminished imagination, and hyper-focus on in-game achievements, to the exclusion of other events in life.

In DSM5, the diagnostic criteria for Internet Gaming Disorder include:

1.  Repetitive use of Internet-based games, often with other players, that leads to significant issues with functioning.  Five of the following criteria must be met within one year:

1Preoccupation or obsession with Internet games.

2Withdrawal symptoms when not playing Internet games.

3A build-up of tolerance–more time needs to be spent playing the games.

4The person has tried to stop or curb playing Internet games, but has failed to do so.

5The person has had a loss of interest in other life activities, such as hobbies.

6A person has had continued overuse of Internet games even with the knowledge of how much they impact a person’s life.

7The person lied to others about his or her Internet game usage.

8The person uses Internet games to relieve anxiety or guilt–it’s a way to escape.

9The person has lost or put at risk and opportunity or relationship because of Internet games.

According to K.S.Young and Daria J Kuss, we can say a person have IGA because of the result feeling after game and the compulsive behavior.


2.What causes game addiction?

There are many things can trigger IGA from personal reason to enterprise intension. According to Daria, it basically can be classified as game mechanism, social factor, and escapism.

Game Mechanism

Achievement includes advancing in the game, namely progressing via leveling up, acquiring status and power in the game, the game’s mechanics, including the possibilities for optimizing game play, and competition, including challenging and dominating others.Reputation and admiration from the gaming community for gaming achievements are further key factors motivating players to keep playing. The game mechanics or structural characteristics have been claimed to reinforce the potentially addictive qualities of games because they contribute to initiation, development, and maintenance of gaming.

Social Factor

It is composed of socializing, including chatting and making new friends in the game, forming new relationships, and working in a team. Research suggests that the social element in MMORPGs is particularly important for gamers because it is an integral component of the enjoyment of playing. Moreover, it denotes a complex interaction between real and virtual social networks, further blurring the boundaries between these networks, making MMORPGs inherently social spaces.


Escapism is an aspect of mood modification whereby individuals suffering from addictions induce a subjective shift in their mood by way of engaging in an addictive behavior, making the latter a coping strategy to deal with everyday problems. Immersion in the game is denoted by discovery, ie, exploring the game and “hidden” game content, role-playing via one’s avatar, customization of one’s online character (such as sex, race, profession, appearance), and escapism, ie, playing in order to avoid real life.


3.Current solution

Currently the general therapy to IGA is taking the addicts away from the gaming environment. Take Restart, a IGA therapy institution, as example, it not only encourages addicts to come back to real world like communicating in person, hiking, etc, but also let the addicts understand IGA and lead them to use internet properly. However, when people go back to original environment, they may relapse again because no one can live without digital device. (Adam Alter says the environment plays an important role in IGA.)

Except for the therapy institution, some game industries also have some award or punishment system to control the people’s gaming time. In China, government force game industries to apply a punishment system named Online Game Anti-Indulged System on their games. It limits teenagers’ gaming time in 5 hours by reducing their game experience like virtual gold, experience, or equipments. The Chinese system is more like a coercive system that force you to leave a game- you can’t have any reward although you keep playing. Inspired by Simon Parkin, “the best way to overcome a bad habit or an addiction is to keep the cue and the reward consistent while changing the routine- by replacing the original behaviour with a distraction.” It’s not a good way to forbid one’s addiction directly coz the the compulsive behaviour may be a ‘relax/release way’ for the addicts(escapism) (people will get another similar compulsive behaviour to replace the IGA).

On the other hand, World of Warcraft has a award system with opposite method but similar function. It builds up the experience based on how long the players leave the game. This one is more like a persuasive way to induce people to leave a game if they want to have more reward. But for game addicts, it might be enough for them that they can have a common reward from game.