An Investigation into the Questionable Practice of Using Excessive Massively Multiplayer Online Game Play as a Marker of Pathological Video Game Dependence among Adolescent and Young Adult Male Players
The present study explored pathological online video game dependence among adolescent and young adult males in the context of excessive massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) play. Psychological criteria distinguishing high engagement from addiction were used, as a means of ex-amining MMOG play in the context of an excessive and addictive activity. This is a distinction that has been lost on previous research, setting this study apart from other studies investigating fre-quency of play in the
... context of video game addiction. A total of 1,121 male students in grades 7 through 12 across 12 schools in and around Seoul, South Korea, participated. The study used a 65-item questionnaire developed to examine constructs related to online video game play. Findings revealed no statistically significant differences between those classified as addicted and those clas-sified as highly engaged with regard to items designed to measure frequency of MMOG play. Fur-thermore, in comparison to those classified as addicted, those classified as highly engaged reported a higher average number of hours per week they felt was an acceptable amount of time dedicated to game play. All in all, the findings revealed that those classified as highly engaged spent a significant portion of their time playing in massively multiplayer online worlds alongside those classified as addicted. These findings help illustrate the difficulties in using frequency of online video game play, even if viewed as excessive, as a criterion for identifying pathological dependence.