Gaming disorder and the COVID-19 pandemic: Treatment demand and service delivery challenges

Daniel L. King, Sophia Achab, Susumu Higuchi, Henrietta Bowden-Jones, Kai W. Müller, Joël Billieux, Vladan Starcevic, John B. Saunders, Philip Tam, Paul H. Delfabbro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Gaming activities have conferred numerous benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some individuals may be at greater risk of problem gaming due to disruption to adaptive routines, increased anxiety and/or depression, and social isolation. This paper presents a summary of 2019-2021 service data from specialist addiction centers in Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Treatment demand for gaming disorder has exceeded service capacity during the pandemic, with significant service access issues. These data highlight the need for adaptability of gaming disorder services and greater resources and funding to respond effectively in future public health crises.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-248
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Issue number2
Early online date12 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • addiction
  • behavioral addiction
  • gaming disorder
  • problematic gaming
  • service delivery
  • treatment


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