Not Playing Around: Gaming Disorder in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)

Daniel L. King, Marc N. Potenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Adolescents are among the most avid consumers of online digital entertainment, particularly video games and related online activities (e.g., live streaming, eSports broadcasts). Global research data indicate that most adolescents report past-year gaming usage across a range of devices, including personal computers, laptops, consoles, and, increasingly as the technology has become more sophisticated, smartphones [1], [2], [3]. Internationally, average gaming usage among adolescents has increased over the last three decades, particularly among males. The Generation M2 study in the United States, for example, reported that average daily gaming usage among individuals, aged 8–18 years, increased from 24 to 73 minutes between 2004 and 2009 [4]. Recent Australian data indicate that males aged 15–24 years play games for an average of 155 min/day [5] and that 4.1% of males aged 11–17 years play games for 9 hours or more on an average weekday [6]. For many children and adolescents, gaming can transition rapidly from a hobby to a routine that is difficult to self-regulate, reduce, or go without, even temporarily. The rising popularity and misuse of video games among adolescents may be attributed to the notion that there may be no other more accessible leisure product that provides a low-effort/low-cost experience of action and excitement, progress and achievement, social connection, and self-expression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-7
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • gaming disorder
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • adolescents
  • consumers
  • video games
  • persistent gaming


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