Problematic online gaming and the COVID-19 pandemic

Daniel L. King, Paul H. Delfabbro, Joel Billieux, Marc N. Potenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

315 Citations (Scopus)
170 Downloads (Pure)


Stay-at-home mandates and quarantines related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have led to greatly increased participation in online gaming. Initiatives such as #PlayApartTogether that promote gaming for socializing and stress reduction may achieve positive outcomes. Although gaming can be a healthy coping strategy for the majority, it can also pose risks to some vulnerable individuals. Protracted periods of social isolation and technology-based activity pose the danger of solidifying unhealthy lifestyle patterns, leading to difficulties to readaptation when the COVID-19 crisis has passed. Balanced and effective approaches to gaming during the COVID-19 pandemic are needed to support physical and psychological wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-186
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Issue number2
Early online date20 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Open Access statement. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
(, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided
the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.


  • addiction
  • coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • gaming disorder
  • pandemic
  • screen time
  • Screen time
  • Coronavirus
  • Addiction
  • Pandemic
  • Gaming disorder


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