“Videogames abuse and/or dependence” has not been identified as a disorder in the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-V). But it is a growing problem, one that psychiatrists say merits further study. So post-doctorate fellow Dr. Ruth van Holst and her colleagues put adolescent male, self-reported problematic videogamers through a test, to determine if videogame addicts would react to neuropsychological tests in the same way as other addicts. The researchers learned that problematic videogamers aren’t like other addicts in two distinct ways:
Gaming addiction is no laughing matter: addicted gamers have lost their jobs, their spouses, and in rare cases, their lives, for non-stop gaming in a virtual world rather than living in the actual one. In late 2011, the South Korean government took steps to curb videogame addiction by creating its “shutdown” law, which prevents gamers under 16 from playing online games between midnight and 6 am. But that might not be the only step it takes.