Problematic video game use: estimated prevalence and associations with mental and physical health

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2011 Oct;14(10):591-6. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2010.0260. Epub 2011 Feb 22.


A nationwide survey was conducted to investigate the prevalence of video game addiction and problematic video game use and their association with physical and mental health. An initial sample comprising 2,500 individuals was randomly selected from the Norwegian National Registry. A total of 816 (34.0 percent) individuals completed and returned the questionnaire. The majority (56.3 percent) of respondents used video games on a regular basis. The prevalence of video game addiction was estimated to be 0.6 percent, with problematic use of video games reported by 4.1 percent of the sample. Gender (male) and age group (young) were strong predictors for problematic use of video games. A higher proportion of high frequency compared with low frequency players preferred massively multiplayer online role-playing games, although the majority of high frequency players preferred other game types. Problematic use of video games was associated with lower scores on life satisfaction and with elevated levels of anxiety and depression. Video game use was not associated with reported amount of physical exercise.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse
  • Age Factors
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Behavior, Addictive / epidemiology*
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Play and Playthings
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Video Games / psychology
  • Video Games / statistics & numerical data*