Versatility and addiction in gaming: the number of video-game genres played is associated with pathological gaming in male adolescents

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2015 Feb;18(2):129-32. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2014.0342.


This study tested the predictive power of gaming versatility (i.e., the number of video game genres engaged in) on game addiction in male adolescents, controlling for time spent on gaming. Participants were 701 male adolescents attending high school (Mage=15.6 years). Analyses showed that pathological gaming was predicted not only by higher time spent on gaming, but also by participation in a greater number of video game genres. Specifically, the wider the array of video game genres played, the higher were the negative consequences caused by gaming. Findings show that versatility can be considered as one of the behavioral risk factors related to gaming addiction, which may be characterized by a composite and diversified experience with video games. This study suggests that educational efforts designed to prevent gaming addiction among youth may also be focused on adolescents' engagement in different video games.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Behavior, Addictive / diagnosis*
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recreation / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Video Games / psychology*