Video game addiction and social responsibility

Antonius J. Van Rooij*, Gert-Jan Meerkerk, Tim M. Schoenmakers, Mark Griffiths, Dike van de Mheen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialScientificpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, several studies have demonstrated that at least a small group of gamers has trouble controlling their online video game playing. Excessive amounts of time spent on playing online video games can be severely disruptive to school, work, and "real life" social contacts. It seems that online games, especially multiplayer online role playing games, are more often associated with video game addiction. Drawing parallels to other industries - such as gambling - which are heavily regulated, the issue of social responsibility of the video game industry is explored. Presently, online video game publishers provide neither referral services nor customer care with regards to video game addiction. In our opinion, a dual approach is necessary. Firstly, consumers should be informed about potential addiction risks that can be attributed to playing online video games. Secondly, game publishers should implement proper referral services. Providing customer care and referral services might be in the best interest of the video game industry at this point, as it may very well prevent revenue restricting governmental intervention. Therefore, taking action on the issue of social responsibility will benefit both the customer - who will be informed and properly referred - and the game industry alike.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-493
JournalAddiction Research & Theory
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Video game addiction
  • social responsibility
  • online video games
  • gambling


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