When you search ‘game compulsion’ into Google very little comes up.
Search for ‘game addiction’ however and the results are very different.

In an article for WebMD (here) Keith Bakker, director of Smith & Jones Addiction Consultants in Amsterdam says “It’s a clinical impulse control disorder,”. The article then continues to compare it to problem gambling. Nothing more than an addiction to the excellent reward systems games are built on.

But is it that simple?

In the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) online game addiction has made it to the list of new disorders needing more research. An article for Psychology Today writes  “Internet Gaming Disorder has been included among the conditions being considered for future study and possible addition to later DSM editions. At this time, however, video game addiction (GA) is not considered to be a mental disorder.” The article then continues to say, “The motivation for playing also seems to be a factor in addiction.   People who game for fun or socializing are less likely to become addicted than people who are caught up in the need for status or simply to escape from the problems in their lives.  If you’re dealing with real-life failure, escaping from that stress by playing games that give you a sense of victory or control over your life can be a helpful way of coping.   Spending too much time online or “shutting out” the real world with intense gaming can be a different story, though.”

So, with psychology catching up to the addiction issue why is it many gamers, including myself prefer to use the word compulsion?

Compulsion –

  1. The action or state of forcing or being forced to do something; constraint.
  2. An irresistible urge to behave in a certain way, esp. against one’s conscious wishes.

Addiction –


The fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.

You decide, let me know what you think.