The future of gaming disorder research and player protection: what role should the video gaming industry and researchers play?
Griffiths, MD and Pontes, HM, The future of gaming disorder research and player protection: what role should the video gaming industry and researchers play?, International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction pp. 1-7. ISSN 1557-1874 (2019) [Letter or Note in Journal]
In May 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially included gaming disorder (GD) in the eleventh revised edition of the International Classification of Diseases. Although the video game industry does not accept the WHO’s decision to class GD as a genuine mental disorder, there is now arguably an onus on the video game industry to develop and undertake responsible gaming initiatives aimed at player protection and harm minimization. The present paper argues that the gaming industry does not have to "reinvent the wheel" as there are many responsible gaming tools and initiatives used by the gambling industry that they could implement (e.g., limit-setting, self-exclusions, personalized messaging, pop-up reminders). The paper also argues that like the gambling industry, the video game industry has an abundance of high-quality data in the form of player account data (i.e., behavioral tracking data) and that researchers should work collaboratively with the gaming industry to use such data to learn more about the acquisition, development, and maintenance of gaming and GD among its clientele. It is also noted that while there is the need for such cooperation, the integrity of independent research should not be jeopardized nor undermined in this process. In addition to the clear need of establishing a scientific partnership between gaming operators and researchers, the paper also outlines several steps and recommendations to improve the overall quality of research in GD.
Letter or Note in Journal
gamin disorder, gaming addiction, gaming industry, social responsibility, harm minimization, big data