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Internet gaming disorder: compensating as a Draenei in World of Warcraft


Morcos, M and Stavropoulos, V and Rennie, JJ and Clark, M and Pontes, HM, Internet gaming disorder: compensating as a Draenei in World of Warcraft, International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction pp. 1-17. ISSN 1557-1874 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2019 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. The final authenticated version is available online at:

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11469-019-00098-x


The diagnosis of Gaming Disorder (GD) has been recently proposed in the beta draft of the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) by the World Health Organization (WHO). This follows the inclusion of Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD), as a condition requiring additional research in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5), issued by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Further research has been recommended to enhance understanding of excessive gaming, especially in the context of user-avatar (in-game figure representing the gamer) relationships. The association between selecting the Draenei race, compensation of real-life deficits through gaming, and the gamer’s gender were investigated as IGD risk factors among players of the online game, World of Warcraft (WoW). A normative online sample of WoW gamers (N = 404 Mage = 25.56; 13–75; males = 299; 74%) completed the Internet Gaming Disorder Scale–Short-Form (IGDS9-SF) and the compensation subscale of the User-Avatar Questionnaire. Regression, mediation, and moderated mediation analyses were conducted. Overall, players with higher levels of compensation exhibited greater levels of IGD symptoms. Interestingly, choosing the Draenei race was associated with increased compensatory behavior, which in turn linked to higher IGD risk. These associations were mildly stronger among females. Findings suggest that virtual demographics, such as the Draenei race, and their interplay with compensatory behaviors should be carefully considered when creating prevention and intervention policies targeting excessive gaming, especially when it involves the use of avatars.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:internet gaming disorder, World of Warcraft, Avatar, compensation, gender, Draenei
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Pontes, HM (Dr Halley de Oliveira Miguel Pontes)
ID Code:134105
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2019-07-25
Last Modified:2020-08-07
Downloads:8 View Download Statistics

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