Video game addiction is hypothesized to be an excessive or compulsive use of computer games or video games, which interferes with a person’s everyday life. Video game addiction may present itself as compulsive game-playing; social isolation; mood swings; diminished imagination; and hyper-focus on in-game achievements, to the exclusion of other events in life. While Internet gaming disorder is proposed as a disorder, it is still discussed how much this disorder is caused by the gaming activity itself, or whether it is to some extent an effect of other disorders. Contradictions in research examining video game addictiveness may reflect more general inconsistencies in video game research: For example, while some research has linked violent video games with increased aggressive behavior other research has failed to find evidence for such links.
Excessive use of video games may have some or all of the symptoms of drug addiction or other proposed psychological addictions. Some players become more concerned with their interactions in the game than in their broader lives. Players may play many hours per day, neglect personal hygiene, gain or lose significant weight due to playing, disrupt sleep patterns to play resulting in sleep deprivation, play at work, avoid phone calls from friends, or lie about how much time they spend playing video games.
There are two major types of video games and therefore two major types of video game addictions. Standard video games are generally designed to be played by a single player and involve a clear goal or mission, such as rescuing a princess. The addiction in these games is often related to completing that mission or beating a high score or preset standard. The other type of video game addiction is associated with online multiplayer games. These games are played online with other people and are especially addictive because they generally have no ending. Gamers with this type of addiction enjoy creating and temporarily becoming an online character. They often build relationships with other online players as an escape from reality. For some, this community may be the place where they feel they’re the most accepted.