With mobile games like “Candy Crush Saga” or “Clash of Clans” it can become easy to spend countless hours trying to defeat or reach new levels. Mobile gaming addiction is real, and according to Tech Crunch, a website that provides news and information on technology, 5 million apps will be created by year 2020, with games leading the way. Mobile gaming addiction is a form of process addiction, which can be defined as the compulsion to continuously engage in a behavior despite the negative impact of a person’s ability to remain mentally and physically healthy as well as enact aspects of daily life.
A 2015 study titled “Are you addicted to Candy Crush Saga? An exploratory study linking psychological factors to mobile social game addiction” conducted by The Chinese University of Hong Kong found five gratification factors that yield to mobile gaming addiction. They gathered data from 409 respondents in China and discovered that players were characterized as lonely, leisurely bored, and motivated by the mobile nature of the game to play. Specifically, the researchers found that increased loneliness and lack of self-control were predictors of mobile gaming addiction. Those who were leisurely bored experienced higher intensity of game playing. The five main gratification factors, as found by the researchers, explain how mobile gaming addiction occurs:
- Mobility – mobile gaming apps mean that they can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Players particularly enjoy the fact that they can play even when going out somewhere.
- Entertainment – players often enjoy the design of each level, the game’s interface, and the seemingly endless game
- Sociability – many people enjoy playing mobile games because it allows them to add and connect with other friends, providing a sense of closeness to the friendship
- Achievement – players recall enjoying the feeling of winning, competing with friends, and challenging or training their own gaming skills
- Relaxation – many people play these games to relax or “kill time”
These reasons provide a compelling glance at the perspective we take with mobile gaming, and they also provide evidence for how mobile gaming addiction so readily occurs. By staying knowledgeable of the gratification that mobile gaming provides us with, we can be more aware and conscious of our decisions to play. While moderate game play may prove harmless – mobile gaming addiction takes away our ability to enjoy the present moment and can affect our success in work, school, and home aspects of life.
Process addictions can take a serious toll on quality of life in mind, body, and spirit. Often co-occurring with a substance use disorder or a dual diagnosis mental health issue, finding the right treatment program is essential for recovery. New Vista Behavioral Health proudly boasts a family of treatment providers offering clinical residential care for process addictions and co-occurring disorders. Held to higher standards, our programs result in better outcomes for long term recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665