CYBERPSYCHOLOGY & BEHAVIOR
Volume 8, Number 2,2005 © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Addiction to the Internet and Online Gaming
BRIAN D. NG, M.S. and PETER WIEMER-HASTINGS, Ph.D.
ABSTRACT As computer and Internet use become a staple of everyday life, the potential for overuse is introduced, which may lead to addiction. Research on Internet addiction has shown that users can become addicted to it. Addiction to the Internet shares some of the negative aspects of substance addiction and has been shown to lead to consequences such as failing school, family, and relationship problems.
internet relay chat (IRC; live chat where users socialize and discuss common topics) and multi-user NTERNET ADDICTION is not yet a DSM IV diagnosis, domains (MUDS; text-based virtual worlds where but its definition has been derived from DSM IV social interaction is required) proved to be most adcriteria for addiction and obsession. Young^^ coined dictive. Frequent users of IRC^ "consider online rethe term "Internet Addiction Disorder" listing di- lationships as real as face-to-face relationships." agnostic criteria, which many researchers refer to Moodyfi found that high internet use (on IRC or as a starting point. Researchers such as Youngi^ re- email) is associated with high emotional loneliness. place the word "substance" with "Internet" in their MUDS^ users "become absorbed in the activities and analysis of Internet addiction, concluding that sim- relationships that occur in them." When examined ilar symptoms such as tolerance, withdrawal, crav- as an addictive substance, applications such as IRC ing, and negative life consequences are present in and MUDS can be used to "withdraw or escape Internet addiction as well. Research done by Walker^^ from negative evaluations and the stress of interwould label Internet addiction an obsessive and personal relationships, "2 resulting in loss of control compulsive behavior, based on its similarities to of time spent on the internet....