As games become more common among adolescents, addiction problems related to games are appearing. The types and genres of games have been diversified, but the current counseling approach to internet gaming disorder (IGD) has not been able to follow these developments. To prevent and treat IGD, it is necessary to examine whether there are difference features in game addiction and user personality according to game genre. Through this research, more specific counseling intervention strategies can be established.
First, problematic game use can be seen as a common phenomenon across different game genres and can be used to distinguish game users and non-users. According to the results of this study, game addiction scores were significantly higher for all game genres compared to the non-user group (comparison group). This finding is aligned with previous studies that have tried to explain or diagnose game addiction (DSM-5; Lee & An, 2002). These results indicate that the game itself is closely related to the psychological problems of adolescents regardless of what game genres they play.
As for differences in maladaptive game use according to game genre, RTS (Real-Time Strategy), FPS (First-Person Shooter), and Sports game users seemed to have higher levels of tolerance, withdrawal, and neglect of everyday life. This finding supports the results of previous studies suggesting that the level of game addiction can be different by game genre (Chung, 2001; Jang et al., 2004). It appears that particular game genres (RTS, FPS, Sports) may have more addictive factors compared to other genres. This implies that playing particular game genres may predict game addiction. Specific educational countermeasures according to game genre being played are necessary (Choi & Seo, 2010). Users of Racing, Arcade/shooting, RPG games showed significantly lower social leadership scores than users of RTS or FPS games.
Users of racing games were significantly low in openness and conscientiousness scores; users of arcade/shooting were low in self-esteem; and users of RPG were low in empathy compares to other game genres. When planning for game addiction prevention or treatment efforts, it would be beneficial to get information about participants’ personality characteristics to develop more elaborate and detailed programs.
Center for Campus Life and Culture(Seoul National University)
Department of Education, Seoul National University