The Role of Structural Characteristics in Problem Video Game Playing: A Review


The structural characteristics of video games may play an important role in explaining why some people play video games to excess. This paper provides a review of the literature on structural features of video games and the psychological experience of playing video games. The dominant view of the appeal of video games is based on operant conditioning theory and the notion that video games satisfy various needs for social interaction and belonging. However, there is a lack of experimental and longitudinal data that assesses the importance of specific features in video games in excessive video game playing. Various challenges in studying the structural features of video games are discussed. Potential directions for future research are outlined, notably the need to identify what problem (as opposed to casual) players seek from the video games they play.

Bibliographic citation

King, D., Delfabbro, P., & Griffiths, M. (2010). The Role of Structural Characteristics in Problem Video Game Playing: A Review. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 4(1), article 6. Retrieved from


video games; structural characteristics; technology-based addiction

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