The Role of Game Genres and the Development of Internet Gaming Disorder in School- Aged Children
Background and Objectives: Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) is characterized by a pattern of video game playing that results in significant issues with daily life (e.g. problems with inter-personal relationships or poor academic/job performance), and where the gaming persists despite these negative outcomes. Here we tested the hypothesis that the prevalence of IGD depends on the types of games a child plays.
Methods: A sample of 2,982 children from Singaporean primary and secondary schools were recruited for the current study. They filled out questionnaires related to IGD symptoms, general video game play habits, as well as other measures of daily life function. Games were categorized into five genres (Role-playing, Strategy, Action, Puzzle, Music) and the prevalence of IGD was examined as a function of each individual’s favorite genre of game.
Results: Not all genres were equally associated with IGD. The highest rates of IGD were associated with players of Role-playing games followed by players of Action, Music, Strategy, and Puzzle games, respectively. However, this pattern was only found in secondary school-age children with primary school-aged children showing no differentiation by genre.
Conclusion: Consistent with previous work, respondents’ favorite game genres predicted differential probabilities of IGD. However, this was only true in older children, not in younger children. Future
work is needed to determine if this is because young children are not susceptible to the differential influence of various genres or because the games that young children play within these genres
lack the critical ingredients that exist in these game types played by older children and adults.