Background: In recent years child and adolescent engagement in online activities and video games has increased
dramatically to the point that it dominates the free time of many youth. Many young people seem unable to control
their excessive use of technology in spite of consequences which impair aspects of their daily functioning.
Methods: This article summarizes the literature regarding pathological video game and Internet use and presents proposed
criteria and recommendations for assessment and treatment.
Results: A sizable body of recently published research consistently demonstrates that a minority of youth develop symptoms
consistent with a behavioral addiction to the Internet and video games, although there is no officially recognized
diagnosis which describes the syndrome.
Conclusions: Knowledge of current research findings, including epidemiology, will help enable mental health to recognize
and appropriately care for patients suffering from these problems.
Keywords: Addiction, computer games, Internet, online, pathological video game play, problematic Internet use, problematic
video game play, video games.
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