The Negative Effects of Anonymity and Excessive Participation in Online Gaming Communities

Elise Grazotis

Curtin University


PDF Version: The Negative Effects of Anonymity and Excessive Participation in Online Gaming Communities


This paper explores characteristics of the online gaming community and the associated negative consequences to users. Participation in these communities is generally anonymous due to the nature of the games that usually require avatars or characters that fit into the alternate world, rather than personal, offline identities. While researching many different articles, it was found that anonymity, that is, a person’s identity being unknown, encourages both bullying and cheating within these communities, and also encourages other deviant behaviour. Excessive participation in online gaming has long been a cause for worry, and it has been proven to lead to serious mental health issues as well as affecting physical and social aspects of life.


Key words: Gaming, cyber-bulling, identity, cheating, mental health, online gaming community



Millions of people world-wide are involved in online gaming communities, which appeal to a range of people of all nationalities and ages for different reasons, including enjoyment,  flow experience [factors of the game that heighten engagement], Internet addiction and escapism (Chiou & Hsiao, 2012, p. 76). The online gaming community poses a few dangers and obstacles for users due to the nature of the activity. When referring to the online gaming community, it does not necessarily mean one particular game or community but many. Anonymity and excessive participation in online gaming communities can have negative impacts on users’ mental health and general game play, with problems such as cyber-bullying, cheating and health issues arising, which should attempt to be avoided through modifications to the communities and further public awareness, promotion and legislation. Firstly, I will discuss how anonymity in gaming communities leads to problematic scenarios such as cyber-bullying and cheating that could be controlled and limited through modifications. I will then show how gaming addiction and related mental health issues can be caused by excessive participation in these communities and require intervention from appropriate government organisations in order to assist in prevention and improvement.


The online gaming community can be a supportive place that provides people with an opportunity to anonymously communicate about issues that may not be easily discussed in face-to-face contact (Chapelle, Cole, Davies, Griffiths, Grusser, Hussain & Thalemann, 2011, p.26) and can result in “significant friendships and personal empowerment” (Chapelle et al, 2011, p. 21); however this can also lead to cyber-bullying that often has no solution (McInroy & Mishna, 2017, p. 604). People online tend to feel less restrained and are able to do or say things they would not normally do in offline scenarios; this is called the disinhibition effect (Suler, 2004, p. 321). This can be positive in the way that embarrassment can be avoided and people can be more open with each other, but it also causes people to act out with “rude language, harsh criticisms, anger, hatred [and] even threats” (Suler, 2004, p. 322). The vulnerability of these people is protected by anonymity and therefore may encourage negative actions, with users being able to disassociate their online persona from their offline personality and identity in order to avoid taking responsibility (Suler, 2004, p. 322).


In McInroy and Mishna’s 2017 study, it was shown that the majority of cyber-bullying and aggressive behaviour was conducted by anonymous users. This damaging aspect of online gaming communities was nominated as the most severe in terms of negative effects compared to “traditional” face-to-face or other sorts of cyber-bullying in which the perpetrator’s identity is known. (Mcinroy & Mishna, 2017, p. 604). This shows that anonymity in online gaming communities is dangerous and creates an environment that could have otherwise been avoided. In these cases, the victim is powerless to stop it or ensure that the perpetrator is appropriately punished as their identity is completely protected (McInroy & Mishna, 2017, p. 604). The victim is therefore affected more than necessary, and there is no solution apart from avoiding participation completely, unless these communities change and the ability to be anonymous is removed.


In Cotler and Fryling’s 2016 study, they found that when asked the question “Why do you think cyber-bullying behaviour within multi-player games occurs?”, 86% of participants (surveyed through an online gaming forum) nominated anonymity (p. 3), showing the awareness of the online gaming community of the negative aspect of this feature and how many people are affected in one form or another. Anonymity can cause frustration, insecurity and anxiety in victims (Sticca & Perren, 2012, p. 9) and contributes to a feeling of helplessness which surpasses that of normal bullying, or other types of cyber-bullying (McInroy, 2017, p.604-605). Bullies are generally more experienced game users who feel entitled to intimidate new players and make themselves feel superior (Cotler & Fryling, 2016, p. 6), which is made very easy and consequence free when their name remains private and they have the freedom to conduct their tormenting and aggressive behaviour out in the (cyber) open. Anonymity is a privilege that should be removed from online gaming communities in order to help ease issues such as bullying, which generally rely on certain privacy factors that allow users to feel safe enough to conduct behaviour that they would not normally do in situations where their identity and reputation are at risk.


This is also true for cheating in online gaming communities, where the ability to limit social cues and identity in online gaming has increased the level of cheating. Cheating can be defined as conducting improper behaviour in order to gain an advantage above other users, although each user can have a different view of what cheating is (Chen & Ong, 2018, p. 274). As mentioned above, anonymity may encourage deviant behaviour such as cyber-bullying, and cheating is also encouraged by the same characteristics (Chen & Wu, 2015, p. 659). Therefore, if the ability to hide identity was removed, much deviant behaviour may improve or become non-existent. Online gaming communities can be similar environments to those of fraternity houses, in which peer pressure is rampant and the need to adopt similar behaviour in order to feel included seems necessary to users (Chen, 2015, p. 659). Cheating can be defined as a group norm, where it is the common behaviour within an anonymous group or community and therefore can be copied without fear of negative consequences (Chen, 2015, p. 659). In fact, there are only positive reinforcements for cheating (getting further within the game), meaning users are able to not only participate in activity which is usually seen as morally wrong, but they are able to benefit from it easily, which is in stark contrast to the offline world. Coupled with the general peer pressure of playing within a group of cheaters, the mere ability to see the rewards of cheating in action can change users’ thoughts and expectations, motivating them to join in (Chen & Wu,2013, p. 2564).


This idea shows how some groups within the online gaming community have a separate set of morals that are generally not accepted outside these groups and would not be accepted offline. The wider online gaming community still shames cheaters through labelling their profiles as cheater users, and rapidly losing friends as a direct outcome of this (Blackburn, Kourtellis & Skvoretz, 2014, p. 10 – 11). The anonymity of users has a very important role in determining if a player will cheat as the private identity used in online gaming communities provides the protection that cannot be afforded in face-to-face scenarios, and helps to form greater group relationships (Chen, 2015, p. 660). In Chen and Wu’s 2015 study, they found that anonymity in online gaming communities increases the likelihood of cheating. The depersonalisation of individual users due to anonymity encourages less individual identities and more group identity where each individual will follow group and social cues. This means if identities were made public this effect would not occur and cheating would become a less likely behaviour, therefore improving the user experience for other participants and putting everyone on a level playing field again.


The anonymity factor is so closely linked with group identification that it suggests that anonymous players who are participating in a community that does not cheat or encourage others to cheat will be less likely to cheat despite having their identity protected. This is shown in Chen and Wu’s 2015 study, where there was a 11% increase of variance on game cheating when group identification was added as a predictor, with anonymity alone being 7%.  Although anonymity is a big part of cheating, it does not necessarily work alone in influencing users to cheat, however this would not apply to all users. Cheating in online gaming communities is encouraged by anonymity combined with other factors that negatively influence game play and affect other users. This could be avoided and improve online gaming communities with simple changes, along with mental health issues caused by excessive participation.


The escapism nature of online gaming communities is one of the main attractions of game play, which can lead to many social and mental issues. In an online survey conducted by Chappell et al in 2011, it was found that 50% of participants felt “absorbed into a different virtual environment” when playing online, which was described by them as a positive thing that could help them cope with personal issues outside of the game, or escape from them. Delving into online gaming communities in order to avoid day-to-day life issues is perhaps a contributor to eventual excessive participation and potential addiction, which could potentially be avoided through closer monitoring of the gaming communities and perhaps specifically the time each user spends playing.


In Frostling-Henningsson’s 2009 study, fifteen people were observed and interviewed in order to discover what the motivators of playing online games are. In the list was escapism, where gaming provided them a break from their everyday problems. One interviewee described his purposeful choice to not play World of Warcraft because he had heard about the type of totally immersive and fascinating world it is and knew he would enjoy it to an extreme he wasn’t prepared to deal with. This choice to avoid the game was made as he saw the potential for unhealthy addictive behaviour in himself due to the nature of the game (Frostling-Henningsson, 2009, p. 560 – 561), whereas others are not so aware of the risks these games pose. Public promotion of possible risks of excessive participation is required in order to ensure users are informed before participating and therefore possibly prevent the start of gaming addiction and further mental health issues.


The characteristics of Internet Gaming Disorder are defined by researchers as “excessive or poorly controlled behaviours, preoccupations and urges” for online gaming that can cause mental health issues (Bagwell, Dengah, Lacy, Lende, Snodgrass and van Oostenburg, 2017, p. 291). Internet Gaming Disorder was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in 2013, with the intent to conduct more research on the disorder, proving how serious the effects of online gaming and their communities can have on people (Hafekost, Lawrence, Rikkers & Zubrick, 2016, p. 1). It is also set to be included in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) in 2018, making the condition recognised globally (Boen, 2018, p. 1), again showing the severity of the problem, especially considering there is no age limit and young children and adolescents are being affected with addiction and associated mental health problems (Hakefost, 2016, p. 1). College students have also been found to develop compulsions to play continuously, causing their academic grades to decrease, along with a deterioration in sleep patterns and social interaction (Chappell et al, 2011, p. 21).


In a study conducted by Chen, Hsiao, Ko, Lin, Liu, Yang, Yen and Yen in 2009, it was shown that the cue-induced brain activation pattern seen in online gaming addiction is very similar to that of substance addiction. The neurobiological mechanisms of both addictive disorders are the same (Chen, 2009, p. 747), which shows how serious online gaming addiction is and how it should be treated with the same level of intervention as substance abuse, with the help of professionals and potentially even rehabilitation centres. Before Internet Gaming Disorder was added to the ICD, many researchers queried this link between the disorders and did not consider online gaming to be on the same level, but rather more of an “obsessive” rather than addictive habit (Schoenmakers et al, 2010, p. 51).


Indeed, similar characteristics of addiction are present in both online gaming and gambling. These characteristics can include rewards for correct behaviour, the need for total concentration and peer attention and approval, as well as the time-consuming factor of online games which can be even more addictive than offline games, such as face-to-face gambling (Schoenmakers, van de Eijnden, van de Mheen & van Rooij, 2010, p. 52). This suggests that certain laws should be introduced around time periods for advertisements to be aired, and even age restrictions on participation in online gaming communities. Online gaming has also been shown to be the most addictive Internet application compared with others, such as blogging, downloading, casual games and even social networking. Although social networking has come in second as the main application associated with Compulsive Internet Use, online gaming is at the top of the list due in part to the time consuming nature of online gaming and the fact that it is difficult to multi-task when playing (Schoenmakers et al, 2010, p. 55).


Along with Compulsive Internet Use, online gaming has been associated with depression, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder and suicidal behaviour, among other things. (Hakefost, 2016, p. 1). It has been suggested that those who socialise in online gaming communities and use them as a way to relieve their symptoms will potentially increase their chance of further problems or exacerbate current issues (Hakefost, 2016, p. 1). High levels of participation in gaming not only causes mental health issues, but physical issues such as muscle pain and unhealthy sleeping and eating patterns (McInroy, 2017, p. 598). Excessive participation within online gaming communities has been shown in many studies to lead to serious mental health issues and can have harmful effects on social lives and general health and hygiene, which proves the seriousness of the risks and suggests the need for further promotion and laws to protect users, particularly those underage.


Millions of people identify as being a member of the online gaming community, which presents a social alternate world that can have potentially harmful consequences on users. These online gaming communities are powerless to protect people from the negative actions of other users and from the risks of the gaming environment unless they employ recommended changes. Some users can show deviant behaviour such as cyber-bullying and aggressiveness, or cheating in order to move through the games faster and feel part of a social group. The likelihood of these actions are emphasised due to the anonymous factor of online gaming. Excessive participation in these communities is both a cause and sign of addictive qualities that lead to various and extensive mental health problems. The impact of these issues is significant and requires immediate action and change to modify the online gaming community features, and to produce legislation and promotional content to restrict users’ ability to play and inform them of the risks.


Reference List


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Blackburn, J., Kourtellis, N., & Skvoretz, J. (2014). Cheating in online games: A social network perspective. ACM Transactions on Internet Technology. 13(3), 116.

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Boen, J. (2018). HEALTH SENTINEL: Video or online gaming addiction being recognize as a mental health disorder. The News Sentinel. 1. Retrieved from:

Chappell, D., Charite, R., Charite, S., Cole, H., Davies, M., Griffiths, M., & Hussain Z. (2011). Social interactions in online gaming. International Journal of Game-Based Learning. 1(4), 20 – 36.

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Chen, V., & Ong, J. (2016). The rationalization process of online game cheating behaviours. Information, Communication and Society. 21(2), 273 – 287.

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Cotler, J., Fryling, M., & Rivituso, J. (2016). Causes of cyberbullying in multi-player online gaming environments: Gamer perceptions. Information Systems & Computing Academic Professionals. 1 – 11. Retrieved from

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10 thoughts on “The Negative Effects of Anonymity and Excessive Participation in Online Gaming Communities

  1. Hello, Elise.

    I enjoyed your paper, and I feel we share similar opinions on moderators having more control/responsibility over the environment/s they moderate. Although, some environments call for less mod-need as the nature of play is pre-determined. There is often nothing better than the ability to let loose and be obnoxious within an environment that supports that freedom of play. I believe the freedom should remain and the responsibility then rests on the player to choose their community more responsibly (adult). Parents, I believe, should be more aware and responsible of their children/s gaming environments also…but that’s an entire different debate. There are a few points I would like to further discuss with you, perhaps

    In your introduction/thesis, you mention those things which appeal to the want for a player to play, internet addiction being one of those appeals. How do you find internet addiction being an appealing enticer for gameplay?

    You mentioned mental health issues, however state that, “The online gaming community can be a supportive place that provides people with an opportunity to anonymously communicate about issues that may not be easily discussed in face-to-face contact and can result in “significant friendships and personal empowerment”; however this can also lead to cyber-bullying that often has no solution.”
    Perhaps you meant differently, but positive environments counteract negative outcomes (Jones, C. M., Scholes, L., et al, 2014).

    In a research paper titled, ‘The Benefits of Playing Video Games’ researchers found, after looking at the positives and negatives of playing video games, that “games hold for interventions that promote well-being, including the prevention and treatment of mental health” (Granic, 2014) – I’ve always found this research paper interesting in the findings that video games can, and should, be used to help prevent and treat mental health.


    Jones, C. M., Scholes, L., Johnson, D., Katsikitis, M., & Carras, M. C. (2014). Gaming well: links between videogames and flourishing mental health. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 260.

    Granic, I., Lobel, A., & Engels, R C.M.E (2014). The Benefits of Playing Video Games. American Psychologist, Volume 69(1), p 66-78. DOI 10.1037/a0034857

    1. Hi Shannon
      I agree that parents should be more involved with their children’s involvement in online gaming communities, but to some extent these communities have a responsibility to protect their users as well, and the government should be monitoring any sort of addictive item the same way they monitor alcohol and other drugs.

      Unfortunately that was a poorly worded opening statement, as Internet addiction is a potential outcome when playing online games, rather than something that would appeal to people.

      The online gaming community can be a place where people find it easier to communicate about personal issues and the like due to the anonymity provided, however I aim to show in my paper that this positive does not make up for the negative behaviour that anonymity causes. Are we willing to sacrifice users’ mental health, encourage cyber-bullying etc in order to allow other users to feel like they can share and communicate more easily? It seems like a very strong negative that could cause even more serious issues.

      That was a very interesting article, thank you for the link. I completely agree with the positives mentioned in this paper, however I focused on the negative aspects that could be improved or removed by getting rid of anonymity and ensuring users do not participate in online gaming communities to an excessive level. These factors in particular create negative aspects in a community that is otherwise very positive and can certainly help with mental health in some cases.


  2. Hi Elise,

    This was an intriguing read and is interesting how you look at the other side of the coin (whilst my paper looked at the social benefits of gaming) your paper explores the detrimental effects games can have on individuals. Anonymity seems to be both a gift & a curse in the online space, allowing a user to step out of their own real-life self to a facade of their own making, but I agree completely, backed by your arguments, that this creates a shield for cyber-bullies. I can only assume a lot of the negative attitudes coming from cyber-bullies would be actions they would not do in real life and the gift of anonymity at least gives them some protection from any retaliation. Unfortunately to mitigate toxicity in the online gaming space the only real solution, as you suggest, is features being developed/maintained to address the issue – which is far from consist and in my experience on a game-by-game basis.

    I did not know about the results of the brain scans showing similar signs to substance abuse which is quite fascinating. I can see how excessive online gaming could become an addictive habbit. Initially I thought it was a a bit of an overreach to say that excessive video game addiction needs to be treated the same amount of severity as the comsumption of potentially life ending substances – but I agree the risk of addiction is there absolutely and if both pathways can lead to serious mental health issues then cause for alarm is justified.

    Really enjoyed reading through this and thank you for reading my paper as well!

    1. Hi Patrick
      I am glad my points came across well. It is definitely interesting how one feature can cause so much negative activity, but also be one of the main reasons some users feel comfortable and enjoy participating.
      The research on similarities between substance addiction and gaming addiction is fairly new compared to some of the other papers I referenced, and many people were very skeptical of this before it was proven, understandably. It deserves to be recognised as a potentially life-threatening addiction and treated seriously. I did not find information that indicated any kind of statistic on how regularly the development of addiction occurs, which would make for great further research.

  3. Hi Elise
    I jumped into this online gaming stream to read some articles as I only recently returned to online gaming, having had the fear of these negative effects keep me away (plus I didn’t want to be slammed for being a rubbish noob player). My most recent experience has been a lot of fun and far from the demonised world of online gaming I had expected. But, my experience is also limited as I only play in short bursts and not like the excessive gamers you talk about. It’s been fun to organise games with mates who live interstate and have other mates of theirs be invited to join us. We’ve been regularly meeting up on Wednesday nights via Skype or iChat and others have joined us occasionally for the online console battles. As a socially awkward adult, I’m finding these nights something I really look forward to as they are a lot of fun… I hope I never run across the online gaming issues highlighted here in your paper and it continues to be a bit of fun.

    1. Hi Murray

      It is great to hear about the positive social effects of online gaming and their communities. There are a few papers I’ve read on here that highlight these and discuss the benefits in more detail. Obviously, I have focused on the down sides to gaming participation, which although does not affect everyone, is something that I believe needs to be known about.

      It is interesting that things you have heard about online gaming has actually deterred you from playing at all in the recent past (which is definitely not what I am aiming for) – what made you change your mind? Have you been exposed to any other users that you think might be affected negatively or has it only been positive behaviour and experiences so far?


  4. Hi Elise,

    I agree that the dedication to gaming can definitely go too far. I grew up with four older brothers that have all been addicted gamers, to the point where they have not left the house in weeks because of gaming, basically living and breathing it. However, you must consider their own definition of their ‘quality of life’. I actually have asked my brother, the most active gamer of them all, if he is happy, and how he deals with what I assumed was ‘no social life’. He turned around and told me that he is happy, and he would not rather be doing anything else than what he is doing. He said that looking back on the past ten years of his life gaming, he looks at it fondly, with no regrets because he knows how happy gaming makes him – it’s his passion. Would you judge a bookworm for reading books everyday? Probably not, because it’s exercising their minds, right? Is gaming not doing the same thing, but also including social interaction as well? We must consider people’s own definition of a ‘quality of life’, over what people think it should be.

    I have never encountered any real cyberbullying within a gaming community before – have you considered ‘trolls’, a common silly behavior conducted by gamers in particular? You say that gamers are generally anonymous, but do you have a source to say exactly how anonymous these players are? Consider the players that communicate via microphone from personal video chat servers, or streamers and watchers on platforms like Twitch and YouTube. Most of the gamers that I know communicate this way.

    When there is cyberbullying, which there will be because there is bullying everywhere, surely players will be less likely to be affected because of the anonymity of the bullies, and themselves. From my own experience, I see a whole lot more of cyberbullying on social media platforms than on gaming ones.

    Interesting points, Elise!


    Josephine Gunther

    1. Hi Josephine

      It’s in an interesting point you have raised, considering what the addicted person’s idea of quality of life is. How do you think the same question would be answered if you asked a heroin addict with no wish to recover? We know how they would answer, but that doesn’t mean we would accept this as normal. As I have explained in my paper, there are substantial links and similarities between substance addiction and online gaming addiction. You have even called the behaviour of your brothers ‘addiction’, so do you believe addiction is okay if the person addicted says it is?

      I personally have not heard of a reading addiction, but I assume it could be possible. I do think reading every day is very different to gaming, as addicted gamers can spend hours upon hours every day playing – you’ve seen your brothers not leave the house for weeks! I admit sometimes a great book will keep me inside reading for hours until I finish it, but this is not a habit – I do not do this with every book, and I wouldn’t do it again reading the book for the second time. I agree gaming can exercise the mind and include social interaction, but this cannot replace all other forms of mental stimulation and social interaction in order to be a healthy, balanced person.

      Trolls are just another form of bully, they can cause damage to someone’s mental health and happiness too. Obviously forms of gaming varies and the methods of communication can be different, but I don’t necessarily think being able to hear someone speaking would offer the victim any sense of safety as it can not help them have the bully punished, in fact I think this would give a bully an upper hand (eg picking on people with certain accents, lisps, stutters, girls etc, some of which would not be known even without communities being anonymous).

      As I have written in my paper, cyber-bullying in “online gaming communities was nominated as the most severe in terms of negative effects compared to “traditional” face-to-face or other sorts of cyber-bullying in which the perpetrator’s identity is known (Mcinroy & Mishna, 2017, p. 604)” (para 3). I did go on to explain this further and show that anonymity exacerbates the issue of cyber-bullying. Not everyone is exposed to this sort of behaviour, but it is definitely present in online gaming communities.

      I agree there does seem to be more bullying on social media, which is not my area of study so I can’t offer an explanation – it is definitely an interesting point that a lot of social media is not anonymous yet people still feel happy to bully people.


      1. Hi Elise,

        Great points! To answer your question, I think that if the person who is addicted says that their addiction is okay, admits to it, and is not hurting anyone in the process, then it’s absolutely fine! Drugs are damaging to many people around the addicted, not just the addicted themselves. To use my brother as an example, he does not affect anyone negatively from his gaming. He does not have a partner, and therefore is not consumed by something else without paying attention to a loved one that will need it. If you approach him to go out or do something, he will leave his game and do it, but if he is left alone, he will do what he does best, and that’s have fun! You could compare it to people who are addicted to exercise, or gym. Most of these ‘gym junkies’ aren’t very social, because of how consumed they are by their looks or their physical health. I have witnessed this first hand. But if they aren’t hurting anyone, who can say that it is not okay? I am addicted to reading, I read all the time! I would confidently say that if you took away my books or my stories, I could imagine that I wouldn’t see much more purpose in life, because it’s what I’ve revolved my life around. Is that not addiction? Is that really unhealthy, or is it just life? If I really get stuck into a book, I will read it until I finish it – jeporadising sleep and sometimes even eating in the process. This is probably much the same of gamers, so why is it not viewed under the same lens?

        I do take back much of what I said about the lack of cyberbullying in gaming. I spoke with someone else during this conference about the bullying that they had witnessed in gaming, and it seems to be pretty common and detrimental. I agree that the anonymity will give the bully the upper hand – I experienced the brunt of anonymity myself when using the website when I was in high school!

        Thank you for your reply! Your content is truly interesting and stimulating for the mind.


        Josephine Gunther

        1. Hi Josephine

          Thanks for the response!

          To me, it does sound like his addiction is affecting his life negatively. Does he have any interest in finding a partner? Do you think he will continue to play online over ever having a relationship? His addiction may (arguably) not affect anyone but himself at the moment, but it has the potential to. It is not healthy for anyone to not leave the house for weeks on end, what kind of state is his phsyical health in, let alone his mental health? Social interaction online should not replace interaction offline as this becomes problematic (Chung, 2013, p. 1412). The fact that he will wait for someone to prompt him to catch up sounds worrying – do you know if his friends find this difficult or are they mostly gamers too? I do not propose to diagnose your brother, but his situation definitely raises questions and it’s definitely super interesting that you have this first-hand experience with someone who is so heavily involved in online gaming communities. An entirely new paper could be written about what rights people have to their own addictions, and if people want to continue, is this okay?

          I do think reading has the potential of becoming addictive, but I don’t think the behaviour you described is necessarily the qualities of an addict. I would consider it an addiction if you are reading so excessively that it consumes all of your time and is your main priority over work, friends, family, physical activity and sleep for an extended period of time. If you are dependent on something, I think that is the key to addiction.


          Chung, J. (2013). Social interaction in online support groups: Preference for online social interaction over offline social interaction. Computers in Human Behaviour. 29, 1408 – 1414.


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