Gaming Hobby vs. Gaming Problem

The following is a list of common differences between someone who plays video games as a hobby and someone who plays because it’s a problem. This is an informal list and is not meant to diagnose a disorder. For a proper assessment, please seek the support of a professional.

Normal Gamer

  • Plays video games for fun
  • Performs well at school or work
  • Engages with the family
  • Has real life friends
  • Has other hobbies and interests
  • Gaming happens in free-time
  • Mood is consistent and stable
  • No issues taking breaks from gaming
  • Maintains basic hygiene
  • Has a normal sleep schedule
  • Gaming is in balance

Problem Gamer

  • Plays because they cannot stop
  • Withdrawn from school or work
  • Isolated from the family
  • Only has internet friends
  • Gaming is the only thing they do
  • Life revolves around gaming
  • Increased anxiety or depression
  • No amount of gaming is “enough”
  • Basic hygiene is a constant battle
  • Stays up all night gaming
  • Is defiant to limits on their gaming

Concerned and need help?

Think you or someone you know has a gaming problem? The following resources can assist you:

  • If you are a loved one, we have a guide for you here.
  • If you are a gamer, we have a guide for you here.
  • For a list of professionals and treatment options, go here.