The effects of behavioral addiction to video gaming (VG) has received increasing attention in the literature given increased use intensity among sub-groups of VG players. Objectives: This study seeks to determine empirically the relationship between Video Gaming (VG) intensity of use and hedonic experience of the user. Methods: We conducted a survey of n = 835 individuals who regularly play video games to determine the relationship between Video Gaming (VG) intensity of use and hedonic experience of the user. We divide the sample into four quartiles by self-reported VG addictive symptom level (from the Internet Gaming Disorder Scale) and conduct polynomial regressions separately for each quartile. Results: We find that the higher VG addictive symptom level groups experience a U-shaped (curvilinear) relationship between hedonic experience and intensity of play, whereas groups with lower VG addictive symptom levels exhibit no such relationship. The coefficients that collectively support this result for the highest addictive symptom level group (quartile 4), those representing marginal effects for hours played per week and hours played per week squared, are significantly negative ( p = 0.005 ) and significantly positive ( p = 0.004), respectively. Conclusions: The obtained results are consistent with sensitization and tolerance theories, which suggest that high-symptom groups are expected to experience frustration and disappointment until achieving excessive dopamine release, at which point their hedonic experience is expected to improve in additional play. Conversely, low-symptom groups experience no such fall-and-rise pattern. This result is consistent with the outcome that members of the latter group play the game for the direct experience such that their hedonic experience is more directly related to events occurring in the game than to the increasingly-elusive pursuit of excessive dopamine release. We also find that high-symptom groups spend substantially more time and money to support VG use and are much more likely to engage in VG use at the expense of other important activities, such as work, sleep, and eating.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||JMIR Serious Games|
|State||Published - 2022|