About Hooked on Games

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

The multi-billion dollar video game industry is in the business of creating fun and enticing games that can be addictive. As addicted gamers feast on digital indulgences, their reality crumbles around them due to neglect.

Headlines related to video games:

"New Mexico mom gets 25 years for starving daughter." - Fox News

"China used prisoners in lucrative internet gaming work." - Guardian News

"Online gamer killed for selling virtual weapon." - Sydney Morning Herald

"S. Korean dies after games session." - BBC News

A national, cross-sectional study at Iowa State University of 1178 children ages eight to eighteen showed that 8.5% of the children demonstrated behaviors of addiction similar to other behavioral addictions like pathologic gambling. The kids addicted to video games demonstrated lower grades in school, attention problems, and other health problems. The video game addiction rate is between 8% and 12% worldwide based on research by several research groups and Douglas Gentile, PhD [1-2]. The problem is, as a society in general, we are not educated about the long-term mental and health risks of video game addiction. Video games are free and available everywhere, and people are unaware of the one in ten who can and will be addicted to video games. The video game addict destroys his or her life and the lives of the people they love. It's time our society understands this addiction, prevent it, and help the one in ten who are addicted to video games.

Andrew Doan, MD, PhD (Author of Hooked on Games)

About the Book

Hooked on Games is written by Brooke Strickland and Andrew Doan, MD, PhD, a physician with a research background in neuroscience, who battled his own addictions with video games. Dr. Doan was an addicted gamer, who at his peak, invested over 20,000 hours of playing games over a period of nine years. Dr. Doan’s reckless compulsion to play games transformed him into a monster that almost destroyed his family, marriage, and career. He shares his expertise to educate others on the dangers of video game addiction and to provide hope for video game addicts and their families. Dr. Doan shares steps for gaming addicts to achieve recovery and steps for families and loved ones to intervene. Without attention to this quickest growing addiction, our society will suffer from the creation of Generation Vidiot, millions of people devoid of innovation and skills to live in the physical world.


“Tip of the Ice Berg: As a practicing family doctor who also specializes in sports medicine I am embarrassed that I did not realize the extent of gaming addiction until I was referred to this book. I have been a high school team doctor and have noticed more and more of the students hooked on these games but didn't realize depth of this addiction. It is as if we who only "like" computers but don't "love" computers are only now seeing the tip of a very large iceberg. This book will change the way I practice medicine to screen my patients for this addiction. Through Dr. Doan bearing his soul and addiction to the readers he has graphically enlightened all of us. I will be recommending this to all my patients at risk. Thank you Dr. Doan for opening our eyes to this unspoken addiction. Well written, fast paced and scholarly researched.” – Jerry Hizon, MD

“As is true with many addictions, overuse of video games steals our valuable and limited time and minds.” – Christie Morse, MD (Pediatric Ophthalmologist)

“Shocking insights into the minds of hardcore gamers.” – Daniel Hunt (Former Competitive Gamer)

"Excellent engaging story about overcoming an addiction and what damage it had done to himself and family. Great story of how his problem turned his life around through his own strength and with help from his God." - Ron, Medrounds Publications, www.medrounds.org, Verified Reviews®

"Very sincere and open about his failings... sincere in his desire to communicate the depth and spread of this pernicious addiction. I was interested in the names of feel good enzymes and hormones released by brain: dopamine, epinephrine? Like how the response works. Now we need to think how to undo it and make real life rewarding." - Medrounds Publications, www.medrounds.org, Verified Reviews®

"Probably the most educated, intelligent and realistic about current society speaker I have heard in years! Maybe EVER - and this comes from a retired educator." - Medrounds Publications, www.medrounds.org, Verified Reviews®

"This was amazing. I never knew all of this. I suspected it! I've been a school teacher for 50 plus years so you know I am interested. Thanks so much and God bless you." - Dora Lou, Medrounds Publications, www.medrounds.org, Verified Reviews®

"Dr. Andrew Doan was a very powerful and interactive speaker. I found it extremely helpful to hear his story since I know someone who is extremely addicted to gaming and refuses to leave his room for more than the restroom. Dr. Doan's lecture helped me understand the addiction more and be more attentive to this struggle in society." - Danielle, Medrounds Publications, www.medrounds.org, Verified Reviews®

More reviews on www.medrounds.org


1. Gentile D. “Pathological Video-Game Use Among Youth Ages 8 to 18.” Psychol Sci. 2009 Jun;20(6):785.

2. Gentile et al. “Pathological video game use among youth: A two-year longitudinal study.” Pediatrics, 2011, 127, e319-329.