Are you addicted to video games?

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

The following survey was published by a research study at the Iowa State University conducted by Douglas Gentile, PhD [1]. The following questions are based on diagnostic criteria for addictive gambling behavior:

  1. Over time, have you been spending much more time playing video games, learning about video game playing, or planning the next opportunity to play?
  2. Do you need to spend more time and money on video games in order to feel the same amount of excitement as other activities in your life?
  3. Have you tried to play video games for shorter durations of times but have been unsuccessful?
  4. Do you become restless or irritable when you attempt to cut down or stop playing video games?
  5. Have you played video games as a way to escape problems or negative feelings?
  6. Have you lied to family or friends about how much you play video games?
  7. Have you ever stolen a video game from a store or a friend, or stolen money to buy a video game?
  8. Do you sometimes skip household chores in order to play more video games?
  9. Do you sometimes skip homework or work in order to play more video games?
  10. Have you ever done poorly on a school assignment, test, or work assignment because you have spent so much time playing video games?
  11. Have you ever needed friends or family to give you extra money because you’ve spent too much of your own money on video games, software, or game Internet fees?

If you answered “yes” to six or more of these questions, then you most likely have an addiction to video games. If "yes" is answered to five or less questions, then there may be a problem. Help can be found on our resources page. “Video game addiction” and “Internet addiction” are not yet official medical diagnoses with standardized criteria. Behaviors become "addictions" when they disrupt real life, such as school or work performance, real life relationships, and activities of daily living. Use this survey as a guide to determine if video games and/or Internet use may be a problem in your life, but do not use the survey to make a "clinical diagnosis".


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