Perceived addictiveness of smartphone games: a content analysis of game reviews by players

Balakrishnan, J. and Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, 2019. Perceived addictiveness of smartphone games: a content analysis of game reviews by players. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 17 (4), pp. 922-934. ISSN 1557-1874

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The playing of videogames can be fun and entertaining, but research has consistently shown that a small minority of players experience problematic gaming. Most research to date has focused on online gaming via personal computers and laptops. However, gaming has evolved both in the games that are played and the platforms on which they can be played. One of the biggest growth areas has been in the area of smartphone gaming. The present study investigated the reasons for perceived smartphone game addiction by the users themselves, and how these perceptions compared across different smartphone game genres by analyzing reviews of smartphone games by the users themselves. The data comprised 25,200 game reviews of 140 smartphone games across 14 game genres to examine the most influential factors in addictive smartphone gaming by the individuals that play such games. Game reviews which were written under the heading of "addiction" or "addictive" were content analyzed to understand the most important variables associated with what makes a game "addictive" from a player perspective. Results indicated nine keywords (or their synonyms) to be strongly associated with smartphone games classed as "addictive" (i.e., "challenging," "entertainment," "friends and family," "gameplay," "creative," "graphics/animation," "fun," "free from advertisement," and "time killer"). The most common keyword associated with a smartphone game being "addictive" was "challenging" (n = 5636). The 14 genres clustered into five different categories based upon the identified nine keywords. Given the fact that there has been little published to date in the area of addictive smartphone gaming, the present paper is of existential value.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Creators: Balakrishnan, J. and Griffiths, M.D.
Publisher: Springer
Date: August 2019
Volume: 17
Number: 4
ISSN: 1557-1874
9897Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 28 Mar 2018 14:36
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2020 16:36

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