German researchers may be close to a cure for video game addiction after a trial of 143 participants saw positive results.
Video game addiction may be a meme, but it and internet addiction are also a serious problem for some people.
Now, a German clinical trial may have found a potential treatment for both using behavioral cognitive therapy on patients, as originally reported by Vice.
The researchers ran a study that focused on 143 men with an average age of 26 who all reported suffering from internet addiction, psychosocial functioning and depression.
Half of the group were used as a control, while the other half received the treatment, consisting of “partial abstinence” from video games and the internet as well as group therapy and individual sessions for participants.
Instead of focusing on completely eliminating video games and the internet from the participant’s lives, the study aimed to help them understand their relationship with games and change it.
“It is important to emphasize that it does not automatically mean you are addicted if you are keen on playing computer games,” researchers told Vice. “It is important to keep in mind that only a minority is developing an addictive behavior towards gaming and other internet activities. On the same hand, it is equally important to take these patients seriously and to accept that they are suffering and in need of help. Anything else would be mere ignorance.”
The study didn’t focus specifically on video game addiction and it was fairly short term, so researchers admitted that more long term studies could be needed.
Another issue with the study is that all of its participants were men, with absolutely no women involved in the sample population.
"Women suffering from internet-related disorders indeed do not find their way into the specific, addiction-related, health care system but rather seem to seek other therapeutic help because of other disorders that are perceived as the main problem," the researchers said. "We are currently investigating this phenomenon in a different research project."