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Type: Journal article
Title: Avatar- and self-related processes and problematic gaming: a systematic review
Author: Green, R.
Delfabbro, P.H.
King, D.L.
Citation: Addictive behaviors, 2020; 108:1-11
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 0306-4603
Statement of
Raquel Green, Paul H.Delfabbro, Daniel L.King
Abstract: The concept of self has become increasingly relevant to understanding the psychological mechanisms of problematic online gaming. Many gaming activities feature in-game avatars that enable the adoption of, and experimentation with, different roles and identities. Avatars enable players to compensate for perceived deficiencies in their real-world self (e.g., lack of physical strength, beauty, or social status). Currently, how avatar- and self-related processes may develop and maintain problematic gaming, including gaming disorder (GD), is unclear. This systematic review examined 18 quantitative studies of avatar- and self-related concepts and problematic gaming, including 13 survey-based and 5 neuroimaging studies. Despite variability in the conceptualization and measurement of avatar/self-related concepts, survey-based studies have consistently reported that negative self-concept, avatar identification, and large self-avatar discrepancies are significantly associated with problematic gaming. Poor self-concept appears to be a risk factor for GD, particularly for games that facilitate role-playing and identity formation. Further research and clinical evidence are needed to explain how avatar- and self-related processes may relate to the addictive mechanisms of GD (e.g., cognitive distortions, reward-seeking, inhibitory control, self-regulation systems), amid calls for problem gaming-related assessment and interventions to incorporate a focus on avatar identification.
Keywords: Avatar; Gaming disorder; Problematic gaming; Self; Self-concept; Self-discrepancy
Rights: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
RMID: 1000021395
DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106461
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Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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