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A descriptive survey of online gaming characteristics and gaming disorder in Ireland

  • David Columb (a1), Mark D Griffiths (a2) and Colin O’Gara (a1) (a3)



The aim of this study was to carry out the first ever study of gaming characteristics of individuals engaging in online gaming in Ireland and to ascertain whether features of gaming disorder are present in this population.


An online survey (comprising 21 questions – 3 demographic questions and 18 questions related to gaming and gaming disorder) was distributed on numerous Irish online gaming forums and Irish online gaming communities. Participants were self-selected and invited to compete the online survey containing questions related to gaming behaviours (age of onset, hours played on weekdays/weekends, type of device used), mobile gaming, motives for online gaming, use of microtransactions, engagement in esports, and a screening tool for the presence of gaming disorder.


A total of 166 participants engaged in the online survey. Among this study population of regular gamers in Ireland, 2.4% of the study population were classified as having gaming disorder, with up to 5.4% showing some evidence of disordered gaming. The main motivation for online gaming in the non-disordered gaming group was recreation (13.3, sd = 2.7) but only the fourth main motivation in the disordered gaming group behind competition (16.3, sd = 3.7), escape (16.2, sd = 4.3), and coping (15.1, sd = 3.7). Increased hours of gameplay on weekdays and weekends were noted in the disordered gaming group compared to non-disordered gamers.


A small percentage of gamers in Ireland demonstrate disordered gaming characteristics and gaming disorder, consistent with data from other international studies. Epidemiological studies are required in Ireland to enhance our knowledge of this disorder.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: D. Columb, Senior Medical Officer, Addiction Department, St John of God Hospital, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, Ireland. (Email:


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A descriptive survey of online gaming characteristics and gaming disorder in Ireland

  • David Columb (a1), Mark D Griffiths (a2) and Colin O’Gara (a1) (a3)


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