Article about video game addiction published

Paula Bleckmann and Nadine Jukschat published an article Artikel Why gaming is good nonetheless – strategies of neutralization among video game addicts and researchers in the social sciences in the current issue of the journal MedienPädagogik No. 27.

In a first step, different current approaches toward describing the phenomenon of video game addiction are briefly characterized, including the authors´ own position: Understanding it, in the tradition of socio-scientific addiction research, as a virtual (mock) solution for different biographical problem constellations and an unlikely outcome in a process model.

Secondly, we describe how a certain type of attribution pattern, which we call strategies of neutralization, contributes to the non-exploitation of chances to abandon the unlikely addiction career. A multitude of different strategies of neutralization can be reconstructed from interviews with (addicted) gamers which corroborate the attribution that «gaming is good nonetheless», i. e. in spite of the increasing conflicts with norms and values of their immediate social and larger societal environment. The strategies can be classified according to whether they are more aggressive or defensive, whether they tend to accept or lever out these norms and values. One interviewee is often found to use several strategies in parallel.

Thirdly, we investigate to what extent parallels to these strategies of neutralizing can be found in the structure of arguments used by media providers driven by commercial interests, but also by media education research and practice and its neighbouring disciplines. Can this daring comparison assist a critical self-reflection within the media education scene and lead to a more reflected self-positioning in the face of concerns about screen media risks which mainly originate from other disciplines, instead of ignoring
or rejecting them in a knee-jerk impulse to argue «why gaming is good nonetheless»?