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See detailBinge-Watching: What Do we Know So Far? A First Systematic Review of the Evidence
Flayelle, Maèva UL; Maurage, Pierre; Ridell Di Lorenzo, Kim et al

in Current Addiction Reports (2020), 7(1), 44-60

Purpose of Review: Along with the expansion of on-demand viewing technology, the practice of binge-watching (i.e., watching multiple episodes of TV series back-to-back) has recently gained increasing ... [more ▼]

Purpose of Review: Along with the expansion of on-demand viewing technology, the practice of binge-watching (i.e., watching multiple episodes of TV series back-to-back) has recently gained increasing research interest, given its potential harmfulness and presumed addictive characteristics. The present article provides the first systematic review of the evidence regarding this increasingly widespread behavior. Recent Findings: The results of this systematic review (including 24 studies and 17,545 participants) show that binge-watching remains an ill-defined construct as no consensus exists on its operationalization and measurement. Although such methodological disparities across studies hinder the comparability of results, the preliminary findings gathered here mainly point to the heterogeneous nature of binge-watching which covers at least two distinct realities, i.e., high but non-harmful engagement and problematic involvement in TV series watching. Summary: In these early stages of research, there is a major need for more consistency and harmonization of constructs and their operationalizations to move forward in the understanding of binge-watching. Just as important, future research should maintain the distinction between high and problematic involvement in binge-watching to avoid overpathologizing this common behavior. [less ▲]

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See detailUnfair play? Video games as exploitative monetized services: An examination of game patents from a consumer protection perspective
King, Daniel L.; Delfabbro, Paul H.; Gainsbury, Sally M. et al

in Computers in Human Behavior (2019), 101

ABSTRACT Video games as a consumer product have changed significantly with the advent of in-game purchasing systems (e.g., microtransactions, ‘loot boxes’). This review examines consumer protections ... [more ▼]

ABSTRACT Video games as a consumer product have changed significantly with the advent of in-game purchasing systems (e.g., microtransactions, ‘loot boxes’). This review examines consumer protections related to in-game purchasing by anticipating some of the potential design strategies that might contribute to higher risk consumer behavior. Attention was directed towards the analysis of patents for potential in-game purchasing systems, with 13 identified on Google Patents. The design features were analysed in relation to the consumer rights and guarantees described in the terms of use agreements of the patent assignees. The analysis revealed that some in-game purchasing systems could be characterized as unfair or exploitative. These systems describe tactics that capitalize on informational advantages (e.g., behavioral tracking) and data manipulation (e.g., price manipulation) to optimize offers to incentivize continuous spending, while offering limited or no guarantees or protections (e.g., refund entitlement), with the potential to exploit vulnerable players (e.g., adolescents, problematic gamers). These findings are critically discussed in relation to behavioral economics, addiction psychology, and the clinical conceptualization of gaming disorder. Appropriate policy and consumer protection measures, psychologically informed interventions, and ethical game design guidelines are needed in order to protect the interests and wellbeing of consumers. [less ▲]

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See detailGender differences in gambling preferences and problem gambling: a network-level analysis
Baggio, Stéphanie; Gainsbury, Sally M; Starcevic, Vladan et al

in International Gambling Studies (2018), 18(3), 512-525

Most gambling studies have a gender-blind research approach, although a large body of scientific evidence suggests that gambling in females is on the rise and that males and females have different ... [more ▼]

Most gambling studies have a gender-blind research approach, although a large body of scientific evidence suggests that gambling in females is on the rise and that males and females have different gambling behaviours and experience specific gambling-related harm. This study addressed these gender differences using a network analysis, an innovative approach considering disorders/concepts as dynamic systems of interacting symptoms/items. Data on gambling activities, problem gambling, substance use and mental health were collected in a representative sample of French adult gamblers (n = 8805). The study capitalized on the network analysis directly to compare associations of specific gambling activities with gambling disorder symptoms separately for both genders. The network analysis revealed that problem gambling was strongly associated with gambling machines among females, whereas it was related to sports betting, poker and casino games among males. The networks that included substance use and mental health showed that substance use was related to specific gambling activities. These findings confirm the links between various gender specific gambling patterns and problem gambling and suggest a need to consider these gender differences to improve prevention efforts. More broadly, the present study further supports the importance of gender differences for gambling research and policy. [less ▲]

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See detailTechnology-mediated addictive behaviors constitute a spectrum of related yet distinct conditions: A network perspective
Baggio, Stéphanie; Starcevic, Vladan; Studer, Joseph et al

in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors : Journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors (2018), 32(5), 564-572

An important ongoing debate in the addiction field is whether certain technologymediated behaviors constitute tenable and independent constructs. This study investigated whether problematic technology ... [more ▼]

An important ongoing debate in the addiction field is whether certain technologymediated behaviors constitute tenable and independent constructs. This study investigated whether problematic technology-mediated behaviors could be conceptualized as a spectrum of related, yet distinct disorders (spectrum hypothesis), using the network approach that considers disorders as networks of symptoms. We used data from the Cohort Study on Substance Use and Risk Factors (C-SURF), with a representative sample of young Swiss men (subsample of participants engaged in technology-mediated behaviors, n=3,404). Four technology-mediated addictive behaviors were investigated using symptoms derived from the DSM-5 and the component model of addiction: Internet, smartphone, gaming, and cybersex. Network analyses included network estimation and visualization, community detection tests, and centrality indices. The network analysis identified four distinct clusters corresponding to each condition, but only Internet addiction had numerous relationships with the other behaviors. This finding, along with the finding that there were few relationships between the other behaviors, suggests that smartphone addiction, gaming addiction, and cybersex addiction are relatively independent constructs. Internet addiction was often connected with other conditions through the same symptoms, suggesting that it could be conceptualized as an “umbrella construct,” i.e., a common vector that mediates specific online behaviors. The network analysis thus provides a preliminary support to the spectrum hypothesis and the focus on the specific activities performed online, while showing that the construct of “Internet addiction” is inadequate. [less ▲]

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