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In April 2018, the servers of the popular video game “Fortnite” crashed for 24 hr. During this period, Pornhub (a popular pornographic website) analyzed trends in pornography access, finding that: (a) the percentage of gamers accessing Pornhub increased by 10% and (b) the searches of pornographic videos using the key term “Fortnite” increased by 60%. In this letter, we discuss these observations in the context of ongoing debate regarding the validity of “withdrawal” when applied to problematic involvement in video gaming and the potential use of pornography as a “compensation behavior” during the periods of “forced abstinence” from gaming.

Open access

“Diagnostic inflation” will not resolve taxonomical problems in the study of addictive online behaviours. •

Commentary on: How to overcome taxonomical problems in the study of Internet use disorders and what to do with “smartphone addiction”? (Montag et al., 2020)

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Vladan Starcevic, Daniel L. King, Paul H. Delfabbro, Adriano Schimmenti, Jesús Castro-Calvo, Alessandro Giardina, and Joël Billieux

Abstract

This article suggests that the type of Internet-enabled device should not be prioritised when conceptualizing diagnostic categories of addictive online behaviours. The diagnostic distinction between “predominantly mobile” and “predominantly non-mobile” forms of Internet use disorders (IUD) is not empirically based, may not be clinically useful and may lead to “diagnostic inflation.” Problems with the concepts of smartphone use disorder and IUD on which the proposed distinction is largely based call for their re-examination. Future proposals for the taxonomy of addictive behaviours may not need to be based on online/offline and mobile/non-mobile dichotomies.

Open access