“Fiction is the reality”: A qualitative study on digital game addiction and reality perception in young adults

Genc E., Nur Çakmak F., Çiftçi H., Meryem Hocaoğlu Z.

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.157, 2024 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 157
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2024.107445
  • Journal Name: Children and Youth Services Review
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, CINAHL, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts
  • Keywords: Digital game addiction, Internet gaming addiction, Online gaming, Perception of reality, Technology
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Digital game addiction is a serious issue for many individuals in different age groups. Although online games offer potential benefits for individuals, excessive engagement with digital games has negative consequences, including distortion of reality. The current study explored the experiences of people with game addiction to understand how digital games impact their perception of reality and how their game addiction affects their life. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 people, and the data were analyzed by thematic analysis using MAXQDA software. The results revealed two main themes: satisfaction of psychosocial needs (with the subthemes of feeling good and friendship) and narratives of games (with the subthemes of game design, game storyline, and game characters). The results can guide experts working on addiction and provide suggestions for preventive and protective intervention programs that should be prepared in this field.