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Internet gaming disorder: compensating as a Draenei in World of Warcraft

Morcos, M, Stavropoulos, V, Rennie, JJ, Clark, M and Pontes, HM ORCID: 0000-0001-8020-7623 2019 , 'Internet gaming disorder: compensating as a Draenei in World of Warcraft' , International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, no. May , doi:

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The diagnosis of Gaming Disorder (GD) has been recently proposed in the beta draft of the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) by the World Health Organization (WHO). This follows the inclusion of Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD), as a condition requiring additional research in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5), issued by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Further research has been recommended to enhance understanding of excessive gaming, especially in the context of user-avatar (in-game figure representing the gamer) relationships. The association between selecting the Draenei race, compensation of real-life deficits through gaming, and the gamer’s gender were investigated as IGD risk factors among players of the online game, World of Warcraft (WoW). A normative online sample of WoW gamers (N = 404 Mage = 25.56; 13–75; males = 299; 74%) completed the Internet Gaming Disorder Scale–Short-Form (IGDS9-SF) and the compensation subscale of the User-Avatar Questionnaire. Regression, mediation, and moderated mediation analyses were conducted. Overall, players with higher levels of compensation exhibited greater levels of IGD symptoms. Interestingly, choosing the Draenei race was associated with increased compensatory behavior, which in turn linked to higher IGD risk. These associations were mildly stronger among females. Findings suggest that virtual demographics, such as the Draenei race, and their interplay with compensatory behaviors should be carefully considered when creating prevention and intervention policies targeting excessive gaming, especially when it involves the use of avatars.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Morcos, M and Stavropoulos, V and Rennie, JJ and Clark, M and Pontes, HM
Keywords: internet gaming disorder, World of Warcraft, Avatar, compensation, gender, Draenei
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Publisher: Springer New York LLC
ISSN: 1557-1874
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2019 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. The final authenticated version is available online at:

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