The US has had commercial access to the Internet since 1990 at which individuals have been developing problematic online gaming behaviors related to functional impairment or distress. The growth of the Internet is unprecedented with now more than 30% of the world’s population with access, which translates to over 2 billion Internet users. A portion of the population, as a consequence, develops unhealthy preoccupations with activities on the Internet. Since then problematic online gaming behaviors has received in-depth investigation and media attention. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) in response proposed Internet gaming disorder as a condition requiring further research, back in May of 2013, in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). In mid-2018, gaming disorder became official with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) release of the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11; WHO, 2018). However, to date, its precise definition continues to generate extensive debate and numerous, nonstandardized screening and assessment tools. These factors have reduced the fidelity of prevalence rates of gaming disorder and Internet gaming disorder. This review of the literature found 8 assessment instruments from 6 countries and evaluated them against the APA's proposed criteria for Internet gaming disorder. This investigation of assessment instruments discussed and recommended the Personal Internet Gaming Disorder Evaluation, 9-item (PIE-9) for alignment with construct validity outlined by the APA.
Ezra Lockhart, Yorkville University, Canada