Ten Problems for Gaming in the 2020s

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Literature Review: Gaming Problems for the 2020s

The video gaming industry is huge and shows no signs of slowing down. While there were almost two billion video gamers across the world in 2015, this figure is expected to rise to over three billion gamers by 2023 [1]. The Asia Pacific region is at the heart of the global video gaming industry. According to estimates, there were over 1.5 billion video gamers in the region in 2020, generating a combined revenue of 78.3 billion U.S. dollars. This represents almost double the revenue generated in the second largest region, North America.

The global gaming market is set to reach $256.97 billion by 2025. More than 2.5 billion people worldwide play games. Sony Interactive Entertainment’s estimated value is $13.4 billion. eSports enjoy an audience of around 456 million people. High-fidelity mobile games are on the rise. Puzzles, arcades, simulations, lifestyle, and bingo-like games are all the craze. Users like simple games that take little time to play. Those are known as hyper-casual games and include titles such as Love Balls and SpinUp Jump [2].

Countries that adopted early online and mobile gaming have continued to move forward in a fairly dramatic fashion. If you talk to our members across the globe that are actively involved in online gaming and mobile gaming, their practices are busy, their clients are busy, because everybody has learned how to adapt and do everything online, from your living room, or from wherever you are at in the moment. That has been a benefit to some of these companies and jurisdictions that have been early adopters. In the U.S., the gaming market has suffered more to a certain extent because we were not early adopters of online gaming [3]?

Psychosocial problems arising from excessive gaming are a public health issue across the developed world. In its most serious form, problematic gaming is recognized as gaming disorder (GD) in the ICD-11. Research has tended to focus on the value of outpatient treatment for GD, but less attention has been paid to broader prevention strategies to address less serious but nevertheless harmful gaming behaviors [4]. Another gap in this literature has been the lack of involvement of the gaming community as stakeholders to identify feasible prevention approaches.

Digital historical games are immensely popular and are a significant element in the broader interest in history among the general public. Increasingly, videogames are one of the primary means by which a wide range of audiences develop interest in and knowledge about the past [5]. While representations of past spaces in videogames may (or may not) be viewed by gamers as objectively “accurate”, their sense of being engaged in an “authentic” historical ludic situation is partly dependent on some level of perceived representational accuracy.

Starting from such general references, this booklet identifies ten relevant areas from very recent contributions put forward at academic level in the form journal articles, conference proceedings and students’ theses. Ten freely accessible internet references have been selected for each area and direct links are provided at the end of each chapter for own consultation. Our selected references do not intend to mirror ranking indexes nor establish novel classifications. On the contrary, they are meant to represent peer-reviewed, diverse and scientifically-sound case studies for vertical dissemination aimed at non-specialist readers. They will also be able to scoop even more references through the bibliography that is reported at the end of each selected reference.

Without further ado, these are the “Ten Problems for Gaming in the 2020s” that we are going to introduce in this booklet:

  1. addiction,
  2. injuries,
  3. toxicity,
  4. mental health,
  5. escapism,
  6. social withdrawal,
  7. digital divide,
  8. mobile games,
  9. esports,
  10. copyright.

Each problem has its own dedicated chapter made of an introductory section, a short presentation of the ten selected references and a conclusions section.

The final chapter of this booklet will report the conclusions from each chapter again in order to provide a complete executive summary.


[1] J. Clement, “Number of active video gamers worldwide from 2015 to 2023”, 29 Jan 2021,, online at, accessed on 24 May 2021  

[2] T. Debrilova, “How Much Is the Gaming Industry Worth in 2021? [+22 Powerful Stats]”, 20 May 2021,, online at, accessed on 24 May 2021

[3] S. Schneider et al., “Industry association roundtable: gaming conferences in the age of covid-19”, 12 Feb 2021, Gaming Law Review, Vol. 25, No. 1, online at , accessed on 24 May 2021

[4] M.W.R. Stevens et al., “Prevention Strategies to Address Problematic Gaming: An Evaluation of Strategy Support Among Habitual and Problem Gamers”, 2021, The Journal of Primary Prevention, 42:183–201, online at

[5] E. Stirling et al., “Actual history doesn’t take place: Digital Gaming, Accuracy and Authenticity”, 2021, Games Studies, 21 (1), online at

Gaming Problems
“Ten Problems for Gaming in the 2020s” booklet for Amazon Kindle, 2021; click on the cover to go to the dedicated Amazon listing page