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Demonstrating the validity of the video game functional assessment-revised (VGFA-R)
Buono F., Upton T., Griffiths M., Sprong M., Bordieri J. Computers in Human Behavior54 (C):501-510,2016.Type:Article
Date Reviewed: Apr 19 2016

This paper presents a revised method of assessing game-related functions. The authors’ scale, called video game functional assessment revised (VGFA-R), is proposed to “help clinicians identify ... game-related functions,” such as attention and escape. Excessive use of the Internet and online gaming by young people is a growing concern of psychologists and psychiatrists. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) addressed this concern in the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) as “Conditions for Further Study.”

However, the abstract of the paper states: “So much so the DSM-5 (APA, 2013) has included problematic video gaming as [a] disorder categorized as Internet Gaming Disorder.” This is, regretfully, inaccurate, although good intentions are behind it since every effective tool supporting diagnosis is needed and should be highly appreciated.

The authors of this paper propose a method of constructing a scale together with the statistical analysis of its psychometric parameters. The study claims that VGFA-R is “able to predict 85 percent of the appropriate function of behavior.” The considerable importance of the paper’s results, as well as the well-described steps of analysis, may be hindered by a questionable use of principal component analysis (PCA) as a method for identifying factors. As the study reports: “The PCA was used because the primary purpose was to identify and compute scores for the factors underlying the VGFA.” However, it is well known that PCA identifies components not factors. To identify factors, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) should have been used. This seems to be the strongest drawback of the presented analysis and a call for correction.

Reviewers:  Waldemar KoczkodajAgnieszka Szymanska Review #: CR144327 (1609-0716)
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