I need a slang word which means someone addicted to playing video or computer games.
Could gameaholic work?

It can't be nerd or geek because although those expressions denote someone who is obsessive, behaves in an eccentric manner, and is viewed as a loner; today those terms refer to people who possess a certain expertise in a specialist field and a passion for hi-tech things in general.

I would like a word for someone who plays online or computer games continuously well into the small hours. I was thinking of midnight gamer or RPG fanatic, but obviously they're not idiomatic. Wikipedia's article: Role Playing Game terms didn't prove to be very helpful.

And I would also like to know if an equivalent term for a middle-aged man or woman, for example a house-wife who has only recently caught the computer-playing bug because her own children play video games.

I did look at this question and although I quite like the term, mouse potato, and it's fairly accurate, it doesn't quite convey the obsessive and compulsive element I had in mind.

  • 1
    Alas, if only The Onion was real! Because then a viable candidate might be World of World of Warcrafter.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 17:29
  • I love it! You'd think by now a term would have been coined. I had one Italian student who wrote: "He is like an "informatic boy": he loves playing video games every day" I mean, nerd and geek doesn't really work, does it?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 17:37
  • Like it or not, entertainment, as everything else, is largely becoming something that happens sitting at a computer screen. I have just been watching my eight-year-old grandson doing his homework, much of which he does on-line. He earns points with correct answers to maths questions, which he can use for purchasing clothing and icons to build his own avatar. He and his friends display their avatars for everyone to see. To get more points he has to do some more maths tests. Increasingly we are reading ebooks. The rectangular screen is increasingly dominating our lives.
    – WS2
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 22:24
  • He does his maths homework online, as a multiple choice quiz? And he can build his avatar etc.? I'm flabbergasted. There is NOTHING similar to this in the Italian primary or middle schools in the city where I live. Schools still have blackboards, although interactive boards are becoming increasingly used and popular, but you won't have one in every classroom. It's considered a bit of a luxury.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 22:30
  • 2
    @J.R. I didn't interpret WS2 words as complaining, but rather as his stating a fact, an inescapable truth.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 23:27

8 Answers 8


Perhaps hardcore gamer

Someone who plays video games as a primary hobby. They tend to spend large amounts of time playing games, often in excess of two or three hours a day.


I think that you are essentially looking for gamer. The word already implies the kind of obsession dedication you describe. You wouldn't use gamer to describe someone who played a game every now and again, it's used for people who play a lot. The definitions of the urban dictionary might help (a little).

If you want to be more extreme, you could go for variants like hardcore gamer or passionate gamer etc.

  • Any light on middle-aged people who discover online games. Would noobies fit?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 18:02
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    @Mari-LouA no, noobie and its variants imply ignorance as well as novelty. Someone who already knows how to play the game won't be a newbie and someone can be a newbie at any age. You could coin mid-life crisis gamer :).
    – terdon
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 18:05
  • Ooh, that's a bit too wordy but it's very nice. Thank you!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 18:08

Video-junkie, game-junkie, gamer-junkie? It's not an original idea on my part See this.

  • I've just watched the short documentary, at first I thought it was an excuse by the Chinese authorities to ban or severely limit teenagers access to the Internet. Instead, the therapist at the centre of rehabilitation actually talked a lot of sense; the idea that someone, physically healthy, prefers to wear diapers rather than waste time going to the restroom, is frightening. Interesting clip, thank you.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 1:17

I have heard many of these types referred to as 'Cave Dwellers'.

cave-dweller, noun: a person who spends a majority of their time on a computer.


Someone who is obsessed with video games is “an obsessive gamer.”

The age or gender of the subject is irrelevant. Anyone can be obsessed with video games.


For the obsessed middle-aged player you might have to make something up; how about "boombanger"?

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    Someone who bangs booms? I assume you're somehow referring to the baby boomers but how does banging enter into it?
    – terdon
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 18:39
  • Banger is a sexual term meaning someone who is obsessed with sex. In this context it's not a perfect fit, but it still implies someone who is focused on winning, which is what games are about.
    – bluestone
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 19:03

You could call these people Joystick Junkies.

  • Hi, Matt. Your post was flagged as low-quality because of its length and content. Can you try to expand your answer with a link/reference/research that can support it? Thanks.
    – user140086
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 17:34

Game slave that about somes it up for most of us.

  • Welcome to EL&U. StackExchange seeks definitive answers, and yours would be greatly strengthened if you can provide examples of this term in actual usage, or a citation from an authority. I strongly encourage you to take the site tour and review the help center for additional guidance.
    – choster
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 16:38

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