Let’s face it, we all love video games and perhaps become a little addicted at times. The thing is, most of today’s games are designed around that concept by either providing endless worlds in which to explore or by providing rich multiplayer experiences designed to keep you coming back for more.
According to Industry Gamers, a new report in a British periodical claims that video games are becoming so addictive that they are overtaking drugs such as cocaine. The amount of time equal to a line of cocaine exactly? Two hours, which is just enough time to finish a few missions in some games.
The expert analysis provided in the report was done by therapist Steve Pope who claims to see increasing amounts of young people addicted to video games. Pope said: “A lot of young people get themselves into a situation where they use video games as an escape from the world and they get hooked on the release of adrenaline it gives. Spending two hours on a game station is equivalent to taking a line of cocaine in the high it produces. It is the fastest growing addiction in the country and this is affecting young people mentally, as well as leading to physical problems such as obesity.”
Pope explains that extreme cases of video game addiction “result in a natural high which is causing a chemical imbalance which is leading to them not performing their best on the pitch.” An example he used is a 74-year-old grandmother who plays online poker non-stop and soccer players that love their Xbox a little too much perhaps.
In a nice twist, the report also puts the blame on parents for allowing this sort of addictive behavior. “Parents are fearful of allowing their children to play outside and feel that if they are inside where they can see them playing computer games, then they are safe,” states Gayle Brewer, senior lecturer of psychology at the University of Central Lancashire.
I can certainly see their point that many people, or addicts, can go too far with their hobbies. However, if sitting down and enjoying my next match of Call of Duty makes me some sort of cocaine addict then I say cut me a line right now.