A Lancashire therapist has stated that playing video games can have a similar effect to taking cocaine.

In a Lancashire Evening Post article about the “alarming” rise of gaming addiction among young people in the UK, Garstang counseller Steve Pope makes the connection between the effects of gaming and cocaine abuse.

“Spending two hours on a game station is equivalent to taking a line of cocaine in the high it produces,” said Pope.*

“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,” he added.

The article goes on to suggest that in the under ten age group, “a staggering four out of five children play computer games at levels showing signs of addiction” according to figures the newspaper obtained from unspecified “addiction experts.”

However, expert opinion is mixed on the phenomenon of gaming addiction. Keith Bakker, the head of Europe’s leading gaming addiction clinic, The Smith and Jones Centre in Amsterdam, has suggested that most compulsive gamers are not addicts, citing social and communication issues as the more likely cause of excessive gaming.

IncGamers also spoke to psychologist and media violence expert Dr Guy Cumberbatch who told us that “Addiction, as clinically defined by psychologists, is very rare with videogames.”

What do you make of the addiction issue? Let us know in the comments below.  

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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