Playing video games is like taking heroin

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Ah, UK newspapers, they sure know how to put together an eye-catching headline.

According to The Sun, playing video games is as “addictive as heroin”, and the publication has put together a double page spread explaining why.

The Sun centred its article around “the fact” that Britain is in the middle of a gaming addiction crisis, which is posing a health risk equal to alcohol and drug abuse. You have to subscribe to the publication to read the full article, but we have included a shot of the physical paper (courtesy of Eurogamer), below.

The piece features several case studies, one of which focuses on a UK student who spends 12 hours a day playing League of Legends. Another example of an addicted mobile gamer is Saskia, who spends £100 (±R1,800) on apps like Candy Crush.

Call of Duty fans will be glad to hear they have not been left out of the mix, with a claim that the FPS title has been linked to three suicides.

The Sun (definitely reputable)

The Sun (definitely reputable)

As you can see in the article, 5,000 gamers have asked for help with their “problem”, while playing video games has been linked to an increase in dopamine levels in the brain.

After reading several thousand pages containing complex chemistry-based terminology, the relevance of the link and The Sun’s assertion is: drug use increases dopamine levels, gaming increases dopamine levels… maybe they are the same thing.

Last time I checked, exercising also increased dopamine levels in the brain. Perhaps they should write an article titled: “Running with your friend at the park is like doing meth” (This is why I don’t run – Ed).

We’ve heard similar claims of video games destroying the youth (and other claims) before, so I won’t bore you with the rest of the article. There is, however, one more aspect that is worth noting: the gaming addiction quiz.

If you are concerned you may addicted to gaming, take The Sun’s quiz to find out for sure!

Answering “yes” to seven or more questions “may indicate an addiction”.

  • Do you think gaming has become the most important thing in your life?
  • Have you jeopardised your job or education because of gaming?
  • Have you experienced relationship problems because of gaming?
  • Do you feel irritable, anxious, or sad when you cut down on gaming?
  • Do you play games as a way of improving your mood?
  • Have you lost interest in other hobbies because of gaming?
  • When trying to cut down on gaming, do you feel that you can’t?
  • Do you feel totally preoccupied with gaming?
  • Have you lied to anyone because of the amount of time you spend gaming?
  • Have you spent an increasing amount of time on gaming of late?

How may did you answer yes to? Let us know in the comments and forum.

Source: Eurogamer

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Playing video games is like taking heroin

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