“Young addicts are skipping meals, playing truant from school and are even stealing money from their parents to buy the latest games.”
This sums up the current state of game addiction in the UK's county of Lancashire, at least according to an article on the website of the Lancashire Evening Post.
Written with a sense of urgency that was perhaps designed to cast a chilling effect on the reader (but will instead provoke laughs or a disgusted shake of the head from most), the piece centers on the trials of a 15-year old gamer named Jack, who “discarded his friends, neglected his school studies and survived on junk food as he embarked on marathon gaming sessions of up to 48 hours.”
A few quotes from “Jack”:
Playing on my games console was all I wanted to do and it was the first thing I thought of as soon as I woke up. I would play for hours on end without even realizing.
It was like it was a demon that had got inside my brain and I just couldn’t stop. If my parents tried to stop me playing, I would just flip.
An area mom recounted the tale of buying a Call of Duty game for her son and likened it to buying him his first shot of whiskey.
A local counselor (and therapist) named Steve Pope was asked, or offered, his opinions on videogame addiction. He began by stating:
Spending two hours on a game station is equivalent to taking a line of cocaine in the high it produces.
Pope also serves as a sports psychologist for the local football (soccer) team Fleetwood Town and claims that team officials, “…ban their players from using any form of console for at least 24 hours before a game.”
Such a ban is needed, according to Pope, because, “Many footballers are playing on hand-held consoles and computer games before a game and this is resulting in a natural high which is causing a chemical imbalance which is leading to them not performing their best on the pitch.”
Pope continued, “The poisoned chalice is being handed down through the generations.”
Thanks (we think) John!