Yesterday, the Telegraph reported that Britain’s first videogame addiction center opened.
Mr Dudley* believes treating game addiction needs a different approach to “conventional” vices like drink and drugs.
”Obviously this is the very early stages of researching how many youngsters are affected,” he said.
”But I would stick my neck out and say between five and ten per cent of parents or partners would say they know of someone addicted to an online game.
”However, you can’t simply say to a 23-year-old male ‘you should never use the internet again’. It’s just not practical.
”So we go through all the issues surrounding gaming use and ensure there are triggers through which an addict recognises their usage has become a problem.
”Behavioural shifts include users becoming agressive, with chaotic lifestyles that result in irregular eating and sleeping patterns as well as social exclusion.’
”I don’t know anybody else who is treating such cases in this country. There’s no helpline.”
Having spent a summer of my life playing World of Warcraft from dusk till dawn, I can personally attest to the power of videogame addiction. If you find yourself living and breathing videogames 24/7, I encourage you to talk to someone. There is a difference between living in a virtual world versus playing videogames as a hobby. No duh, huh.
(*Brian Dudley, the center’s chief executive)