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Gaming linked to heroin, child death in latest attacks from UK media

Tuesday, 8 July 2014 16:13 GMT By Matt Martin

The UK press is taking a couple of swings at video games again today, linking them to heroin and the death of a child.

gaming_addict

The Sun has a double page spread on the effects of video games on the brain – as addictive as heroin, according to the paper – detailing what it claims is a national “gaming addiction” as big a risk to health as drugs and alcohol.

Dr Mark Griffiths, a researcher at the International Gaming Research Unit who contributes to The Sun’s article, played down the dramatic headlines in a statement to Eurogamer.

“There is no evidence the country is in ‘the grip of addiction’,” he said. “Yes, we have various studies showing a small minority have problematic gaming. But problematic gaming doesn’t necessarily mean gaming addiction. They’re two very separate things. Yet the media seem to put them as the same.”

Meanwhile, Brighton’s The Argus features the story “Father killed his five-week-old daughter after she distracted him from a video game“.

It begins by detailing the defendant’s games playing – Assassin’s Creed 3 on PS3 – and how he violently shook a baby while being distracted.

Later down the page it notes that the defendant suffers from a “neurological condition which causes paralysis, and functional non-epileptic attack disorder, which causes seizures.”

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24 Comments

  1. OrbitMonkey

    Are YOU addicted to gaming? Find out by playing our multiple choice quiz!

    If thats not enough, head on over to Sun Bingo!!

    Good old tabloids :)

    #1 9 months ago
  2. fearmonkey

    Chasing the dragon game – i’ll catch that dragon one day.

    #2 9 months ago
  3. CycloneFox

    A father kills his own daughter and who is to blame? Exactly! The video games. The poor man would never have done anything aggressive, if he wasn’t influenced by evil games.

    The only psychological problem he had, was, of course, video game addictiveness.

    #3 9 months ago
  4. polygem

    The bigger problem are the zombie hordes addicted to their daily yellow press fix.

    #4 9 months ago
  5. salarta

    I’m waiting for the video game version of Reefer Madness. The industry needs a true to life, no-holds-barred accurate depiction of the evils of video games that films like Reefer Madness provide for naive young minds and scared old white men alike.

    #5 9 months ago
  6. Dragon

    Uh, ok.

    This is why I love UK media, posting the truth without any exaggeration, clickbait, double standards, misinformation etc.

    Btw, I heard a person died from heart attack after reading a horror book.

    #6 9 months ago
  7. POOhead

    coming from someone who had to sell broadband and talk to over 600 people a week i did find people once a week who were in some degree “addicted” to gaming, alot were mmo players who had valid reasons but saying its the same addiction to heroin is extremely far fetched, the same could be implied to men over 50 who watch nothing but sports all day. that to me is alot more concerning to those that play nothing but vidya

    #7 9 months ago
  8. Froseidon

    Came on here to confirm my suspicions. They were confirmed…

    Yup, its the Sun!

    #8 9 months ago
  9. Talkar

    A news tabloid taking one thing and by lying turning it into something completely else?

    Good thing that doesn’t exist in the world of gaming “journalism” right IGN, Kotaku and VG247?

    #9 9 months ago
  10. Legendaryboss

    This is a scapegoat excuse and nothing more.

    #10 9 months ago
  11. POOhead

    @10 i dunno man, from past experience and seeing others it is surprising how much time people put into gaming, it will only get worse as well

    #11 9 months ago
  12. drewbles82

    A young girl stabbed her younger brother as he cried as she was unable to hear Justin Biebers latest song, WE MUST BAN JB

    #12 9 months ago
  13. Tormenter

    Actually in all fairness, I’d like to see any of you try to go without your gaming for, say, a month. I guarantee at least a few of you will suffer some form of withdrawal. Obviously the big ‘H’ is being used as a scare tactic, but at the very least, dependence is being suffered by some of you.

    #13 9 months ago
  14. YoungZer0

    The Sun, hm? Guess that says it all.

    #14 9 months ago
  15. salarta

    @Tormenter It’s an interest and a form of entertainment, and this is a site specifically devoted to video games, a place people will only go to regularly if they really love games. Of course most people here would find it hard or impossible to quit games for a month. It’d be like asking a huge film fan to not watch a single film for a month.

    That said, yes, addiction with video games is a potential problem. Some companies actually bank on making their games addictive in order to rake in tons of money, it’s where the majority of microtransaction schemes come from. That’s the real addiction risk: games deliberately designed in such a way to induce addiction. “Just do one more round and you’ll get that thing you’re after, you’ve only been at it for 8 hours!”

    But the basic concept of a game? No, that’s not an addiction any more than a film, a TV show, food, exercise, etc can be an addiction.

    #15 9 months ago
  16. Game Hunter

    Did I ever tell you the definition of Addiction?

    #16 9 months ago
  17. fearmonkey

    @Tormenter – I do that all the time. I would imagine most people get bored of playing games heavily and then go do other things for awhile and come back.

    #17 9 months ago
  18. TheWulf

    Except, you know, this one actually isn’t unfounded. :I

    I like how, with gaming, a few bad studies mean that all of them are bad. Hubris and arrogance at its finest. Though if you actually pay attention to what’s being said, it isn’t without merit. I’ve pointed out the perils of dopamine and its relation to gambling-like addictions in extroverted brains before. Why? It isn’t new.

    We’ve known about it for decades. Just not the lay-person. How do you think they make these games so addictive in the first place? Especially the aforementioned gambling games, along with MMOs, and games that make you feel you want to pay a bit to go further (which can be attributed to Candy Crush Saga and Diablo III).

    Where it gets even more interesting is that introverts don’t really use dopamine as their primary motivator, this has been proven countless times as well. Instead, for those like myself, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is invoked. This means that we’re less likely to become addicted.

    I remember one study where they did the following:

    - Showed a bunch of exceedingly boring videos to extroverts.
    - Noted how exaggeratedly bored they all were.
    - Gave them a non-trivial shot of dopamine and had them watch the videos again.
    - Noted that suddenly the extroverts were very interested.
    - Noted that, after hours, even days, the videos remained compelling to them.

    Due to their reliance on dopamine to function, extroverts end up addicted to lots of things, and there are people (in the social engineering biz) who know precisely which buttons to press to encourage that addiction. So, yeah, games can be addictive, that’s a thing. That’s undeniably a thing.

    Of course, there’s exaggeration in everything when it comes to the media, but the underlying science is true.

    #18 9 months ago
  19. Bomba Luigi

    Oh Great, then I can take some Heroin! Its seems its not all that bad.

    #19 9 months ago
  20. Digital Bamboo

    They forgot to warn us that gaming leads to chronic masturbation, terrorist recruitment, and vegetable fetishes.

    @TheWulf Do you really believe that if you were the one being drugged, you wouldn’t exhibit any changes in interest levels too?

    #20 9 months ago
  21. ommidiam

    Stupid people do stupid things. Mentally deranged people do disturbing things. Sane people are sane for a reason. End of story.

    #21 9 months ago
  22. Kane Seere

    @Tormenter There’s a difference in mind blowing boredom and addiction.

    #22 9 months ago
  23. RefuseBunny

    Why doesn’t someone run a piece on how people are addicted to tabloids and how tabloid addiction can lead to violence and murder and stuff?
    There’s probably a stronger link between newspapers and acts of violence than video games.

    Has this ever been done?

    #23 9 months ago
  24. Tormenter

    @Kane Seere

    “I can quit anytime”, said the addict.

    Yeah, yeah, I’m perfectly willing to take some flak on this, but I’m not wrong.

    The constant peaks and troughs of your addrenalin levels, the euphoria that comes with it, I GUARANTEE that gaming addiction DOES exist and it’s no so uncommon.

    But I can hardly expect support in my claims of addiction from a room full of addicts (exceptions excepted.)

    #24 9 months ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Blizzard has announced the WoW Arena World Championship will culminate at BlizzCon 2015. World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena teams from around the globe will compete for spot at the 2015 WoW Arena World Championship and for a share in the $250,000 prize pool. Online qualifiers will be held for North America, Southeast Asia, Australia, New […]

  • The Crew two-hour demo now available in US, tomorrow in the UK

    Ubisoft has announced a free trial of its driving MMO The Crew will be available tomorrow, March 25 in the UK. It’s live today in North America. For current players, the Vintage Car Pack and Vintage Live Update, including a new PvP mode, are now available. The Vintage Car Pack included the Chevrolet Corvette C2 […]

  • Minecraft Mass Effect Mash-Up and Pattern Texture Pack out from today

    A Mass Effect Mash-up pack and the Pattern Texture Pack will release on PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita today in North America and tomorrow in Europe. The Pattern Texture Pack is also available for Xbox consoles today. The Mass Effect Mash-Up pack contains the Mars Facility from Mass Effect 3 plus textures and craftable items […]

  • The Talos Principle expansion pack Road to Gehenna announced

    An expansion for The Talos Principle has been announced titled Road to Gehenna. The expansion follows the narrative of Uriel, Elohim’s messenger, as he explores a “strange, hidden part of the simulation” on a mission of “mercy and redemption.” Uriel is attempting to free the souls of the damned “at all costs.” Road to Gehenna […]

  • Twitch Plays Pokemon finally catches ‘em all – even the rare Mewtwo

    Twitch Plays Pokemon players have captured all 151 original Pokemon which were included in a modified version of Pokemon Red, and this includes the rare Mewtwo. It took 39 days for Twitch players to catch ‘em all. Have a look at the impressive feat for yourself below. Thanks, Polygon.

  • GameStop will have limited units of Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL back in stock

    Those who missed out on the Limited Edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL will have another opportunity to purchase it outside of eBay. Tomorrow only, GameStop stores in the United States will have four units in stock, according to and internal memo sent to Kotaku. This is every store in the country, and again, only […]

  • Second phase of Fortnite closed Alpha launches today

    Fortnite’s second closed Alpha test will go live this afternoon, according to the official website. Those currently participating will have until April 14 to test the online aspects for 12 hours per day (noon -12am EDT). All progress from the previous Alpha test will be wiped, and other changes are listed in the patch notes. […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Jaws of Hakkon out now on PC, Xbox One

    As promised yesterday, the single-player DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Jaws of Hakkon, is now available on PC and Xbox One. It will run you or £11.99 or your regional equivalent. The new content expands the land of Thedas with mountainous regions and forests, and it is full of “vicious enemies.” Players will also be […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer shows Ascendance gameplay

    Activision has released a new gamepay trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to support the Ascendance DLC which releases next week. Ascendance, will release first on Xbox consoles March 31 and includes the next chapter of the Exo Zombies Saga, Infected, along with four new multiplayer maps: Perplex, Site 244, Climate and Chop Shop. […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight will be a digital only release on PC – report

    It appears Batman: Arkham Knight will not see a physical release on PC, according to ShopTo. The retailer was told by its buyer the Rocksteady game will only be released on PC in digital form. ShopTo is currently double checking the information. If accurate, it is unknown if this will be case in North America […]

  • Bloodborne patch focusing on load times, performance optimizations in the works

    A patch for Bloodborne which will address load times is in the works, Sony has said The load times were one of the issues noted in Digital Foundry’s report on the From Software title. Sony told Eurogamer the patch would also explore other issues as well. “The development team is currently exploring another patch for […]

  • Gearbox would “love” to have entire Borderlands collection on current-gen

    An Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version of the original Borderlands game is something Gearbox Software is interested in, according to studio boss Randy Pitchford. Speaking in the latest Major Nelson podcast, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said should Borderlands: The Handsome Collection prove successful, 2K Games might consider a current-gen version. “The fact that The […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood artwork shows the catacombs, dock, more

    Over the weekend we posted Wolfenstein: The Old Blood artwork along with news of a retail release in Europe. Today, we have better quality images of said artwork to share with you. Enjoy. The standalone prequel will be released digitally on May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in North America, and digitally on […]

  • Slender: The Arrival terrorizes PS4 and Xbox One this week

    In case you forgot, what with Bloodborne out today and other high profile releases of late, Slender: The Arrival is out today on PlayStation 4 in North America. The scary game will arrive on Xbox One tomorrow, March 25, and in Europe on PS4. Slender: The Arrival is an expansion on the original Slender game […]

  • World of Warcraft’s WoW Token rollout slated after launch of patch 6.1.2

    Blizzard has announced it will start rollout its WoW Token option in the weeks following the launch of patch 6.1.2 on March 24. WoW Token allows players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard will release WoW Token first in realms serving North America, Oceania, and Latin America and will expand […]

  • The Evil Within: The Consequence dated for April, teaser video released

    Part 2 of Juli Kidman’s adventure in The Evil Within will arrive next month with the release of The Consequence. Above is a brief teaser showing some of the “madness” Kidman will encounter. The Consequence will arrive on Tuesday, April 21 on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. European PlayStation players will […]

  • Bloodborne sometimes “struggles to run at a smooth frame-rate” per performance analysis

    Bloodborne has been analyzed by Digital Foundry and according to the report, even with a 30fps cap the game sometimes “struggles to run at a smooth frame-rate.” The game’s day-one 2.69GB update 1.01 is “essential” as it contains improvements to game performance and stability and the frame-rate tests run by Digital Foundry were in single-player […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection reviews round-up

    Borderlands: The Handsome Collection reviews are out in the wild so we decided to catch a few of them for you. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is out today on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The collection packages Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel along with each game’s DLC content on one disc. Better graphics and […]

  • Evolve, Forza Horizon 2, WWE 2K15 are this week’s Deals with Gold

    Evolve, Forza 2 Horizon and WWE 2K15 are just some of the games which are part of this week’s Xbox Deals with Gold. You can also pick up the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Pro Edition for 20% off as well as the standard edition for 33% off. For the Xbox 360 crowd, there’s also […]

  • Xbox 360 2015 Spring Value bundles now available starting at $250

    Microsoft is offering a discount on three Xbox 360 bundles with prices starting at $250. The Xbox 360 2015 Spring Value bundles feature various content such as a Kinect, 500GB console bundle and one month of Xbox Live Gold. Xbox 360 500GB Spring Value Bundle: comes with Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare download and Fable […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege beta sign ups now open

    Ubisoft is letting everyone register for the upcoming Rainbow Six Siege closed beta. Rainbow Six Siege is due for a closed beta sometime this year. Ubisoft has opened registration to everyone. All you need to do is enter your preferred platform and log in using your Uplay account. You will be entered into a waiting […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Exo Zombies map Infection is creepy

    The upcoming chapter in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies mode is called ‘Infection’ and Activision has been slowly revealing bits and pieces about it. A few teasers have been dropping ahead of Ascendance launch this month. The teasers are about the second episode in the Exo Zombie story, Infection. First off, the map. […]

  • This is the Bloodborne press kit in all its glory

    Bloodborne is a gorgeous game so it’s only fitting that the press kit it came in is a reflection of that. The pictures capture the many amazing bits of the Bloodborne press kit. A press kit is what’s usually sent to the reviewers alongside the review copy. They’re usually very ornate and almost all of […]

  • This Hearthstone turn is taking over 40 hours and you can watch it happen

    A very smart Hearthstone player has rigged his game to make one turn take over 40 hours, and it has been going for over 22 already. Hearthstone player Mamytwink set up a game against his friend to try and achieve the record for the longest turn in Hearthstone ever. Basically, Mamytwink set the game up […]

  • The Witcher 3: Geralt’s beard grows over time, but not Gandalf-long

    The beard of The Witcher 3 protagonist Geralt will grow over time, but you can trim it if you choose to. As part of a recently published impressions piece by German magazine Gamestar (translated by NeoGAF), The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developers revealed that Geralt’s beard will in fact grow over time. Not content with […]

  • Sony mistakenly abandons Bloodborne trademark in the US

    The administration side of Sony Computer Entertainment has not been in the best of shapes recently. Sony has abandoned four game trademarks yesterday, one of which is for Bloodborne. The trademarks were all registered with US Patent and Trademark Office. All of the games trademarks pertain to unreleased games and Sony would’ve had to either […]

  • Payday 2 will be supported until 2017

    Payday 2 developer has announced that it will continue to support the game for the next two years. Payday 2 developer Overkill has revealed today that it’s planning to support the game until 2017. What this means is that more free content as well as paid DLC are in the works for release later. Payday […]

  • These are the top Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare weapons, according to the developer

    Based on their overall kill-to-death ratio, what are the best guns in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare? Developer Sledgehammer reveals the top 5. Sledgehammer’s Michael Condrey has revealed on Twitter the top 5 weapons in Advanced Warfare based on their overall kill-to-death ratio. Here’s the list: ARX-160 – Hole Puncher Ameli – Heavy HBRa3 – […]

  • H1Z1 has sold more than 1 million copies

    H1Z1 has already sold over 1 million copies on Steam. H1Z1 may still be in Early Access on Steam, but it has already sold more than 1 million copies. Daybreak president John Smedley announced on Twitter earlier. H1Z1 launched in January and instantly became a hit. The game has consistently been on Steam’s top 10 […]