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'Games like cocaine' claim not based on statistics

'I don't rely on reports' says therapist Steve Pope

Playing video games for two hours is the same as doing a line of cocaine. That was the widely publicised claim of counsellor and therapist Steve Pope - who has now revealed he discarded statistics before making the statement.

When requested to back up his claim with supporting facts or statistics, Pope said: "I don't rely on reports," explaining that he thought of statistics as "lies, lies and more lies".

Instead, Pope says his statement was based on his experiences as a doctor: "It's about who walks through my door," he said.


According to Rock Paper Shotgun, who dissected the entire LEP report, Pope said he did have stats to suggest that gaming addiction is the fastest growing addiction in the UK, but has since failed to produce any.

He did, however, later draw parallels between the highs of gambling and drug use, and links gaming highs in the same way. "The human being can be, in my professional opinion, addicted to anything it finds pleasurable. There are links between the highs of gambling, and game stations which cause a similar pattern of behaviours in the brain as does class A stimulant drugs. There is a weight of evidence to support this," said Pope.

"The test for me with any addictive process is are your actions having negative consequences. I see first hand the consequences of overuse of game stations usually with the sufferer using the game to escape the reality of life. And to the addictive personality this is dangerous. ... The physical consequences are also horrific for the child of today which can lead to ill health through obesity etc," he adds.

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[ SOURCE: Rock Paper Shotgun ]