The Sun's Own Expert Calls the Gaming Addiction Story "Incorrect"

By Leon Hurley on at

A researcher quoted in an article titled "Gaming is as Addictive as Heroin" has said the idea that "Britain is in the grip of a gaming addiction" is "incorrect". It's this all over again.

Speaking to Eurogamer Dr Mark Griffiths, the director of a Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University, says he was asked to provide a 10 point 'addiction quiz', "based on criteria I use in my research":

"The little thing I did for The Sun is actually based on real criteria I use in my research. The number of people who would score seven out of 10 of those items I put in The Sun today, I'd find it very hard to believe there would be more than a handful of people out there that would score high on all those things. You'd probably get a lot of people who might endorse three or four of them, but that doesn't mean they're addicted. That might be somebody who has problems with it."

In fact he pretty much disputes the whole tone of the article. When asked about the headline "Gaming as addictive as heroin" he told Eurogamer, "It depends how you define addiction in the first place".

While The Sun's piece makes out we're apparently weeks away from some sort of gaming addiction apocalypse, Griffiths actually thinks, "the number of genuine video game addicts is few and far between". That's following his own specifications: "The criteria I use for video game addiction would be exactly the same as in heroin addiction in the sense that this is an activity that becomes the most important thing in your life, it compromises everything else in your life including your relationship, work and hobbies".

Griffiths says that "just because there are some addictive-like components there it doesn't mean they're genuinely addicted."

It's not quite what The Sun said, is it?