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More people seeking help for Minecraft addiction than crack cocaine

Callum Jones

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| Last updated 

More people seeking help for Minecraft addiction than crack cocaine

While we may talk about alcohol and drug addiction more frequently, gaming addictions are a very real thing.

Gaming is intended for entertainment purposes, with around 3 billion people playing video games worldwide.

It is a very popular medium, but the amount of people who are addicted to video games is growing.

So much so that according to the addiction recovery support service Rehabs UK, more people are now seeking help for Minecraft addiction than crack cocaine addiction online.

The amount of people seeking help for gaming addiction is increasing. Credit: True Images / Alamy Stock Photo
The amount of people seeking help for gaming addiction is increasing. Credit: True Images / Alamy Stock Photo

In the UK, searches for gaming addiction help are 15 percent higher than that of cocaine - a stat that will surprise many.

The World Health Organisation say that as many as 4 percent of those who play video games - so around 120 million people worldwide - are addicted.

Studies have been done across the globe looking at how many gamers display symptoms of video game addiction.

In Canada, a large-scale 2017 study found that 13 percent of Ontario teenagers showed symptoms of video game addiction, while figures in the UK show that around 8 percent of children and teens are affected, if estimates are to be believed.

In recent years, studies have also been down in Japan, Norway and South Korea - all revealing similar results.

Rehabs UK founder and director Lester Morse said: "When someone ‘needs’ to play video games to be happy, and feels miserable when they’re not playing, they may have a disorder which is just as real as alcoholism or dependence on prescription drugs.

"A person might have an addiction to a video game if they can’t stop playing it even though they know they should.

Studies have estimated how many people who play video games are affected by gaming addiction. Credit: mauritius images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Studies have estimated how many people who play video games are affected by gaming addiction. Credit: mauritius images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

"They’re aware that the video game is causing them to neglect their family, friends, work, and education, but they keep playing anyway because they feel best behind the screen."

The popular video game Fortnite is actually the first of its kind to be at the centre of a class action addiction lawsuit.

Epic Games - the company behind Fortnite - is being sued by three parents who say their children are addicted to the 'battle royale' game.

The plaintiffs say that their children would skip sleeping, eating and showering because they were so hooked on the game.

But while Fortnite might be in the middle of a lawsuit, Rehabs UK has predicted it won't be the last.

In fact, Fortnite is actually not the number one most searched game in response to addiction help, with Minecraft and World of Warcraft ahead of the popular title.

Featured Image Credit: wonderlandstock / Alamy Stock Photo/Darrin Jenkins / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Gaming, News

Callum Jones
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