September 16, 2009

Group warns of gaming addiction threat

Sweden's Youth Care Foundation says video game addiction is reaching dangerous levels in several countries worldwide.

Foundation official Sven Rollenhagen said his group received scores of e-mails and telephone calls from around the globe after it compared the video game World of Warcraft to cocaine in a February report, The Local reported Wednesday.

This is a huge hidden problem in a lot of countries and it doesn't get the same kind of attention because it takes place largely behind closed doors rather than out in public, Rollenhagen said.

Rollenhagen said the foundation is currently helping create the Center of Computer Game Addiction, a network of organizations and professionals all focused on increasing public knowledge about the threat of video game addiction.

Generally we're talking about boys and young men who end up playing games so much that other aspects of their lives like family, work, school, relationships all fall by the wayside, Rollenhagen told the Local.