A new study done by researchers at Berlin’s Charite Hospital proves that video game addiction can be similar to alcohol or marijuana addiction.
The first study compared fifteen occasional gamers to fifteen excessive gamers. Excessive was defined as an "insatiable yearning for games, withdrawal symptoms when unable to play, and a neglect for other areas of the gamer’s life".
Pictures of video game screen shots, alcoholic beverages, and neutral items were shown to the subjects. Excessive gamers had a much stronger reaction in the brain than casual gamers. Excessive gamers also showed weak responses to the other pictures.
The second study interviewed 7,000 gamers about their play habits. Twelve percent showed signs of game addiction. No link between gaming and aggression was found.
"Excessive playing of computer games presumable activates the same structures in the brain as drugs do," commented Sabine Grusser from the Interdisciplinary Addiction Research Group at the Charite hospital.