Gaming Equals Cocaine Quack Back in the News

UK therapist and sports psychologist Steve Pope, who earlier this year compared playing games for two hours to taking a line of cocaine (in terms of the high it produces), has resurfaced in a Daily Star article, in which he claims that videogame addiction is rampant among soccer players.

In its article, the Star claims that Joe Cole, David James, and Cesc Fabregas have all admitted to “spending hours glued to their consoles,” but notes that “there is no indication they are among those receiving help or that their game has suffered.”

This is where Pope pops in, alleging that players from Manchester United, Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal have videogame addiction problems. Pope, who serves as sport psychologist for the soccer team Fleetwood Town, recounted:

We were traveling with one player who had played a video game for seven hours on the coach. He hadn’t taken any fluids on board and hadn’t eaten. He’d then gone to his room and missed the Friday evening talk and meal. They all seem to love Modern Warfare 2.

Pop had also previously referred to videogames as a "poisoned chalice being handed down through the generations.”

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  1. 0
    Thomas McKenna says:

    These guys work hard and play hard.  It’s entirely understandable that the last thing they’d want to do on their off time is doing something physical, seeing how that’s their day job.  If these guys want to spend their off hours playing video games, and if their game doesn’t suffer from it (and from the sounds of it, they don’t), then there’s no problem.  So why report like there is one?

  2. 0
    Magic says:

    Thanks, you’ve hit the nail perfectly on the head there. Indeed, no one in the media accuses people of wasting hours on and being addicted to watching TV. There’s clearly a difference between enjoying a past time and addiction.

  3. 0
    Maginomicon says:


    "Sports psychologist" is an actual job?

    "Tell me about your mother." "She’s in the stands over there, in the #44 jersey… yelling my name… and obscenities." "Interesting…"

    Seriously though, this is just as bad as the "TV will rot your brain" tripe we got 30+ years ago, only this time the target is something he in all odds wouldn’t honestly try without bias if he was paid to.

    I’m not saying there’s no such thing as VG addiction, because if it’s pleasurable, you can become addicted to it (and oddly, this sometimes happens for things generally NOT pleasurable). However, if there is an addiction present, there’d be withdrawal. No withdrawal, no addiction. Personally, I would think professional participation in a sport (the mortal enemy of videogames) is as good a sign as any that there’s no withdrawal going on here (unless of course he really stops behaving like a professional, odd incidents aside).


    Jonathan Williamson

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