South Korea Discovers StarCraft Addiction Drug


Doctors in South Korea claim that they’re found a method to treat patients addicted to Zerglings.

A study conducted by South Korean psychiatrists from Chung Ang University may have proven that videogame addiction can be treated with a pill. After administering Bupropion – a drug proven to aid in substance abuse dependency – to so-called videogame addicts, they responded less strongly to the allure of the Zerg.

Eleven test subjects exhibited symptoms for Internet Videogame Addiction (what the study calls IAG) such as skipping school or getting divorced due to at least four hours a day of videogame play, with all subjects playing StarCraft II for more than 30 hours a week. They were put on a six-week program of Bupropion.

After the six weeks were up, the researchers found that the IAG group’s cravings for StarCraft II were reduced by 23.6% and that their total playing time had decreased by 35.4%. Using MRI scans, it was also determined that the drug had reduced the videogame addicts’ brain activity when they were shown pictures of StarCraft II‘s Zerglings.

The research suggests that Bupropion may change brain activity in a way that can help treat those than can’t handle their videogame habit responsibly. It might be an easy reaction to say that these results are total garbage, as brain-altering drugs will often change a person’s activities no matter what. Games make people feel good though, just like drugs (don’t do drugs), and can often be used in a similar and unhealthy way. I have a few 14-hour days of Dark Age of Camelot under my belt that I’m not too proud of myself. It’s not that incredible to me that a drug made to treat substance abuse could also possibly treat videogame abuse when much of the cause of both can be inside the brain.

Source: Wired UK, via GamePolitics

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