We all have addictions, small or large. They toy with us. They ruffle our hair, whisper in our ear, slip their hands down our shirts, and tickle us just the way we like it.
Among gamers, a key addiction, according to Sweden's Youth Care Foundation, is playing World of Warcraft.
"There is not a single case ofthat we have worked with in which World of Warcraft has not played a part," the foundation's Sven Rollenhagen told the Metro newspaper.
Could that be because World of Warcraft may enjoy the majority of the market that some might describe as "People All Over The World Playing This Thing Without Washing, Eating, Cleaning Their Teeth, Or Attending To Their Underarms"?
However, just in case the message hadn't quite sunk in, Mr. Rollenhagen declared, "It is the crack cocaine of the computer game world." This was shortly after suggesting that WoW is "the most dangerous game on the market."
I am sure that the foundation, whose Web site carries a curious Pac-Man image and the phrase "Game Over-Stockholm," does valuable work. But given that Mr. Rollenhagen's organization works with all kinds of addictions, which is the most serious?
The foundation says that in 2007, it received 2,000 calls to its addiction helpline, 170 of which concerned computer games. Presumably, all 170 calls involved World of Warcraft. Would it be fair to ask how many of the 2,000 involved crack?