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Smart Drugs In Video Games

The usage of ADHD’s drugs in competitive gaming.

We’ve recently been seeing a surge in ADHD prescriptions. It’s said that around 6%-9% of the population actually suffers from it and it affects mostly men in a proportion of 3:1. Yet, it feels like much more when one frequents certain environments. I’ve been to college and let me tell you that the illegal use of ADHD’s drugs is very problematic.

The usage seems to be propagating everywhere from the workplace, schools, sports to video games. Yes, video games. The competitive nature of some games will prompt some to seek shady ways to improve or win.

Cheating in video games.

Players have always cheated and always will. Unplugging my brother’s N64 controller used to be my guilty pleasure. Now, we’ve been seeing more and more elaborate ways that gamers have been using to cheat the system:

  • using illegal software (hacks and scripts)
  • abusing the ranking systems limits
  • buying paid services (in-game currency, play time, etc.)
  • taking ADHD or other brain enhancing drugs

Professional players abusing them

Here is a tweet from Peter Dager, a player that has won millions of dollars playing video games.

Cloud9’s Pro Counter-Strike player “Semphis” responded “Yes” when asked whether everyone was on Adderall when playing at ESL Katowice. ESL now tests for such substances since the incident.

It’s easy to understand why some players would use them. Practicing more, sleeping less and being ”in the zone” are amongst the positive effects of smart drugs. The end justifies the means, some would say. The money involved and pressure from the fans/organizations are too big for them not to try to get an extra edge.

These drugs are not to be taken lightly, they also have negative effects. Who would have thought that messing with your brain can be harmful?

The most popular sports have already been testing for them. Smart drugs are already banned by the Word Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). If eSports wants to acquire legitimacy, it is my opinion that it needs to take the same route.

Is it time every major organization starts testing video game players too? If so, should those with a legitimate prescription be tested too? Let us know your opinion!

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