Video games are turning children into living zombies, reports source.
Social workers at Wing South West say it has serious concerns over an increasing number of young computer gamers who are 'stoned' from sleep deprivation.
They said youngsters were in danger of losing empathy and the compassion of 'genuine relationships'.
"Whether it's an obsession or an addiction, I don't know. It's certainly different from a few years ago, partly because the technology wasn't there," he said.
Robert Hart Fletcher, who runs Kids and Media, a charity giving information about children's use of digital media, stated "Gaming is a phenomenon that's been around quite a while.Now we are starting to see the effects in behaviour of young people."
"In the past people had genuine relationships with empathy and compassion which has been replaced by this virtual relationship where they are not necessarily having to show empathy or compassion.
"That's starting perhaps to change the way they interact on a day to day basis," he added.