[NetBehaviour] Detox Clinic Opening for Video Addicts.

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sat Jun 10 12:52:04 CEST 2006

Detox Clinic Opening for Video Addicts.

An addiction center is opening Europe's first detox clinic for game 
addicts, offering in-house treatment for people who can't leave their 
joysticks alone. Video games may look innocent, but they can be as 
addictive as gambling or drugs _ and just as hard to kick, says Keith 
Bakker, director of Amsterdam-based Smith & Jones Addiction Consultants.

Bakker already has treated 20 video game addicts, aged 13 to 30, since 
January. Some show withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking and sweating, 
when they look at a computer. His detox program begins in July. It will 
run four to eight weeks, including discussions with therapists and 
efforts to build patients' interests in alternative activities.

"We have kids who don't know how to communicate with people face-to- 
face because they've spent the last three years talking to somebody in 
Korea through a computer," Bakker said. "Their social network has 
completely disappeared."

It can start with a Game Boy, perhaps given by parents hoping to keep 
their children occupied but away from the television. From there it can 
progress to multilevel games that aren't made to be won.


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