Go to Amsterdam to Kick the (Video Game) Habit
"Computer and video games can be fun and innocent," reads the clinic's site. "Most people can play computer games without trouble. However, 20% of all gamers can develop a dependency on gaming. Many of these individuals have neglected family, romance, school, and jobs; not to mention their basic needs such as food and personal hygiene--all for a video or computer game."
BBC News spoke with center director Keith Bakker about the growing phenomenon and the treatment program. "You can't do a urine test to see that they're not still gaming. And if a coke addict said they wanted to go out to a club or to see people, we'd be worried about whether they'd meet a dealer," said Bakker. "But if a gamer said he wanted to go out for the night and meet people we'd throw a party."
Bakker was insistent about the potential severity of such addictions. "There were 15 year olds being brought to us who were showing the same behaviour as 50-year-old gambling addicts," he said. "This can get totally out of control. These games can be designed to keep the players going, there's no pay-off, it's like climbing a mountain with no top. They're not in their rooms playing games about collecting flowers. They're up there for 18 hours a day playing computer games about killing people."
"They're up there for 18 hours a day playing computer games about killing people."
Jack Thompson is that you?
I found that line very distasteful. The article (or at least the part I read) seemed very fair and treated video games addiction as seriously as it did other kinds of addiction. It seemed like they wanted to cure it in order to help the person through a troubled time, blah blah blah..
But then all of a sudden they say throw that line in about "It's all about killing people." It's as if it wouldn't be so bad if they were ignoring the family and their personal hygiene to play a game about collecting flowers.
So...what's the purpose, what's the 'goal' of this video-game rehab center? Is it to help the person, or to protect the world from these savage vide-game trained killers?