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Gaming Detox Center Opens In Netherlands

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-can-quit-anytime-i-ooo-shiny dept.

106

Edge Online reports on the opening of a gaming detox center in the Netherlands. The Smith and Jones center's 12-step program for a gaming-free life is set to start accepting patients next month. From the article: "[The center has] concluded that the truly game-addicted have no other option than to give up the gaming ghost entirely, by means of replacing those 'time warp' hours with real-life high-adrenaline replacements."

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106 comments

Give em what they really need. (5, Funny)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482008)

Send them to amsterdam's red light district. Maybe once they lose their virginity they will finally get a life!

Re:Give em what they really need. (1)

TyfStar (747185) | more than 8 years ago | (#15487949)

Did anyone else read this article as "It's been decided that playing a warrior is bad. So, to replace it with the high-adrenaline substitute, we're going to strap them up and give them REAL axes to swing at people. Rogues need no substitutes, as the ppl that play them are somehow already devious & underhanded. We are, however, having some difficulties with the caster substitutes..."

Yeah, I play too much WoW.

A strange place, Holland... (3, Funny)

subl33t (739983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482010)

The detox centre will be sandwiched between two hash-bars on Main street...

Re:A strange place, Holland... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15485981)

Yes, very strange place.
They let people decide what's good or bad for them.. I mean.. the insanity!!

About most gamers I know (2, Funny)

saboola (655522) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482011)

To most of of the gamers I have met over the years a real-life high-adrenaline replacement experience would be to walk outside of the basement and see what the rest of the family has been up to the past year. Baby steps.

Re:About most gamers I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15482158)

That's not "high adrenaline", high-adrenaline would be being blindfolded, flown around, then dropped off in the middle of Iraq with an assault rifle, and discovering that you do not actually aim these things with a mouse.

Re:About most gamers I know (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482177)

Real life uses a controller interface? Ewwwwwwwww

Re:About most gamers I know (1)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482292)

What's the Halflife for an Unreal Tournament particle in the bloodstream? At what point is a gamer detoxified and ready to rejoin society without contaminating the rest of us?

Re:About most gamers I know (1)

TheKeeper (212278) | more than 8 years ago | (#15484445)

i'll fully admit i "lost" about 1.5 year to FFXI,
any movie/show/event that happened in that time...
no idea at all.

But (2, Insightful)

ZakuSage (874456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482012)

Gaming > Life.

Re:But (1)

evil-osm (203438) | more than 8 years ago | (#15488119)

Gaming > Life.

Sorry I don't get it so Pacman eats "Gaming"?

Oh dear god. (3, Insightful)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482030)

I'm sure Jack Thompson will bring this "detox" center up in trying to prove that video games are as harmful as cigarettes or alcohol. And people will believe him, mainly the loudest people. We don't need to give them more ammo to shoot us with.
Hell, were there comic book detox centers, or did that ever get this far?

Re:Oh dear god. (3, Insightful)

tcphll (979777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482267)

Hell, forget comic books, plain old novels can dominate some people's time. My wife has been known to read for 12 hours straight, foregoing sleep, to finish a good book. The only reason she stops is because she runs out of pages. Where's the detox center for that?

Re:Oh dear god. (0, Troll)

Recovering Hater (833107) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482421)

In your pants? Oh, wait. This is Slashdot... nevermind.

Re:Oh dear god. (1)

Karem Lore (649920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15486107)

Yet they don't ban cigarettes or alcohol...strange that...Considering that they are more harmful to society than a few gun-toting crazy gamers...Maybe its cause of the vast amount of money in tax governments make on cigarettes and alcohol.

Back on-topic with detox centres it is, unfortunately, all about money again...If you can make a clinic work for emptying yours bowels then I am sure that this game addiction clinic will rake it in. If not in customer's money, in government spending. Karem

Real life adrelenaline (1)

Brothernone (928252) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482031)

sooo... what they're really trying to say is they are going to get theese poor souls laid... Sign me up!

Re:Real life adrelenaline (1)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482137)

You mean tomorrow?

hmmm (3, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482045)

Step 1: Admit you have a problem Steps 2-10: Buncha Bullcrap Step 11: ???? Step 12: Profit

You forgot nyquil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15483103)

It's the thirteenth fuckin' step!

So in essence.... (2, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482046)

... they plan on replacing on addiction with another. Good job!

You don't cure addiction by simply replacing the means through which the adrenaline rush is achieved. You cure it (or at least mitigate its negative impact) by improving the person's coping mechanisms. Everything else is snake oil.

Re:So in essence.... (5, Insightful)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482089)

Yeah but trading one addiction for another is how things are usually done... just look at all the drug addicts who weened off the drugs and became addicted to Jesus.

Re:So in essence.... (2, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482154)

Yup. I actually know some people exactly like that. Doesn't mean it's right or how it should be done. The worst thing is - this stuff is common knowledge among psychiatrists, psychologists and brain researchers. The only people who don't know this are politicians funding detox centers and special interests groups who run these centers.

Re:So in essence.... (4, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482201)

Hell, the twelve step process is *based* on that- read the 12 steps. The first step is admitting you have a problem. The second is giving up and praying to god to solve it for you, rather than acting like a man and taking responsibility for yourself. Avoid 12 step programs like the plague, they don't solve the problem they just trade it for a new one (and in the case of gaming, a worse one).

Re:So in essence.... (2, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482393)

Hell, the twelve step process is *based* on that- read the 12 steps. The first step is admitting you have a problem. The second is giving up and praying to god to solve it for you, rather than acting like a man and taking responsibility for yourself.

SOS [secularsobriety.org] , the foremost non-"higher power" recovery system, admits that research shows that both religious and non-religious approaches work equally well, so I don't see why you should malign AA. You might abandon you FUD if you were to simply read through AA's "big book" [amazon.com] .

Re:So in essence.... (0, Flamebait)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482472)

Because they don't work equally well. Taking someone and addicting him to religion does not make him a functional member of society. The world does not need more sanctimonius asses who push their beliefs onto others. Religion is *evil* folks. Its the major cause of hatred and discrimination in the world today. Turning them from a reliance on chemicals into a reliance on religion is *NOT* a change for the better.

Re:So in essence.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15482601)

The unfortunate problem with your theory is that one of the largest precepts of AA and other support groups is that people need to be loving and accepting of each other despite their flaws, which is why AA and other groups exist independently of established religious organizations who tend to contain more of the sanctimonius assholes you refer in your post. AA doesn't push religion, it pushes spirituality, the belief in a higher power than oneself. For some people that may mean Jesus, Buddha, etc, for others it may be something as simple as the concept of caring for your behaviour's effect on others as much as yourself. Don't be an ignorant asshole spewing nonsense about a program that has saved thousands of lives, nevermind that most spiritual people, outside of a few loudmouth anal retentive "by the book or die fucker!" type hypocrites, (let he who's without sin cast the first stone... or is it let he who's without sin be first to get stoned?) are sweet people working to better their families, communities and humankind in general.

Get over yourself, stop crying, and go do something to make a difference yourself before you start stereotyping and criticizing others.

-Rhuarc (who doesn't remember his /. password and is way too damn lazy to bother changing it)

Re:So in essence.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15485351)

Let he who is without sin casteth the first rock...AND I SHALL SMOKETH IT!!

Re:So in essence.... (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482608)

Taking someone and addicting him to religion does not make him a functional member of society.

So most of the West's important cultural, literary, and political figures for the last two centuries were not functional members of society? What nonsense.

Religion is *evil* folks. Its the major cause of hatred and discrimination in the world today.

Right, those Buddhists in Tibet and Christians under Stalin were just slaying people left and right. :rolleyes:

Atheists killed far more people in the last century than religious zealots. And I say that not to malign atheism, though I personally disagree with it, but rather to show that people will find an excuse to kill each other regardless. Blaming it all on religion doesn't wash.

Re:So in essence.... (1)

kionel (600472) | more than 8 years ago | (#15487483)

"Atheists killed far more people in the last century than religious zealots. And I say that not to malign atheism, though I personally disagree with it, but rather to show that people will find an excuse to kill each other regardless. Blaming it all on religion doesn't wash."

Um, care to cite some sources for that statement?

Though I don't agree with the idea that "religion is evil", even a cursory reading of a world history text makes it abundantly clear that people have killed each other over their religious beliefs throughout the length and breadth of our existence on this rock. When you add in things like the Crusades, the Albigensian Crusade [wikipedia.org] , and that wacky ol' Inquisition [wikipedia.org] (to say nothing of 9/11) it becomes clear that horrible things have been done to other human beings in the name of doctrine for a long, long time.

Personally? I think killing another human being because your god is different from their god is as morally reprehensible as stabbing someone because they think Hawkman is cooler than Superman.

Re:So in essence.... (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15488612)

Um, care to cite some sources for that statement?

The amount of deaths under Stalin and Mao make religion-motivated slayings in the 20th century seem insignificant in comparison.

Re:So in essence.... (1)

daeley (126313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15489511)

The amount of deaths under Stalin and Mao make religion-motivated slayings in the 20th century seem insignificant in comparison.

The case could be made that they only substituted one kind of bureaucratic+hierarchical religion for a bureaucratic+hierarchical personality-cult. Too-powerful ideological organizations run by the all-too-human are the problem, not the labels on those bureaucracies.

Re:So in essence.... (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15488680)

One unreasonable statement can not be disproved by another unreasonable statement: "Atheists killed far more people in the last century than religious zealots". C'mon now, that just isn't true.

Although the Nazi's were considered secular, Hitler was attempting to cleanse an aspect of himself plus many of the Nazi's were catholics. Moreover, the Catholic Church is porported to have been aware of what the Nazi's were doing to the Jews and in fact supported it. So this incident of Genocide cannot be relegated solely to athiests.

Move on to the Armenian Genocide at the turn of the century; you have Muslim-Turks exterminating Christian-Armenians for, SURVEY SAYS: Religious reasons!

Ethnic cleansing going on Iraq, SURVEY SAYS: Religious reasons!

Terrorism in Iraq, SURVEY SAYS: Ooops economics, oil but you can toss religion in there as well just to spice things up a bit.

Since the creation of an Isreali state there has been CONSTANT conflict in the middle east, SURVEY SAYS: RELIGION AGAIN.

These are just a few off the top of my head, and I know arguments can be made the same way for athiests killing people but here's my point: religion is simply not a factor in whether we kill people. We do it, we all do it; it's called survival. Get off the soapbox please.

Re:So in essence.... (1)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15488711)

Right, those Buddhists in Tibet and Christians under Stalin were just slaying people left and right. :rolleyes:

Actually the Buddhist government of Tibet was a pretty brutal religious dictatorship before China took over.
Of course, they replaced one dictatorship with another, but don't pretend that things were all sunshine and
lollypops before the commies rolled in.

Re:So in essence.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15482529)

See the "Bullshit" episode on AA. I could re-write the basics of it here, but it's more entertaining to watch Penn & Teller say it. Basically, it's Bullshit.

Re:So in essence.... (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482598)

There's also a good South Park on it. South Park's overall quality is way down, but that episode was good.

Re:So in essence.... (1)

cornjones (33009) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482711)

You really have no clue. Besides that it isn't till the 3rd step that you ask your "higher power" to help beat whatever your addiction is, there are many steps of acting "like a man" as you put it. 9 is usually "Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others". Isn't that your "acting like a man"? "Making a fearless moral inventory" is no picnic, even for those of us w/o serious addiction issues.

I am not a 12 stepper but I have seen many people really successfully turn their lives around through the support of a 12 step group.

Re:So in essence.... (1)

callistra.moonshadow (956717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482990)

Yeah, no kidding. It's like any addiction. Either you want to pull back from it or not. You can toss $$ out the door trying to clear out OCD-like behaviors, but at the end of the day what would you really be fixing? I'd wonder if the addicted "gamer" might not just replace one addiction with another.

I don't have a problem (4, Funny)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482055)

I can quit playing World Of Warcraft anytime I want, thank you very much.

Re:I don't have a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15482750)

The login server is still down isn't it?

Re:I don't have a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15482978)

Before the trolling really begins... (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482073)

I would like to say hat this is a good idea. Anyone who feels that gameing has become an addiction and wants to "break the habit" should be able to ask for help. Really it is good to see games taken seriously even if in a somewhat negative light.

If someone here in the states went to a 12 step program to try and kick a destructive gameing habit I think they would be laughed right out of the clinc.

People don't see this as a real problem but gameing can bring out OCD and addictive behavior in people prone to it, making it dangerous to them while perfectly fine for everyone else.

Re:Before the trolling really begins... (2, Insightful)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15483706)

>If someone here in the states went to a 12 step program to try and kick a destructive gameing habit I think they would be laughed right out of the clinc.

Only if they were lucky. There are plenty of quacky 12-step programs in the states to "treat" damn near anything you can think of. And by "treat" I mean take your money and time while feeding you BS and catchy slogans.

You're right, OCD can be a real problem. A problem that should be treated by a real expert, not something you should "give to god" (she's got enough to deal with).

Re:Before the trolling really begins... (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15484215)

Absolutely... My only point is that if someone is ready to get help they should be helped.

It has been my experince that the first and hardest step is to ask for help.

And yeah I should have chosen my words more carefully.

Sounds like a challenge! (5, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482085)

The Smith and Jones center's 12-step program for a gaming-free life is set to start accepting patients next month.

See you n00bs at Level 12!

The fake Amulette of Yendor (1)

SlashdotTroll (581611) | more than 8 years ago | (#15486114)

They just want me to play through a subscription of 12 levels, when I know perfectly-well that the true Amulette is sold by the shop-keeper on level 3;

1) Put on my Robe and Wizzard hat and Breeze through the first two levels without any detection,
2) Attack the shop-keeper that stole the artifact
[Indiana Jones voice] the Amulette belongs in a museum! [/Indiana Jones voice]
3) Museum!

Bite me, you stinking detox-slime molds!

A necessary service (5, Funny)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482087)

If you're in the Netherlands, but can't find anything better to get addicted to than games, clearly you do need help.

Re:A necessary service (1)

us7892 (655683) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482412)

The above reply should be marked as "Funny". Agreed, you should be able to get addicted to any number of other "activities" in the Netherlands...

Re:A necessary service (1)

ReinoutS (1919) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490005)

Such as... smoking and drinking? Oh, but addictive substances like alcohol and tobacco are for sale all over the world, so you probably mean something else.

In case you were referring to the semi-legal status that marijuana enjoys in The Netherlands: that substance isn't physically addictive (though mental problems may occur with heavy usage), and furthermore The Netherlands has one of the lowest percentages of drug addicts. Draw your own conclusions!

Clearly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15482516)

What if you dress up like a bat?

One More Turn... (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482115)

One More Turn... [civanon.org] (yes, it is a marketing gimmick)

Real life? (1)

itak.karstaag (913380) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482163)

"What's that?" jokes aside, it'll be interesting to see what specifically is used to offer the "high-adrenaline replacement."

The only thing that really comes to mind would be a team sport, preferably soccer (sorry, the rest of them suck). Actually, that isn't all that bad of an idea - paintball can be a pretty intense sport depending on how you play. Finding a replacement for the RPG types such as myself would be a little more difficult. Short of handing them a parachute and throwing them off a cliff I can't think of anything "high-adrenaline" you could force them to participate in.

Nope, five minutes staring at the Post Comment form and nothing comes to mind. Maybe you could hand them a shovel and tell them every foot they dig can be a minute they can grind (and fail to mention they'll be grinding cornmeal, not xp).

Re:Real life? (1)

OhTheVogonity (980231) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482302)

If they weren't in the flat Netherlands I'd recommend rock climbing. High adrenaline, outdoors (indoor plastic can suck it), and develops the mind.

But what about the worn out gamer's body? (1)

Draracle (977916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482171)

Will this facility offer thumb and finger replacement for my worn out digits? If so I want and index finger with +6 to Girls and a thumb +9 to Luck... that would be sweet. Any idea who would drop those?

Re:But what about the worn out gamer's body? (1)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482846)

If so I want and index finger with +6 to Girls and a thumb +9 to Luck... that would be sweet. Any idea who would drop those?

Vecna, probably.

Re:But what about the worn out gamer's body? (1)

BillX (307153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15484448)

Lepers.

12 steps for the Gamer Junkie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15482174)

1. We admitted we were powerless over video games--that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have the Flying Spaghetti Monster remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His noodely apendages for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to gamers, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Am I the only one confused by the second picture? (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482192)

I guess someone's been playing with Garry's Mod...but do these people know that? The pic of two CTs hanging two terrorists is funny to me, but might alarm non-gamers and give the wrong impression of gamers and games.

They should start the article with "If 'LEEEEEEROY JENKINS' means anything to you, we've got the cure for what ails you."

Solutions for Critical Thinkers (4, Interesting)

mabu (178417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482205)

Hopefully, they'll also offer alternatives [secularsobriety.org] to the 12-Step programs. I'm not quite sure how you're going to wean someone off an obsession with fantasy creatures with the standard 12-step methodology. That seems a bit ironic.

Re:Solutions for Critical Thinkers (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482407)

obsession with fantasy creatures with the standard 12-step methodology

Maybe they meant to say 12-step "Mythology" for an alternative set of fantasy creatures. Like the Roman Goddess of Freedom, Feronia.

I don't think gaming is a drug perse (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482224)

But gaming does stimulate our pleasure centers. It is perhaps a bit like that rat wired up to an electrode that when it does something stimulates its brain. It will then prefer this artificial stimulant over real life activities like eating.

Gaming is like this because it allows us to shorten the path between activity and reward. MMORPG's are an excellent example. For all the complaints about grinding you can level up an awfull lot faster then in real life. Just you try to become master in any craft in a month or two. In WoW this is no problem.

I don't think gaming itself is addictive but rather this rush of a quick fix. After a long day at work where you didn't get anything done and were even the remotes chance of a promotion is years away you can simply go into a game and achieve a level, complete a quest in a night with the game telling you are the best player ever.

We all like to be complimented and when I am on a rampage in Unreal Tournament I feel good. Oh sure it is shallow over a real life promotion in my job or being told you are loved by your partner BUT I can go on a rampage a dozen times in a night. Being told I am the best by my gf I max out at maybe 2-3 a night.... okay week.... year....alright I am happy if I can get a cat to pur, happy?

In a way I think games are like soaps are for women. There certainly is an element of addiction in how some of them follow soaps. The point is that soaps to speed up the action -> reward cycle. A soap family can go through more stuff in one episode then most people have in their entire life giving you the rush of their artificial life quicker then you could ever get yourselve.

Yes offcourse it is artificial but so is masturbation. However when masturbation is a locked door away and sex with another person means at minimum finding a desperate person with a drinking problem it becomes a question of what you prefer. Quick fix now or possible good fix after lots and lots of hard work.

Games allow us to be heroes, that is a hard drug to resist.

Re:I don't think gaming is a drug perse (2, Insightful)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482796)

All entertainment is escapism. We turn to games, movies, TV, books, etc. as a way to escape the drudgery of real life. Like all forms of recreation it can be taken to an extreme and become destructive. Fact is, just about any activity can be taken to an extreme. Even working can occur at a level which causes disruptions to sleep and health. Does this make an activity "bad"? No, it just means that we need some level of self control to prevent problems. Is a 12 step program the answer? Well, as long as you are willing to forego free-will, then yes it's a great idea. Of course, if you have a problem with becomming addicted to stuff, you don't have much free-will anyway, so you might as well.

Heroes? A word comes to mind. (1)

fraxinus-tree (717851) | more than 8 years ago | (#15488343)

Did you know where the "heroine" came from? The substance name, I mean.

Looking for 15 others (5, Funny)

Drizzt Do'Urden (226671) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482231)

Looking for 15 other players to raid this dungeon!

More importantly... (1)

OhTheVogonity (980231) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482253)

Will this reduce the number of gold farmers?

Re:More importantly... (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15483361)

No, because if you think about it part of the problem people have is they neglect and/or quit their job to play games. For gold farmers, that is their job.

Re:More importantly... (1)

kunwon1 (795332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15484867)

night elf hunters, far as the eye can see...

News addiction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15482259)

What we maybe all need is an Internet news addiction detox center? Maybe that would include a TV news addiction wing?

Real life is still a poor substitute for gaming. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15482266)

I'm a student at Digipen [digipen.edu] . Real life is a poor substitute for video games. I'm going to college to keep it that way.

All or Nothing? (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482278)

Grrr... the whole 12 step, give it up completely concept
just strikes me as so wrong. I've seen a couple of people
try this with AA, where they end up being too damn fragile.
Any exposure the the forbidden activity (even being around
others doing it) becomes a personal crisis.

People need to learn to live with these things instead of hiding from them.

Re:All or Nothing? (2, Insightful)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15483306)

Any exposure the the forbidden activity (even being around others doing it) becomes a personal crisis.

People need to learn to live with these things instead of hiding from them.


Have you ever overcome an addiction?

A real one? A compulsion so strong you can't control it on your own?

No? Then don't knock it. At least they're not doing it anymore.

Re:All or Nothing? (1)

cluke (30394) | more than 8 years ago | (#15486517)

Commonly cited problems with AA are:

1. It relies on an external (spiritual) force to enable you to quit. It reinforces the perception of the addict as helpless victim, when in fact your addiction is a choice, at least at some level. If you don't want to stop, you won't.

2. It doesn't work that well. [orange-papers.org] You are never considered cured, and studies (including one commissioned by the AA themselves) have shown the 12 step program to have a worse failure rate for remission than just deciding to stop.

3. Its cult-like properties.

I have never gone through a 12 step program myself, just interested in the subject. And from what I have read, the effectiveness of the whole method is greatly in doubt.

Well in the case of alcohol (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15483593)

It's kinda the way it has to be. Alcoholics just can't stop drinking, it's just how they are. The "only have one drink" thing doesn't work for them. They have an overpowering urge to keep drinking. That's why it's called an addiction. Hard for peopel who don't suffer from it to understand. But it really does have to be an all or nothing. If they dirnk, they will do it to an excess since they can't control themselves. The only answer is to stop drinking entirely.

For gaming, I dunno. There's not the chemical component, I don't know if it's the same kind of addiction or not. Perhaps gaming is just an escape from life, and it's the issues in life that need to be dealt with, not the gaming. There's less research on this since it's a newer topic.

However don't assume that something can be done in moderation by everyone. Some peopel just lack the ablity. As an example of something that can be done in moderation by almost no one, take heroin. You can't really be an "occasional heroin". It is exceedingly addictive and you have major withdrawl symptoms that can be fatal. There's no using it socially or anything, you have to choose all or nothing. If you start using heroin with any regularity you WILL become addicted and if you are addicted, it will start controlling your life to a large degree. The only other option is to just not use it.

It's the same sort of thing for alcoholics. Though it's not as severe as heroin, they can't jsut stop. There are symptoms to alcohol and yes, you can die from them although it's much more rare. Most people don't duffer form alcohol addiction, they can use it or not use it as they please, but for the 10% that do it's an all or nothing proposition. Either you use it, and you'll find your use increasing, it dominating more of your life, and eventiually ruining it in all likelyhood, or you accept that you just can't have any alcohol at all, ever.

I'm not saying it's the same for gaming, I'm saying you shouldn't disdain what alcoholics have to go through. If you haven't battled an addiction or known those who have it can be hard to understand, but it's very real.

Godspeed, my dears.. (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482316)

It's inspiring! Remind me to bake these poor souls a cake... with a Game & Watch hidden inside it.

hrm... (2, Insightful)

manJerk (853898) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482318)


sounds like they want to substitute one addiction for another...
nice and counter-productive.

Re:hrm... (1)

Mourice (264300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15485550)

That's been a strategy for a long time. In detox, alcoholics are often encouraged to take up smoking so they don't focus as much on the alcohol.

Thank god (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482334)

I was getting fucking tired off all the gamers driving drunk on the roads. Problem solved - good job.

I was addicted to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15482365)

Star Wars Galaxies a couple of years back. But it ended naturally with the Combat Upgrade. Thank you Sony for helping me rid myself of bad habits :p

Gamers (5, Funny)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482380)

And for only $59USD you can have a warehouse full of dedicated farmers powerlevel you right to the 12th step.

DHMO (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482409)

What's next? Threatment for dihydromonoxide addiction?

Model of addiction (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482488)

They seriously need to look back over the model of addiction and revamp it, because certain things are happening that are at odds with elements of the current model. One thing that needs to be reexamined is the question of whether "addiction" is always a bad thing. Then there's the whole nature vs. nurture issue.

Re:Model of addiction (1)

DaSenator (915940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482567)

Question: should He Whose Name Shall Not Be Spoken (Mr. Thompson) be enrolled in a support group for those who are addicted to filing frivolous lawsuits?

Re:Model of addiction (1)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482884)

I think it's more a matter of degree. While many of us here on slashdot might joke that we are "addicted" to gaming, we probably aren't.
Ask yourself:
  • Would I be willing to forego work to play, even if I might get fired?
  • Do you regularly skip sleeping to play?
  • Do you regularyly skip meals to play?
  • Do you avoid other activities, because they would keep you from playing for an extended time?
Most of us might think we could say yes to a few of these, but consider the word "regularly" carefully. Do you play every night so late that you don't get 4 to 6 hours of sleep, eventually reaching the point of exhaustion? Sure, skipping meals or eating them at a computer may occur during binges, but do you miss dinner every night or take it every night in front of the game?
Addiction isn't a matter of doing something on a semi-frequent basis, which is where most slashdotters fall with gaming. Addiction is doing something to the point where your entire life revolves around an activity.

Re:Model of addiction (1)

Dark_MadMax666 (907288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15483307)

Meal part is bogus I eat in front of my PC since I got one .I do it at work ,at home - whether I am gaming or not . Simply because I cant stand just sitting and staring at my food , if I dont have a PC I read book/newspaper. And I know many people do the same (substitute PC for TV for some) ,regardless of their addiction .

 

Re:Model of addiction (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15483558)

Oh! Like breathing. I get it now!

They act like it's a bad thing... (1)

EvilPickles (943600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482565)

They act like gaming is a bad addiction to have. What, would you rather me smoke marijuana, or gamble, or drink, or something? All you people out there who think games should be banned should have your rights removed, and be imprisoned in guantanmo bay, where you can share a bunk every night next to Bob the buttfucker, or Susie the lesbo. Gaming hurts absolutely no one, it does not hurt you, it does not hurt the gamer. It does not hurt anyone, nor does it cause any harm. You people are like the scum against gay marriage, you try and take away other people's god given, and undeniable rights, when it does not affect you personally whatsoever. You're like the pitiful street peasants of my middle ages. It is suprising how much time has passed since the middle ages, but how little society has changed. The church pronounced: "Burn the heretics books.", and so did the peasants, like good, obedient animals, today the focus has merely changed from "Burn the book" To "Ban the game". The main citation that the church used was that the books were to influential, contradicted current beliefs, when the very purpose of writing is to influence. It is interesting, considering that games are nothing more than writing, programmers language, such as books were so long ago. When will language not be something to suppress, but something to embrace? I suspect never. The main major industries imperative to any society, is communication, power generation, and transport. By banning games, you are directly infringing upon the freedom of speech of video game developers, and anyone who writes games or code, because those games are nothing more than words on a screen. 1's and 0's even , if you dip to that level. I sincerly wish that anyone with such evil opinion and intent to take away the rights of others, die a very painful, and very embarrassing death.

Makes you wonder (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482638)

In order to replace the fantasy excitement with real excitement, we provide various activities for the gaming clients, some of which are high adrenaline and provide the thrill of real life situations. Our coaches work with the clients to find new activities with which the client can fill the lost "time warp" hours.

When I read this, I thought to myself, "Okay, they don't like what these people are doing in their spare time, so they're trying to get them to do something else that they prefer."

I mean, let's face it; when people have free time, they choose what to do with it. Some people do drugs, some people gamble, some people "engage in romance", others play games, read books.

Let's replace games with books for a moment. Some people love to read books; they do it for several hours every day. Most people would in modern society would be highly offended if you tried to suggest that this voracious reader has a compulsive, addictive habit. If they stopped, they'd probably be dying to get back to their reading. That's "withdrawal" I guess. The time they read could be better spent...uh..I don't know.. playing sports or something. Oh yeah, that's SO much healthier. I've seen what sports have done to some people, and we're talking way beyond Counterstrike.

And for damaging relationships... a lot of the games mentioned are highly social--moreso than books. Say someone reads a lot? God forbid they spend most of their free time enjoying themselves in a way that doesn't involve other people. Some people like that--get over it.

I rarely game these days, but when I was a child it was my favorite passtime. I didn't really have anything else fun to do, so I would play games for hours every day. It could have damaged my relationships if my family viewed my behavior as destructive, but they didn't at all; they just took it easy. I had a few close friends, and they didn't seem to mind either. Everything was fine, and I have good relationships with all of them. Of course you're going to have bad relationships if those relationships are very needy and view your hobbies (aka "addictions") with jealousy. And seriously, what good is a hobby if you're not addicted to it?

I am not an addict! (1)

cryptomancer (158526) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482702)

I been gamin' fo' twenny-fo' years, *Twenny-Fo Years!* And I ain't been addicted YET!

Gaming and Politics (1)

Dolly_Llama (267016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482732)

I realized I had a problem when I found myself moving the TV so I could play WoW and watch C-SPAN at the same time.

"real-life high-adrenaline replacements" (1)

RJBeery (956252) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482861)

Yeah, sure, getting 'em laid WOULD help them get away from games, but it's kind of a chicken-and-egg problem isn't it?

BackLash! (1)

i_am_the_r00t (762212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15482937)

I quit smoking 5 years ago, now all smokers are idiots I quit Drinking Alcohol awhile ago. Alcoholics are losers.

Obligatory X-Men reference (1)

tekxtc (136198) | more than 8 years ago | (#15483056)

They can not cure us because there is nothing to cure.

Proper Terminology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15483062)

"DeTox"? That doesn't seem right. Let's try something more appropriate? How about defrag? Yeah, that works. "We've taken little Johnny in to be defragged."

An interesting problem (2, Insightful)

urikkiru (801560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15483163)

IANAS (I am not a shrink)

Okay, so I've seen quite a few comments to the effect of, 'Games are just another way to spend your free time'. This is true, and people can quite frankly become addicted to pretty much anything. Most addictions to games, movies, books, trying to take over the world, happen because the person in question isn't really.. well, grounded in life. They start to view their hobby(games for example) as the way deal with things, rather then really deal with them. Generally, they were probably unstable to begin with, and then they turned to games.

Another comment I see, is that games ala mmorpgs, can be highly social. This is true, however it's actually a serious problem. Interaction with people online is a very different animal from in person interaction. If someone who is incredibly socially inept suddenly attempts to have a social life through an mmorpg... well, they are in for a surprise when it comes to real life relationships/interaction. People can 'put their best foot forward' in a game, a virtual environment. This is much harder to do in person.

This doesn't mean that online relationships are doomed to fail or anything. I've known several people whom met online and are very happy together. But, they were usually fairly stable people to begin with, and met each other as soon as possible. Also, they preferred real life interaction over a virtual/long distance one. This is an important point I think.

Regardless, trying to expose people to real life things they've never experienced before could probably work, as they will realise there is life after that last round of counter strike. On the other hand, the 12 step programs seem kind of iffy. I don't think gamers need to permanently give up their fun. Rather, they just need to realise other types of fun as well, and try to lead a more balanced life.

Anyway, that's just my 2 coppers on the subject. Sorry if it's a bit rantish.

Re:An interesting problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15485602)

I seems a large stretch to claim that people can't put their best foot forward in real life ( or conversely, that people always put their best foot forward online. ) There are thousands of books published every year to try to tell people how to do exactly that. Your entire argument seems to rest on ad hominem attacks on people who consider people who are online friends.

Re:An interesting problem (1)

urikkiru (801560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15485663)

Incorrect, online friends are fine. I'm just saying that they are different. In a real life interraction over an extended period of time,(Like for example, seeing someone every day for many, many hours at a time, or getting engaged, and then spending 2 weeks solid with them and their family) you can't really hide much about yourself too effectively. They will see the real you, your good points and bad ones. While this is a bit of a generalization, it's usually true.

Not so in an online interaction. People will only see the things you choose to type, to talk about. You can gloss over things quite easily, and display a personality that may not be the 100% real you. This is a great advantage in fact of online relationships, and also something that can hinder them.

The two types of interaction are simply quite different, and involve different levels of scale as far as your involvement with someone.

From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15483903)

"In addition to obsessive thoughts and neglect of important life matters, gamers are often addicted to stimulants such Red Bull, coffee, cigarettes, soft drugs, speed, and eventually even cocaine."

Does anyone know any cocaine addicts who shoot up before a match on CS?

As a dutch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15485084)

This country has gone over the top. Being a social worker here actually gives you some status. We have more than 1 million out of a total population of 16 million that receive an inability pension. We are the sickest people on earth by that statistic.

200.000 are on unemployement benefit. there are a host of other schemes you may enroll for free money.

SO. all those social workers need a pretext to fill their days with.

We happely oblige, for the right sum of monthly payements ofcourse.

wrong country? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15485162)

Good for all the game junkies in the Netherlands, but what about South Korea? Don't remember reading many articles concerning Dutch gamers who died from exhaustion after 50+ hours of constant gameplay.

Three cheers for the english language (1)

Don Vinnie (868153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15486172)

At the WILD HORSES CENTER you have NOTHING to loose.

Great idea (1)

cheaphomemadeacid (881971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15486694)

This is just the first part of the plan, just wait till they start playin mmorpg's, they'll be rich i tell yA BLOODY rich !
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