Amsterdam game-addiction clinic opens

Addiction consultancy opened the game-centric ward in response to what it said is a growing number of people affected; claims one-fifth of all gamers can become addicted.

The Amsterdam clinic that was announced last month to treat cases of video game addiction has opened and is ready for business, according to the BBC.

The clinic is run by Smith and Jones Addiction Consultancy, which operates other centers in Europe, including those dedicated to illegal drugs, eating disorders, and gambling. Keith Bakker, an addiction consultant at the Netherlands-based center, said so many people with game-related problems were entering the consultancy's other programs, Smith and Jones decided a game-focused program was necessary.

"They kept on coming in so we started taking it more and more seriously," Bakker told the BBC.

The eight-week-long program involves taking away video games from the patients before starting therapy sessions with psychologists and groups. The clinic houses eight beds.

The consultancy said that "20 percent of all gamers can develop a dependency on gaming." "Many of these people have gotten to the point that they can't live with gaming and they can't live without it," according to the center's Web site.

Among the symptoms of the addiction, according to Smith and Jones, are obsessive thinking, "attempts to control, loss of control, health complications, damage to personal relationships, [and] the progression of the illness."

The BBC cited one gamer in particular at the clinic with bizarre gaming-related habits: "Tim," a 21-year-old used to spending 17 hours a day playing games, was so adhered to his games he wouldn't move to use the restroom. "I take an empty bottle and I pee into it," he said.

Although the clinic is the "first of its kind" in Europe, according to the BBC, similar health-care facilities are no strangers to Asia. Last year, the Chinese government opened a clinic to treat addiction to video games and the Internet.

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Discussion

87 comments
xaero_a
xaero_a

hmmmm.... well i feel that it is a good step forward and alteast its a pioneer. i mean c'mon i'm sure all o us know someone or the other who's hooked onto some MMORPG. And the parts about weed being legal is totally besides the point; i mean someone, somewhere has spotted that this could be a problem and is trying to nip it in the bud. Just cos you and i aren't as hooked onto gaming as much as Mr.Bottle, doesn't mean others aren't right? This place is for those ppl who've figured out that they've crossed the line and wanna stop. But he, if they pass judgment saying games are to be banned or some **** like that, I'm gonna be first in line to torch the place to the ground!

nintendoAndrew
nintendoAndrew

wow what a waste of money and time. Total crap that place is. games are not dangerous. games do not hurt you. I have been playing games since i was 2 and I have been to the point of playing games for about 7 hours. If the problem truly exists, then you should not blame the games for being fun and trying to make the company money. I mean we blame the companies and gamers when the clinic is in a country, where drugs are legal! Also the US gas prices are caused by NATO and many other companies greed but we don't point fingers at the company or thier workers. This is all simply because someone hates the idea of playing games rather then going outside and running with a ball for 18 hours a day. Long thing short, The clinic is made for insane people who just like inside stuff and not running around for countless boring hours.

friky00
friky00

Well anything could be addictive, all depends on the person, booze, cigarettes, or light drugs, none of them really produce addiction, just mental disorders create the addiction, so you can really get addictived to videogames, just as you can get to gambling. Only drugs derivated from opium, or morphine, or heroin, are TRULY addictive. Cocaine and marihuana dont produce addiction, but still there lots of junkies. its true just invistigate it.

MouldsLP
MouldsLP

Why are they playing games when they could be smoking all day instead?

squirelrunner
squirelrunner

They should reneme it "The World Of Warcraft Addiction Istitute"

Vash67
Vash67

In other news, they found out a good percentage of the patients their are addicted to some sort of drug. Connection possibly? Couldn't be...

umbrae
umbrae

Another way to take parents money....

jaefrmbk2k
jaefrmbk2k

peeing in a bottle is the best part of this article and it's a good pro tip too

metdevthegamer
metdevthegamer

Amsterdam's cutting edge. I feel game-addiction clinics will catch on. With the Wii coming out in the fall, they'll have a lot of people to work with.

starcutter20000
starcutter20000

Davv111 I have most of those's symptoms too, seriously. I play about 12 hours a day on my days off. I also trying to gain control too. Getting control of what???

starcutter20000
starcutter20000

It's just like everything else, to much of anything is not good, whether reading to many books, watching to many movies, playing to many games, smoking to much cigs, or pot. There is no such thing as a "good" addiction. To me (though I find myself thinking alot as they mentioned above) I hardly play games as much as I used to thanks to school, friends, and having two jobs. Obviously it is something to be taken seriously just not taken out of context like i'm sure many stupid americans and Jack Thompson will. I can see it now, "Games are addicting keep them away from your kids or they won't do their homework and become lazy." Just to counter any negative arguments using this, alot of people that play games have parents. Parents out there, "Have you ever thought of turning off the TV" (or game console) "sitting your kids down and hitting them?

trovello
trovello

these people are giving jack thompson ideas

sub-zero182
sub-zero182

Gaming is becoming more and more of an addiction, I remember a story of a chinese man who died in an internet cafe after not sleeping, lack of eating, brain rest and constantly playing World of Warcraft. I play games, but not that much, only when I have nothing better to do. Is there anyone who was addicting to games? Quitting takes self determination. I dont think I`l ever become addicted to video games, as I myself dont lean towards MMORPGs, I refuse to attempt to play Guild Wars and WoW. And I play games that end, and then you have a fun multiplayer. I dont have the kind of money to ever become a video game addict either.

lgoldberg
lgoldberg

I used to play up to 9 hours a day, but now with school and the move I just had, I play around 3-4 hours a day. My brother, however, plays up to 8 hours a day no matter what.

lgoldberg
lgoldberg

17 hours a day! I don't think that would be very healthy. And peeing into an empty bottle, too. I wonder how he emptied it without leaving his games. He must have slept in front of the T.V. so when he woke up, he wouldn't have to waste time walking to the T.V.

Gamewizard91
Gamewizard91

It's good that things like that exist. Though, they need to open one for those people in Asia that keep dying from marathon runs. Though, if this makes US news you know things will get ugly.

Maui00
Maui00

YES! is open lol

yeyahbenji
yeyahbenji

I think what a lot of people aren't thinking about here is that they do have clinics for things like drugs and alcoholism there as well (an assumption, yes, but there has to be some other type of clinic which they refer all these gamers were going to). Now, if a gamer was going to some sort of clinic and was admitting that they had a problem with video game addiction, do you think that was a simple thing for him to do? And apparently, there were enough of these people willing to say they had a problem. So, Amsterdam decided to do something about it. This clinic is there to let people know that there is help for those who can't control our video game habits. I doubt most of you on here have always had complete control over yours. I used to have quite a problem myself, and it's one that I have to continue to work at everyday. And a video game addiction could have a certain definition to them, so 20% might fit that definition. And it probably comes from a sample survey they conducted. Don't discount their information so easily.

Chinbobbabobot
Chinbobbabobot

Definitely sounds like some people are taking this overboard. Eh. Maybe some people do need a clinic.

Hellisunreal
Hellisunreal

Shoudn't they use their resourses 2 help junkies & alcoholics

awia
awia

i would be deeply pissed off if I had to go to one of those clinics... I would miss the ps3 and Wii launch. Plus Gears of War, Double Agent, Assasins Creed. OMG....wtf are they trying to do to me games...*drools*

rykh
rykh

The treatment is weed, that way you for get your troubles. If that doesnt work they resort to the legalized prostituition.

hoehlenmensch
hoehlenmensch

*packs his suitcase, takes the ticked to Amsterdam* and cries "Where is my bottle?"

JBirdmb77
JBirdmb77

I spend a lot of time on days off playing computer and console games but I don't pee in a bottle. That's just sad and I would be embarassed to tell people that confession even if I did. There is no such thing as video game addiction.

hoehlenmensch
hoehlenmensch

Imagine a clinic like that in a town where you can legally buy weed in coffee shops - what a strange world it is......

roadrunner1178
roadrunner1178

I gaming is a bad addiction for some people, then I guess such a clinic is a good thing. (Only problem is that if they go in now then they will probably get out right when the PS3 and Wii are coming out!)

TheSergeant
TheSergeant

I have to say I like what this clinic is trying to do. I know there are people out there who desperately look for an escape from reality, and face it, games have that in spades. What I really don't want to see is more news of people hurting or killing other people for game-related reasons, or people literally starving themselves to death from gaming addiction. Granted when these happened in the news a few years ago, they were very rare cases, but those are precisely who this clinic is trying to help. I do believe they are exaggerating their estimate of 20% of gamers being (badly) addicted to games. We've all had our bouts of obsession every now and again when a game hooks us, though usually we get over it after beating the game in question. MMOs are a different story, granted, but I don't play them very much so I can't comment there. Basically, I'm glad this clinic is around for those extreme cases and I hope they are able to help the people who come to them. Though I would hate it if politicians tried to use this clinic as a platform to argue their "Games are as bad as drugs" issue.

ChrisNY8800
ChrisNY8800

If I am able to go to Amsterdam to ween myself off gaming, it is probably the best place to do it. (For reasons I will not specify)

Cbot
Cbot

I wish they had that clinic in America.They are a lot of crazy gamers in the US and Canada.

DeuxHero
DeuxHero

people lissened to Opera when she said bread made her fat, that prove humans will lissens to any crap they hear.

yoshi_blade
yoshi_blade

Oh please, people who really become addicted to video games and star trek and whatever are almost always going to have some kind of problem with thier real lifes. It's called escapism. This game clinic should really be part of a larger escapist clinic, there's nothing about games that makes it any more addictive then tv shows or gambling(to my knowledge-i play a helluva lot of games, but if I have to get up and go, I will). Really, this kind of crap almost makes JT look like something other then a complete idiot.

DanC1989
DanC1989

17 Hours a day? :shock: I've never quite managed that ;)

diablobasher
diablobasher

I used to be addicted to games, i mean, not to that extent with the pee bottle, but when you find yourself continuing to play for another half hour after you know you need a pee, and have to force yourself off a game to go answer natures call, you know somethings wrong. I would play upwards of like 12 hours a day, on freakin school days! cmon, dont tell me there isnt something wrong there, i mean, i still play a lot of game,s but nowhere near the amount of time i used to, luckily, after my horrendous time at secondary school, when i went to college i gained a legitimate social life and the games just kinda fell away, its not entirely under control, i still skip out on doing homework sometimes, and i dont even realise im doing it. But its almost under control now. People may not realise it now, buw, yes, while gaming doesnt need any more bad publicity, and while it does sound rediculous, people can get addicted to ANYTHING, buying lotto tickets, chocolate, alchohol, work, tv, hell, you could get addicted to riding the freakin bus if your brain decides thats when it wants to release endorphins. I think a general addiction clinic wouldve been more applicable, not a "ZOMG this kids addicted to games and pee's in a bottle!" clinic. Games really dont need the bad press right now, and as someon already said, jack thompsons gonna have a feild day with this one :\ Diablo

_solidsnake_2
_solidsnake_2

Close the one in amsterdam and open another one in south korea. People die for their games over there.

RoboWizard
RoboWizard

""20 percent of all gamers can develop a dependency on gaming." "Many of these people have gotten to the point that they can't live with gaming and they can't live without it,"" I'd question that part of their logic. In a world where there are at least 10 million gamers in America alone, I doubt very seriously that 2 million of them are either sitting in a corner waiting for their next "fix" of Half-Life 2's episodic content or seeking clincial aid due to not being able to get an "epic mount."

darfvader
darfvader

i don't think it's a stupid idea. but i don't think that games are addictive. i think that the "addicts" just have other symptoms. for an example i have a friend with ocd who was addicted to morrowind but since he has add he also lost intrest and became re addicted to the tv. but i think that mainly most of the "game addicts" are just extreme escapists who are unhappy with their lives. many senior citzens in my country tend to get addicted to the news and they treat it as a catastrophy if they miss the news. but let's look at another "addiction", trekkies who devote every minute of their free time to star trek, why aren't they treated as addicts? all in all i think that addictions are not caused by the said addiction *note alchol cigrates and drugs are not only psychological addictions, they are mainly physological.* but by other psychological sypmtoms

zombiekiller1
zombiekiller1

That clinic is just plain stupid. The people who own that place most likely smoke weed. I mean, were they high when they came up with this place or what?

DarthFrozanous
DarthFrozanous

wow. this is funny. hes 21 and spends 17 hrs playing games how sad. im 15 AND got a job with sum time 2 play games. sum ppl just need 2 figure out how 2 manage time.

chikiychago
chikiychago

im sure 90% of the costumers will be rpg players. wow, final fantasy all that crap

Abstractor
Abstractor

I agree with Ketsuatama... I have been playing since the PC Games were on DOS...I always take the time to stretch my legs...Longest time I played was 20 hours but then I'm a strategy gamer...Part of the strategy is to go to the Bathroom.

maximo1
maximo1

I hate coming to read these responses at times. A bunch of kids in complete denial that there is a problem. Half of you people probably don't even have a life outside of the games, tv, internet and other computer related things. I've known several people to have a problem with gaming. Call it "addiction" or a lack of "prioritizing" for all I care; it's the same. There is a problem especially with mmorg's. We all struggle with what's important at times, but for some, gaming is an escape and consumes them.

Yagami-Iori
Yagami-Iori

This shows a lack of prioritizing... when a gaming addiction clinic opens in a country where WEED IS LEGAL! I mean, WTF?!?

HyperMetaDragon
HyperMetaDragon

Wow...this is pretty pointless...playing games isn't like drugs...drug addictions are when you CAN'T stop taking them...as for games, you get "addicted" into playing them for long periods of time, but when you get off, you can stay off...so that means, if you don't want to get addicted, DON'T play, it's as simple as that...

Flat_Line_____
Flat_Line_____

*raises hand* Hi, my name is FlatLine .....and I'm a gaming addict. Cmon guys you know you need to admit it....denial IS the first stage.

Dark_NoobSaibot
Dark_NoobSaibot

lmao that is just funny. I think that if you're addicted that's a pretty sad lol.

dragon_king64
dragon_king64

Ok, this is from the same idiots who made smoking weed legal there. So, what if you have a game addiction. Let them be.

VGMusicFreak
VGMusicFreak

seriously if i played 17 hours a day everyday id run out of games to play. That guy is seriously crazy or addicted to a MMO.