First US gaming addiction clinic opens

Internet, game, and texting addicts can now receive 45-day treatment in rural detox clinic for $14,500; services include fitness program, psychotherapy, and "high adventure outings."

Back in the summer of 2005, an Internet addiction clinic opened in China, and by the following summer, a clinic opened in Amsterdam to treat video game addicts. Now, a similar clinic has recently opened its doors 13 miles away from Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

To some, real-life "high adventure outings" don't quite compare to the in-game variety.

For $14,500--or the cost of an 80.6-year World of Warcraft monthly subscription--the reSTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program now provides a 45-day intensive care program for game, Internet, and texting addicts. Patients can receive psychotherapy, 12-step group counseling, "nutritional education," personalized fitness plans, and "high adventure outings" around the facility's rural forested landscape.

"The reSTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program is specifically oriented toward launching tech dependent youth and adults back into the real world," the clinic's online mission statement states. "Our individually tailored program is designed to assist participants with an Internet and/or computer-based behavioral addiction to break the cycle of dependency. Our 45-day abstinence-based recovery program exposes participants to a variety of activities and everyday life skills, which are often avoided or underdeveloped as a result of excessive ongoing computer, video game play, and Internet use."

Earlier this month, a study of 552 Americans by the US Center for Disease Control--conducted in the area around reSTART--found that those who game are more likely to be overweight and suffer mental health problems. In July, a British psychiatrist said he plans to assemble fellow therapists to enter the online game World of Warcraft to treat in-game addicts.

For more on gaming addiction, read GameSpot's extensive feature on the subject.

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Discussion

348 comments
dyer85
dyer85

How ridiculous. Most people who "can't" stop playing and throw keyboards through their windows likely have other issues treatable by regular therapists. The reason there are drug rehab places is because the dependency is both psychological and chemical; you really need specialized treatment. Gaming is just an escape for some people. And like others mentioned, most of the "addicted" WoW players can be treated by decent parenting. For Christ's sake, just stop paying Fat Bobby's WoW bill! Make his ass go outside once in a while. So many parents are such p*ssies these days.

Gallahadd
Gallahadd

waste of money and time, they sound focus on the cure for cancer or something useful.. do they think games are affecting people so badly? - i believe games have really helped this world for everyone - it gives kids imagination and fuels dreams. i mean, i can't believe they're going to charge so high.. we all might as well invest into popcorn machines and sit on the curb for 50 years

armyof1jjk
armyof1jjk

The price point is steep but there are some people who should consider this. I went to Iraq with a guywho basically treated it like a video game and almost got me killed a few times, then I had a roomate who wold literally take a week off of work to play wow and wouldnt sleep for like 2 days, some people need a break. I love video games too but hanging out with my friends is a bit better than hanging out with Orcs all day.

SniperSight7
SniperSight7

Quite an interesting thing that's developing with video game addiction. The thing is that people who don't see this as a problem are people who are able to manage themselves and not fall into the trap. There are several reasons why people fall victim to any type of addiction. Video games provide solace and purpose to some people. I realize it sounds quite dramatic and dumb to some, but that's not me talking, that is how addictions happen. While there isn't a formal diagnosis within the DSM IV TR at this time, it can be classified as an addiction under the general guidelines. Also, remember that some people are predisposed to addictions. Parenting doesn't always prevent addictive behavior.

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

You know whats a better treament then spending 14,500 dollars? Being a good parent and telling you're kid when he can and cant play videogames and even take their padels away from them until their done the chores or homework or what ever they have to do. That works wonders actually.

dtujd2
dtujd2

I don't know about you guys, but I can tell you I will react to some Level 3 character who comes up to me while I am playing WoW and asks me if I think I am addicted to the game. There's one circumstance where I will flag myself for PvP just to take that idiot out...and I'll probably camp on his corpse for a good hour or so LOL. Yeah, some people go way over the top on games like WoW. But, $14,500 just to cure a video game addiction (assuming there is a clinical diagnosis in the DSM IV manual for such a thing)? People can barely pay their mortgages and now some clinic is going to rape them because their kid plays WoW too much! And, of course, it won't be covered by insurance. Ridiculous.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Wheres the Rehab Clinic that treats people addicted to Rehab Clinics?

OccamsRazorMD
OccamsRazorMD

Ah yes, let's cure all of our problems with rehab. Whatever happened to parenting??

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

what about online anger management? I've broken 2 360 controllers by strangling them, the grey parts on the bottom came off and the sides of the controllers came undone. Along with snapping a 360 controller in half.

SeK133
SeK133

If anyone pays for this then they have bigger problems then some fake game "addiction". Like the lack of rational thought.

dylanscott1992
dylanscott1992

@ TheTechGeek that was the best comment ive read all day

-HeaveR-
-HeaveR-

80.6 year wow subsription lol

Crystall3d
Crystall3d

all you need is a broken console or damaged graphic card , it s not that serious in reality

X-RS
X-RS

I think i should go there since i'm kind of addicted. !!!!OMG! I passed the first step!!!!!

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Amir29
Amir29

LMAO!!! $14,500? I'll tell you what, I'll buy a Wii and the Wii Fit and use the $14,000 to, hmmm, I don't know, maybe BUY A CAR?!?!

wars45
wars45

yer i must be mental i play games eveyday but i allso work 5 days a week and got a 15 month old son to look after. i dont watch a lot of tv as its crap. and never a lot on but i like watching films .i would ply moor if i had the time playing games is my way of chilling

punkdsk8erdude
punkdsk8erdude

ya know what, i agree with everyone whos saying that its sort of bogus and maybe unnecessary...but at the same time I do agree that this world is becoming too dependent on technology. It's getting bad...people constantly walk into me in the hallways in high school bc they arent looking they are texting. my sister 5 years younger than me...only 5 years...got a cell when she was 10, i got mine when i was 14. there are kids w/ phones who cant cross the street w/o holding their moms hand...why do they need a cell?? my sister doesn't know how to write a letter...i learned when i was in school...again shes only 5 years younger and she never learned bc of emails. its sorta ridiculous. just little stuff like that. no one knows how to read a map anymore...its all just mapquest and gps. granted, this stuff makes life a lot easier, but at the same time i think we should all take it with a grain of salt and still learn how to do these things w.o the technology just in case we're ever in a situation where we need to be able to. so maybe an addiction place for videogames is a bit excessive..but it does shed light on a problem thats constantly growing in our society.

Zero9698
Zero9698

they need a facebook,myspace,twitter rehab program

tudyniuz
tudyniuz

never thought things like this will ever exist

roge666
roge666

this is for real?????

casualgamer50
casualgamer50

this is sh**! freakin take away your kids phone or videogames dont waste 14k on a freakin rehab for gamers!

TheTechGeek
TheTechGeek

Man who do they think they are crusaders or something? "We shall boldly venture forth into the World of Warcraft and bring the addicts to the light" i agree, the therapists will more likely get addicted themselves... sigh what people do for money.

Scar_Tissue
Scar_Tissue

"In July, a British psychiatrist said he plans to assemble fellow therapists to enter the online game World of Warcraft to treat in-game addicts. " I can't wait to hear what happens when they find out what 13 year old WoW players are like.

Scar_Tissue
Scar_Tissue

Texting addiction?! Cause heaven forbid people should be social nowadays....

GameFreak982928
GameFreak982928

Oh... My.. God... Are you kidding me? Are these people stupid or something? Video Game Addiction is just another damn excuse for lazy people who wanna sit around and play games all day. Honestly? And "high adventure outings"? What is this, made for 9 year olds?!

DaArmyX
DaArmyX

"To SalarianChemist - The hardware issues arent true? did you really say this. I am on my fourth 360. All with major hardware issues. I dont really care, it is the best system and I will keep buying them, or getting them repaired. Also 90% of the hardcore gamers I am friends with have experienced the same thing!" Aye I am on my 3rd Xbox360 and the only reason i keep getting them fixed is because nothing compares to Xbox Live on the market and the third party support for the Xbox at the moment is unrivaled.

DaArmyX
DaArmyX

"My housemate who played it neglected every other aspect of his life and basically lived like a heroin addict only to emerge from his room to eat, pee, or ocasionally shower." Lol he wouldn't even have to leave the room that much if he knew the multiple uses of a Tropicana Jug.

konekt
konekt

To SalarianChemist - The hardware issues arent true? did you really say this. I am on my fourth 360. All with major hardware issues. I dont really care, it is the best system and I will keep buying them, or getting them repaired. Also 90% of the hardcore gamers I am friends with have experienced the same thing!

RavenXavier
RavenXavier

Three words... Stupid! Lame!! Sad!!! What a bunch of morons. This is just another way for Bad Parents to shift the blame from themselves to video games. "My kid is dumb in school because he plays too many video games.". No, your kid is dumb in school because you don't take his games away until he finishes his f*%#ing homework!!!!

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

Do you know how many video games a person could buy for 14k? =P I look at my addiction to video games like my addiction to salt. Yeah, I can cut back, but no, I'm not going to stop.

SaIarianChemist
SaIarianChemist

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

SaIarianChemist
SaIarianChemist

Apperently theres too many PS3 fanboyism here. All you PS3 gamers should realise that only MS is coming out on top no matter what you say. If only people weren't addicted to the PS3 then maybe they would get a 360 and see that the hardware failures arent true at all.

Tauu
Tauu

Does health insurance cover it? lol

GBPackersrule
GBPackersrule

$14,500??!!!! I could just sell my stuf for like $500 and move into a trailer with no electricity. save my self 14k and get essentially the same experience. Minus the hot nurses and straight jackets.

wh1te_m4trix
wh1te_m4trix

Who knows, maybe the therapists planning on treating WoW addicts in-game will get addicted to it.

Krysion
Krysion

this is sad....if someone wants to live in a game for a while or the rest of their lives it is their perogative.

Krysion
Krysion

this is sad....if someone wants to live in a game for a while or the rest of their lives it is their perogitive.

simmeon1
simmeon1

When it comes to video game addiction,there's only one person who can finish it all -that's YOU.It's YOUR choice whether you want to stop playing and live your life,or if you want to continue into the virtual life and doom yourself to failure in life and loneliness.You can finish it all for a few seconds and for free.14.5k - WTF is this??? Whit that money I can assure myself a good life for quite a long time,buy a new car,buy thousands of games,I can even buy myself the way to college(don't worry,I won't actually do it) Writing this life-death style text really makes me sad for one thing.Damn it all... I WANT KOTOR 3 SO BAD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jojoforpres
jojoforpres

@ SalarianChemist ... What in the hell are you talking about? Did you even read the article? For that matter; have you ever read anything at all? Take that bitter **** back to the console wars boards where it belongs. Back on topic; I agree that it is an obsession, not a real addiction.

capitalthoughts
capitalthoughts

The word addiction is wrong for people who play games too much. The correct word is obsession. Addiction is when you actually create a chemical dependency inside your own body that your body can suffer ill if not severe effects without constant resupply of the chemical compound. No one will have a heart attack and die from quitting Super Mario Bros 3 cold turkey, that does happen though to people who try to quit something like crystal meth cold turkey. Addiction is kind of like the word Nazi anymore, being used to label anything that we may or may not like. Like the word Nazi though, it should only be used in the correct context or else, it risks loosing it's true meaning. Let's face it, people who stalk someone, we don't call them addicted, we call them obsessive, and it is the same with video games. There in lies the real danger, by calling them addicted, we shift blame away from the individual who has no sense of self control too a product that is harmless to excuse it. People can become obsessed with anything, it doesn't mean it is addictive.