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Gaming Detox Center Opens In Netherlands 106

Posted by Zonk
from the i-can-quit-anytime-i-ooo-shiny dept.
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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Gaming Detox Center Opens In Netherlands

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  • by Goalie_Ca (584234) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:56PM (#15482008)
    Send them to amsterdam's red light district. Maybe once they lose their virginity they will finally get a life!
    • 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.
  • by subl33t (739983) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:56PM (#15482010)
    The detox centre will be sandwiched between two hash-bars on Main street...
  • 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.
  • But (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ZakuSage (874456)
    Gaming > Life.
  • Oh dear god. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pichu0102 (916292) <pichu0102@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:58PM (#15482030) Homepage Journal
    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. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tcphll (979777)
      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?
    • 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

  • sooo... what they're really trying to say is they are going to get theese poor souls laid... Sign me up!
  • hmmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:00PM (#15482045) Journal
    Step 1: Admit you have a problem Steps 2-10: Buncha Bullcrap Step 11: ???? Step 12: Profit
  • So in essence.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:00PM (#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.
    • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:05PM (#15482089) Homepage
      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.
      • 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.... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by AuMatar (183847) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:16PM (#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.... (Score:3, Informative)

          by CRCulver (715279)

          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 "b [amazon.com]

          • by AuMatar (183847)
            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.
            • 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 centur

              • "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 re
                • 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.

                  • 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.
              • 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 relegat
              • 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.
        • 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 reall
    • 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.
  • by rob1980 (941751) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:01PM (#15482055)
    I can quit playing World Of Warcraft anytime I want, thank you very much.
  • 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 i
    • >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

  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:05PM (#15482085) Homepage Journal
    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!

  • by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:05PM (#15482087) Homepage
    If you're in the Netherlands, but can't find anything better to get addicted to than games, clearly you do need help.
    • 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...
      • 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!
  • One More Turn... [civanon.org] (yes, it is a marketing gimmick)
  • "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 c
    • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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."
  • by mabu (178417) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:16PM (#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.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:18PM (#15482224) Journal
    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.

    • 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 a
    • Did you know where the "heroine" came from? The substance name, I mean.
  • by Drizzt Do'Urden (226671) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:18PM (#15482231) Homepage
    Looking for 15 other players to raid this dungeon!
  • Will this reduce the number of gold farmers?
  • All or Nothing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:24PM (#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.

    • 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.
      • 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
    • 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
  • It's inspiring! Remind me to bake these poor souls a cake... with a Game & Watch hidden inside it.
  • hrm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by manJerk (853898)

    sounds like they want to substitute one addiction for another...
    nice and counter-productive.
    • 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.
  • I was getting fucking tired off all the gamers driving drunk on the roads. Problem solved - good job.
  • Gamers (Score:5, Funny)

    by Reason58 (775044) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:39PM (#15482380)
    And for only $59USD you can have a warehouse full of dedicated farmers powerlevel you right to the 12th step.
  • What's next? Threatment for dihydromonoxide addiction?
  • 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.
    • 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?
    • 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

      • 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 .

         
      • Oh! Like breathing. I get it now!
  • 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'

  • I been gamin' fo' twenny-fo' years, *Twenny-Fo Years!* And I ain't been addicted YET!
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • I quit smoking 5 years ago, now all smokers are idiots I quit Drinking Alcohol awhile ago. Alcoholics are losers.
  • They can not cure us because there is nothing to cure.
  • by urikkiru (801560)
    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 probabl
  • At the WILD HORSES CENTER you have NOTHING to loose.
  • but I have raids to attend.

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