One of my coworkers passed along the news that they are opening "Europe's first detox clinic for game addicts"... In AMSTERDAM!
That's right. The home of legalized drugs and prostitution is now the place to send your game addicted child or mate.
I read that the doctor has already treated addicts aged 13 to 30. All I can say is that was one SMART 13 year-old.
"Gosh mom, I've been playing Halo 2 for 72 hours straight. I think I might have a problem. I hear that they can help me in Amsterdam. If you really love me, you'll send me. And let me use your VISA card."
That boy will come home with hair on his chest and hash in his pockets.
Here are my favorite bits of the article:
"It can start with a Game Boy, perhaps given by parents hoping to keep their children occupied but away from the television. From there it can progress to multilevel games that aren't made to be won."
Like... Frogger? Galaga? Space Invaders? Pac-Man? The list goes on. And giving a Gameboy to your child to distract him from TELEVISION? It has a 3" screen! When I was a kid my dad would smack me for sitting within two FEET of the TV! How could any parent think that looking at a teeny screen would be better than watching a big screen? "My child bumps into a lot more things now, but at least he's not watching Jeopardy as much as he used to."
"Many of these kids believe that when they sit down, they're going to play two games and then do their homework," he said.
And it goes on from there to make no relevant point whatsoever. So... they do what? Break out the bong and the hours slip away? And that paragraph led straight into this one:
However, unlike other addicts, most gamers received their first game from their parents. "Because it's so new, parents don't see that this is something that can be dangerous," Bakker said.
Wha? uh.. WHAT?! Are you INSANE? Video games were around when I was a kid, and I played the crap out of them! How can this be new to parents? Were they raised by the Amish? Now, I know that my dad didn't understand video games, but to be honest he didn't really understand board games. "Games" weren't his thing. Civil War books, battle information and guns were his thing. But I would imagine that most people who are parents of kids around the same ages as my own KNOW about video games! "New". Pfft. And how many alcoholics started by raiding their parent's bar? Or smokers who stole their parents cigs? It's absurd.
I also gather from the stories of "Tim" and "Hyke", and their eventual turning to drugs to stay awake so they could play longer, that a key way for parents to combat gaming addiction is to limit their child's access to drugs, particularly pot which should be very easy to do since this is going to be located in AMSTERDAM.