Therapist Wants In-Game Treatment for WoW Addicts

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Therapist Wants In-Game Treatment for WoW Addicts

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A U.K. psychiatrist wants to begin offering treatment to kids addicted to World of Warcraft from within the game itself.

Youngsters addicted to World of Warcraft get so caught up in it that they sometimes play as much as 16 hours a day, neglecting school, social activities and other aspects of their life not directly associated with the game. Yet those most affected by the game don't exhibit conventional warning signs, said psychiatrist Dr. Richard Graham, and as a result traditional approaches to intervention and treatment won't work.

The solution? Treat them from within the game. Graham wants to begin providing in-game therapy to WoW-addicted kids by the end of the year. "It's already clear that psychiatrists will have to stay within the parameters of the game. They certainly wouldn't be wandering around the game in white coats and would have to use the same characters available to other players," he said.

"Of course one problem we're going to have to overcome is that while a psychiatrist may excel in what they do in the real world, they're probably not going to be very good at playing World of Warcraft," he added. "We may have to work at that if we are going to get through to those who play this game for hours at end."

The doctor called on Blizzard to "waive or discount" fees for psychiatrists and therapists who play the game so they can "more easily communicate with at-risk players in their preferred environment." He also suggested that therapists might recruit existing players with a greater knowledge of the game to serve as "peer mentors," helping to identify addicted users and facilitate their decision to seek help.

"Those affected don't exhibit the same outward warning signs as most teenage anti-social behavior issues do because they're in their bedrooms most of the time, seemingly out of trouble," he said. "Because of this we can't get through to them in the traditional educational environment or intrude on their actual bedrooms. We need to turn to the internet itself to tackle these problems."

Source: The Daily Telegraph

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At first it sounds stupid, but all in all, I think it will work. It doesn't matter to Blizzard if they play a healthy amount or not, as long as they get PR and a supsrciption fee, of course.

To be honest, I'd be a bit apprehensive about telling an orc my problems.

Hmm makes sense to me, although therapy only works if you want it to and if youre willing to put the effort. Its sad that some people choose to spend that much time playing a game. I good combination of treatment and something else to do would be best in this case.

You know... this might just work..

One potential risk though, is psychiatrist being caught into the world as well.

Pretty much what Erana said. They get paid if you subscribe, it doesn't matter how much you play. If you are addicted though, you might subscribe longer.

Gunner_Guardian:
You know... this might just work..

One potential risk though, is psychiatrist being caught into the world as well.

You just know that all of the psychiatrists who join will get too addicted to help others.
They'll just end up riding some epic mount and calling everyone nubs.

How can they gauge who is addicted in-game though?
Whoever has Tier 5 gear?

"Now thats our therapy class on how to overcome your addiction over for the day, You better be back online tommoro for your next class"

And really, its not gonna work because there ethier gonna be tricked into being killed or people will run away from them, or have that creepy internet sex next to them

good that someones thinking outside the box, great idea.

If anything they might as well try to educate them on ettiquette and open-minded thinking but if I were to take it seriously I would advise this...

...In nature, you simply cannot fix stupid.

I've actually already seen a kid who talked to a psychiatrist on the game.

Was a gnome mage if I recall...

The psychiatrist will probably play as a boss somewhere. He has no attacks, but he persaudes you to quit the game instead.

I can't help but to think it's ironic that you'll ply the game to actually stop playing the game.

But it might work, as a kind of "multiple steps" thing, where the first step is going to a shrink in WoW, and then to eventually meet one IRL.
And then stop playing obsessively, of course.

What if they become addicted to world of warcraft while leveling to a respectable level.

The question is whether the good publicity to be gained from showing willing by allowing psychiatrists online officially will outweigh the fact that most people being treated will have the ultimate aim of staying offline for good (addiction treatment tends to follow this unless you cannot avoid the addiction, i.e. shopping).

Another thing that could cause problems is whether the psychiatrists end up approaching players in the manner of a cold caller - without prior contact - to tout for business. You can guarantee at least one corrupt doctor approaching everyone who's more than an occasional player in order to get more patients and therefore more money. I can't imagine the publishers would take the time and effort to regulate every single user who registers as a psychiatrist...

This will be the must EPIC fail in a "Get-your-ass-out-of-WoW" attempt ever.

Like anyone will listen to a online therapist, when he has 20 "friends" next to him waiting to go kill some mobs.

Warstratigier:
If anything they might as well try to educate them on ettiquette and open-minded thinking but if I were to take it seriously I would advise this...

...In nature, you simply cannot fix stupid.

Wrong, nature fixes stupid all the time, it's called extinction.

...

Well honestly I think WoW is no more immersive than any other form of escapism, it's just the newest form on computers. Kids retreat into computers when they have problems, the way the same kinds of kids have retreated into books and other media in the past. To a parent who has a problem with their kid's escapism it doesn't matter WHAT they are using, they are going to blame that media before they bother to look at what the kid is escaping from, or simply facing the reality that the world is a messed up place for some people, and nothing any set of parents can do is going to be able to change what winds up being wrong.

I mean frankly we had the whole contreversy over "Dungeons and Dragons Addiction" which spawned wonderful movies like "Mazes and Monsters". We had impassioned pleas against comic books before the Comics Code Authority went into force, and yes we've had monster and science fiction movies also attacked (with paticular success in Europe for a while with that "Video Nasties" list).

Later something else will come along.

I think the idea of special psychiatric treatment for WoW players is right along the lines of pet psychologists. Or the even more useless "gambling addiction help lines" advertised throughout casinos. Oh yeah, like those make a differance, it's not like anyone goes to use one BEFORE they lose their shirt, then it basically turns into an exercise in whining, and looking for sympathy.

At any rate, I think this whole idea is a cantidate for Ripley's "Believe It Or Not" I'd imagine a lot of people down the road will find it unbelievable to think such a thing was ever suggested. :)

It's better than how China tried to treat it
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.124883

Fanusc101:
To be honest, I'd be a bit apprehensive about telling an orc my problems.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Whoo, I have tears in my eyes now.

Well done.

Blizzard already figured out how to cure WOW addiction. Epically bad customer support, it cured me and I haven't played WOW in five months, I wonder if that means I get a coin.

Pandalisk:
"Now thats our therapy class on how to overcome your addiction over for the day, You better be back online tommoro for your next class"

And really, its not gonna work because there ethier gonna be tricked into being killed or people will run away from them, or have that creepy internet sex next to them

Exactly. You can't help them if they have to log on every day to get the classes xD
And, you could just run away. Blizzard will now make a sword that, once hit with it, freezes you for x amount of time, and makes it so you can't shut off your computer.

People who decide to put video games of any kind, not just World of Warcraft ahead of the things that are generally more important than a bunch of pixels needs a kick up the backside and to have their console/PC taken away, not counselling.

And if i'm honest it sounds like this Therapist just wants to play WoW at reduced/no cost per month.

If i got a random level 5 telling me that he's a shrink trying to help me off my OCD bad enviroment "addiction" my most likely response would be to /ignore him. There are 2 types of lowbies allowed to whisper me: the guild bank mules informing me that we ran out of space on the official bank again and friends notifying me that they started leveling a new alt.

And besides, what are they going to do in their therapy? Sit in the starting zone and /w their patients? Or hogging valuable RP estate and demand the client moves his char over to goldshire so everything can be conducted in /s?

Also, lol @ demanding that blizzard gives him a free account.

This is obviously just a scam to get cheap access to WoW

Rigs83:

Warstratigier:
If anything they might as well try to educate them on ettiquette and open-minded thinking but if I were to take it seriously I would advise this...

...In nature, you simply cannot fix stupid.

Wrong, nature fixes stupid all the time, it's called extinction.

Oh yes of course, I should have known that. Thanks for the reminder. Though it sure feels like extinction is taking its sweet time for those.

I think it's a great idea. But like opening a bank in today's financial climate, there are many barriers to entry.

What I think will be the most difficult thing is getting addict to realize and admit they have a problem as most game addicts just blow off anybody who tries to help.

Also since the therapy sessions will be taking place in the game there is the problem of the patient not being in a serious mood. This will be a major obstacle said therapists will have to overcome, especially with younger players.

what if some pedophile startd impersonating them.

So they expect to be allowed cheap/free access to WoW to drive away Blizzard's customers? I don't fucking think so.

"The doctor called on Blizzard to "waive or discount" fees for psychiatrists "
I don't know if this happened to everyone who read this, but I sudently imagined an addicted psychiatrist raiding 24/7 and paying discount prices to play the game.

It's impossible to get addicted to World of Warcraft. What IS possible is that you might have no friends 'cause you have a problem or are simply to shy resulting in you appealing to the internet for your social needs.

Psychiatrists can help you NOT by "curing" your so called "addiction" but by helping you with your current problem, the one that makes you play World of Warcraft so much. It is always best for the psychiatrist to be near you when you talk to him, it makes you fell more comfortable and are more open to sharing your problems with him.

wow just wow thats so hilarious:)

Isn't that like having a radiation fallout clinic on a nuclear bomb test range?

The problem with this whole "get them to quit the game" thing is that it requires them to play the game

Psychiatrist whispers: Hey there Billy, your parents have told me you haven't been going to school recently and you've been playing WoW a lot. I understand you have to get your epic loot, but going to school will give you epic loot in real life.
Billy whispers: stfu noob, raiding.
Psychiatrist: Billy can you spare some time to talk to me?
*Billy has ignored you*

I'm sorry, but I'm laughing too hard to say anything in particular about this.

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