Psychiatrist Calls for Gaming Rehab Clinics in Australia

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Psychiatrist Calls for Gaming Rehab Clinics in Australia

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A psychiatrist and "gaming addiction expert" in Australia says what the country really needs is a rehabilitation clinic dedicated to helping sufferers of videogame addiction.

The fact that Australia doesn't have an effective videogame rating system doesn't seem to bother Vladan Starcevic, a professor of psychiatry at Sydney University. The real problem, apparently, is the lack of a gaming addiction rehab clinic like Broadway Lodge, a residential treatment center in the U.K. that recently began taking on videogame addicts.

"I think it's good that someone has taken this seriously," Starcevic told the Herald Sun. "I think it should be recognized that this is a problem for some people."

Starcevic recently conducted a poll of 2000 gamers and found that as many as ten percent showed signs of "addicted behavior." Roughly 70 percent of "problem gamers" spent more than four hours a day playing, he added.

"We have people in this country who do have a problem with that just like with gambling and other addictive behaviors," Starcevic said.

Regardless of whether this proposed Australian rehab center for addicts would offer a $14,500 multi-week program featuring personal life coaches, nutritional education and mindfulness training, or just beat people senseless and electrocute the hell out of them, I think it's awesome that there's suddenly a very real possibility that Australia could end up with a videogame addiction center before it gets an 18+ rating for videogames. Good on ya, mates!

via: GamePolitics

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Roughly 70 percent of "problem gamers" spent more than four hours a day playing

Could we get a survey done on how long people - on average - watch TV or use the internet per day?

Will we be seeing Internet Addiction Rehab clinics?

you can't blame them for this really, they'll have just about got quake 2 over there and my god that was an addictive game!

Heh.
Gaming rehab clinics when they don't get any games anyway.
kind of defeats the purpose. maybe if they get their clinic, they'll allow an 18 rating to be made? just so they have something to cure, instead of over-active monopoly players.
(If you couldn't tell, this isn't meant to be insulting to Australian gamers, just... ugh you decide, show that you are smart.)

I thought the clinics would be to help people suffering from rage issues over Australian censorship.

I really don't care if they have a facility to treat people addicted to video games. Nobody is forcing you to go to it.

well FUCK them

I can also watch t.v. for several hours but you don't see any t.v. addiction clinics.
(Or any porn addiction clinics for that matter : P)

At first I felt outrage because I know us gamers hate to admit some people take our hobby too far but then I thought about it - people get addicted to just about anything. Fine, help out those who nearly kill themselves playing their favorite game(s), the same way I would hope anyone doing any habit in such excess.

No denying it has a weird twist however coming from Australia however, the place where apparently they don't recognize mature productive adult gamers exist with the rating system (and thus censor games like crazy) because of one politician/bureaucrat's influence that could use a head doctor himself.

Lets look at the reasons why these so called "problem gamers" are "adicted" in the first place,

oh look their for fun and a escape from the world there in, yeh lets try and take that away from them, sounds like a good idea to me.

...

i see this ending well.

i would also like to see what this "mindfulness training" entails, sounds mightly suspicious to me with receant attempts.

oh wait look its "optional", but lets play on the pairents fears, and refrence video games to drugs and other addictions *we all know video games are the devil* i see alot of kids are going to be pressured into this unwillingly if this is accepted, and more than likely it will be. /inchoerant(sp?) rant

I spend 5 hours a day playing games usually. But I also do lots of exercise, socialize, read and go for nice walks.

Please, if these people really are "addicted" to games (and at 4 hours a day, they aren't), then they just have an addictive personality to begin with. Which of course means that if you ever actually cure them of this so-called addiction, they'll just find something else to replace it. IE drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, whatever. There's nothing wrong with having something you enjoy doing on a daily basis. Everybody has something like that. But as soon as your hobby of choice is classified as anti-social or "weird," all of a sudden it's an addiction and it's WRONG. So stupid...

Hmmm. I can see both sides of the story here. but as Im UK living in US the most interesting part of this will be how Yahtzee and Shanks and Lund crowbar this into a comic reference!

I wait the next couple of weeks on ZP and DA with baited breath!

Tell him to do a line of coke and play a good game for a while, see which is more destructive and which is actually an addiction.

Humans grow attached to just about everything they put their sweaty controler claws on, it is a fact of life. The idea of a clinic to help treat "addiction" isn't neccisarily a bad thing, I mean, if somone actually has a problem which they cannot remedy themselves, they will be thankful for it. As others have said, this is only if it remains optional. I would hate to see a giant ozzy gamer killing concentration camp type thing as much as the next guy.

huh... well... that doesnīt sound bad, i would go to a clinic if i could to cure my adiction

but i didnīt liked the "4 hours" comment, how long is healty?? 1,3,5?? who knows, it deppends on the person... imo

Um, 4 hours really isnt enough...
But i know im addicted to games but i also know i dont need therapy.
I some times spend all day from when i get up (apx 11am) to when i go to sleep (apx 2-3am) playing games. Obv i go for toilet breaks and dinner and an odd few minutes to chat, but thats when im happiest! =D

Being a gamer in australia is a bit shit really. All you get is great (but lethal) weather, but who gives a shit if you never go outside?

This seems pretty pointless. Perhaps they'll give up when no one goes.

EDIT: Wait a sec, I just thought of something...

Internet Kraken:
Nobody is forcing you to go to it.

Pushy parents?

You can't really be 'addicted' to a hobby or an activity can you? I mean I understand drug rehabs and stuff, but gaming rehabs? That's just pointless and it creates negative stigma against the gaming lifestyle...Psychiatrist my ass, half the people on this site have more knowledge on the effects of gaming than this washed up psychiatrist prick.

Okay then, this was the breaking point. I now consider Australia to be a punchline, a sad and stupid punchline but one nonetheless.

ViktorValentine:
You can't really be 'addicted' to a hobby or an activity can you? I mean I understand drug rehabs and stuff, but gaming rehabs? That's just pointless and it creates negative stigma against the gaming lifestyle...Psychiatrist my ass, half the people on this site have more knowledge on the effects of gaming than this washed up psychiatrist prick.

Well, yeah, but the people who DO manage to get addicted to gaming really are the kinds of people who shouldn't have started gaming in the FIRST place. They still need help, of course, but still.

It is possible to become addicted to anything, though; the resons behind it are different, but it is technically classed as an addiction if you do something too much to be considered healthy, and seem to have no control over how much or for how long you do it.

And they decided to make a gaming clinic over, hm, a substance abuse clinic? Yes, because gaming has such ramifications as liver failure, short-term memory loss and death. What's that? You got pills that cure the death? Get outta here, Pilz-E!

My thoughts:

1) It's a voluntary clinic, not a concentration camp
2) It's a clinic, not a District 9-for-Gamers
3) It's in Australia, I'm in the UK

Damn not given

I approve of the Beaker and Bunsun Muppets, though

*clears throat, dusts off shoulder*

Oh australia. You soo crazy!

Thats right. No longer do we look on Japan with confused stares at what can only be described as a entire nation of nutjobs. Oh no. Now we turn our eyes on your australia. They have the defence of a different culture. You however should know better.

Now a little more on topic, eh, hes a psychiatrist. Psychiatry is bullshit anyway so who cares what some conman with a degree claims.

Wow. Australian officials really doesn't know how to deal with videogames, do they? They can't make a freaking 18+ rating, then they go and do something like this.

I'm all for job creation but seriously this...

"more than 4 hours a day"

screw them, seriously

Amnestic:

Roughly 70 percent of "problem gamers" spent more than four hours a day playing

Could we get a survey done on how long people - on average - watch TV or use the internet per day?

Will we be seeing Internet Addiction Rehab clinics?

We first need book addictio clinics. There are people who read all day! Also, the same for music!

HG131:

Amnestic:

Roughly 70 percent of "problem gamers" spent more than four hours a day playing

Could we get a survey done on how long people - on average - watch TV or use the internet per day?

Will we be seeing Internet Addiction Rehab clinics?

We first need book addictio clinics. There are people who read all day! Also, the same for music!

And iPhone addiction rehab clinics. God, people fiddle with those so much. =_=

The pic you chose for this is perfect.

So we can choose to go to rehab but not to buy games rated for adults?

Oh, research psychiatrists... they think they know so much more than they really do...

DeathWyrmNexus:
Okay then, this was the breaking point. I now consider Australia to be a punchline, a sad and stupid punchline but one nonetheless.

Haha I can already see the possibilities.

Yes, let's turn it into a mental disorder. Great idea. We don't have enough whiners with fake disorders and feelings of entitlement.

People who get addicted to games would probably get addicted to something else anyway. It's the root addictive personality traits that need addressing, not "rehab" for game "users." Although I like the idea of comparing Gamestop to a crack dealer.

What do we expect from a place that elected Michael Atkinson?

lorry123:
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I'm quoting this to give you more attention, so your IP will be banned faster. I hate very few things the way I hate spambots on message boards.

I really like the closing line. What an interesting country.

I have seen people who do seriously have a gaming problem and they do need help, but these morons' definition of a "problem gamer" is retarded.

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