WoW to get in-game addiction therapists?

Written by Joe Martin

July 30, 2009 | 11:02

Tags: #game-addiction #london #warcraft #world-of-warcraft #wow

Companies: #activision-blizzard #blizzard

A psychiatrist operating out of the Tavistock Centre in London has announced that he is planning on helping gamers battle gaming addictions by staging therapy sessions in World of Warcraft.

Dr. Richard Graham made the announcement to the Daily Telagraph recently, saying that he hoped to have the idea rolled out as a fully workable project by the end of the year. The project has come about over concerns that Dr. Graham has about gamers neglecting their social lives and real-life responsibilities in favour of the game.

Dr. Graham is currently chasing up Blizzard to get free access to the MMO apparently, reasoning that it's in the best interests of gamers if he can provide them with therapy in their preferred environment in an effort to fight their WoW addictions.

"I think it's already clear that psychiatrists will have to stay within the parameters of the game," said Dr. Graham. "They certainly wouldn't be wandering around the game in white coats and would have to use the same characters available to other players."

"Those affected don't exhibit the same outward warning signs as most teenage anti-social behaviour issues do because they're in their bedrooms most of the time, seemingly out of trouble," Dr. Graham said in response to nay-sayers. "[i]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."

Gaming addiction has been increasingly thrust into the public eye with the continued success of World of Warcraft, but there's still some serious disagreement about whether or not gaming addiction really is a mental disorder or more of a larger, more widespread social problem.

While game addiction may sound like a non-problem in real-life, it's a phenomenon which still appears to be on the rise and can potentially be quite damaging both professionally and socially. Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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