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Cyber Addiction Grows


Compulsive computer game players have been labelled as not being addicted. Ninety percent of the young people who seek treatment are reported to have nothing wrong with them.

So says the founder of and head of Europe’s first and only clinic to treat gaming addicts, Keith Bakker. The Smith & Jones center in Amsterdam, Holland has treated hundreds of young computer game players since it opened in 2006.

However the clinic is changing it’s own fundamental ways of treatment as technology is rapidly changing the computer game world into more of a social network rather than simply playing on your own.

Using traditional abstinence-based treatments the clinic has had very high success rates in treating people for not only computer game addictions yet other related behaviours such as, drug taking and excessive drinking.

However, Keith Bakker believes that the problem really lies elsewhere in the life of the addicted gamer. “Most of the time you will find that the child needs his parents and school teachers to show an interest in him”, “In most cases of compulsive gaming, it is not addiction and in that case the solution lies elsewhere”.

For Mr.Bakker the root cause of the huge growth in excessive gaming lies with parents who have failed to take care of their children. Yet the majority of gamers that Mr.Bakker sees with physical and mental problems in terms of computer games are over the age of 18 so it is their own choice to come and seek help as the parents no longer have a legal right to intervene.

In today’s modern society something like computer game addiction has to be taken seriously as technology is continuously evolving. As technology is always changing and becoming more interactive we are becoming less dependent on facial interaction.

One to one facial interaction is what keeps the mind in a normal state of balance.

The virtual worlds which are created for us give us this ‘cyber alter-ego’ where gamers can act as a completely different person.

It is creating the gamer another life yet through the computer, you cannot see, hear or touch this character yet they are reality in the cyber world.

by Ed Vinicombe

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