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European game addiction clinic opens next month

Jennie Lees

Smith & Jones, addiction consultants, have latched on to a goldmine -- an obsessive type of behaviour that has few treatment options, save their soon-to-be-opened treatment centre in the Netherlands. The behaviour? Gaming, of course.

Their target is the gamer stereotype -- a socially awkward adolescent boy who spends 18 hours a day locked in his room pretending to shoot people. Their treatment? Get out more.

"You can't do a urine test to see that they're not still gaming. And if a coke addict said they wanted to go out to a club or to see people, we'd be worried about whether they'd meet a dealer. But if a gamer said he wanted to go out for the night and meet people we'd throw a party."

Whether there are sufficient game addicts in Europe with the funds for expensive private treatment, we don't know. However, for those who are addicted to games, in whatever form, a new form of treatment may well be welcomed.

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