Gaming addiction clinic opens in UK

Lots of young people think that the pretend world that is the world in the World of Warcraft is actually a better world than the real world they inhabit

Are you addicted to gaming? If so, or if you fear your nearest and dearest could well be, then a new UK gaming rehab clinic might offer you specialist therapy and treatment for the 'problem'.

Broadway Lodge is the name of the residential unit, based in the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare.

The Telegraph claims that 'sufferers' can "spend days at a time glued to their computer screens – going without food, sleep, or any social interaction."

The centre treats around 400 addicts a year for the more commonly understood addiction problems associated with gambling, booze and drugs.


The treatment centre has now adapted its Minnesota Method Twelve-Step abstinence programme specifically for gaming addicts.

"Obviously this is the very early stages of researching how many youngsters are affected," Brian Dudley, the centre's chief executive, told the Telegraph.

"But I would stick my neck out and say between five and ten per cent of parents or partners would say they know of someone addicted to an online game."

Dudley recognises that "you can't simply say to a 23-year-old male 'you should never use the internet again'. It's just not practical. So we go through all the issues surrounding gaming use and ensure there are triggers through which an addict recognises their usage has become a problem."

Anorexic pretend elves

Counsellor Peter Smith added: "It's not unusual for people to get so obsessed with online gaming that they forget to eat and drift towards an anorexic and undernourished state.

"You have a relationship with characters in the game that give you an artificial feeling, created by your body's natural endorphins, when you have killed some monster or solved a problem."