Korean gaming and web addiction clinic opens

Are you addicted to gaming, the web, your smarphone or just technology in general?
Are you addicted to gaming, the web, your smarphone or just technology in general?

Yet another new internet addiction treatment centre has opened its doors, this time in the online gaming capital of South Korea.

As many of us begin to struggle to control our various forms of addiction to gaming, always-connected smartphone and web technologies, with the younger online gaming demographic in South Korea particularly prone to debilitating forms of web addiction.

For example, Blizzard's Starcraft/ Starcraft II real time strategy (RTS) games are immensely popular in South Korea, with TV channels dedicated to reporting what is happening in these virtual game worlds.

Getting angry IRL

In response to this culture of MMO gaming, the latest net addiction clinic based in the hills outside of Seoul has recently opened its doors.

The new clinic in South Korea is focused on treating the entire family unit, helping and encouraging game and web addicted youngsters to start to socialise with their parents and siblings once more in the real world beyond the screen.

"When I'm not on the internet, I'm really friendly to my family, but when I'm on the internet, I'm angry when they call," one young gamer being treated at the centre told the BBC. "I don't know why, but it's bad. I'm trying to fix it, but it's hard."

Neurologist Dr Lee Jae-won from Gongju National Hospital has also recently opened a brain clinic to help web and gaming addicts.

"Some people question why we need to use medical treatment for a habitual disorder," said the doctor. "But if the condition has got so bad that the brain is not functioning as it should be, medical treatment is very effective.

"The results from internet addicts were very similar to patients with ADHD, and also other forms of addiction - in the way the brain functionality had been depressed."

Via BBC News

Adam Hartley