Video Game Addiction Support Group Opens In London, Canada

The US-based support group, On-Line Gamers Anonymous has opened its first chapter in Canada. Brad Dorrance - founder member of the London, CA chapter - came to the group after his 12-hour a day habit contributed to the breakup of his marriage and lead to an attempted suicide.

"I think people need to see how much damage can be done to a relationship by any addiction, even this one," said Dorrance.

Hold up, though. As we have mentioned before video game 'addiction' isn't an accepted condition and there is some considerable doubt among medical professionals as to its existence. That's not to say that already vulnerable people might immerse themselves in a game for a little too long, but labelling something an 'addiction' may not be the most helpful way of looking at it.

Comments?

Help now available for gaming addicts [London Free Press]


Comments

    I wouldn't have believed it myslef if I hadn't experienced it but mmo's (not so much video games per sey) CAN BE extremely addictive. Just look at that guy that controls 36 shamans at one time (now that's a case study!). Eventually I quit WoW after about 9 months when both my relationship with my fiance and my business started to crumble from lack of time and personal investment (a part of me that was being siphoned off towards the virtual world you start to literally live in). Unfortunately there's thousands of people with the same kind of story and I've hear much, much worse so Beware.

    It's great to see coverage of our new support group reach around the world. Quick fact revision. My marriage has issues but hasn't broken up.

    On your point about addiction recognition, the medical profession has yet to formally recognize sexual addictions, even though SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous) has been in existence for years, helping people recover from highly destructive compulsions that have destroyed lives and relationships. My point is simply that the medical profession is lagging years behind the reality of addiction that is staring the rest of us in the face.

    It's time for them to enter the same century as the rest of us and take the issue of video game addiction seriously. Many are starting to 'get it,' but I agree that more research needs to be done, combined with more education for parents and professionals in the field of addictions.

    B. Dorrance
    London, Canada

      I cannot comprehend the impact that w/of/warcraft has had on my son ,he is now setting all life ativities around the game and now is suspended from school due to his rigid demands aout being available ''for battle'',absolutely devastated his mother.

    HappyMike, you are SO right! I would not have believed it either until it happened in my own house, right under my nose (and I am a physician who did a one-month elective in addiction medicine in medical school). I once had a bright, witty, social son, who was an A/B student in high school and went off to college to study computer science. He was in the early stages of addiction to the World of Warcraft when he left, but we had no idea such a thing was possible. He flunked out of college and returned home an anxious, phobic shell of his former self, with vacant eyes and a complete inability to interact, or even make eye contact with other humans. The withdrawal symptoms closely resembled the symptoms of withdrawal from cocaine or amphetamines. It was the most frightening thing I have ever seen. This addiction is real and is costing society untold billions of dollars and the minds of our best and brightest young people. Kudos to Brad for his courage.

    High time for parents and mental health professionals to recognize what a huge problem game (and other computer activities)addiction is. Like Anna's son, my 19-year old son, tested highly gifted, flunked all his classes while doing community college work as a high school student and while studying full-time at a four-year college. My husband, a pediatrician, knew our son's gaming has been a problem but didn't know it as an addiction. He has just entered a Wilderness Therapy program in order to get "sober". My therapist also told me that almost all of her young clients who come in for couples counselling are there for reason of game addiction!

    Coming up on the fifth estate: Friday, March 6, 2009 at 9 p.m.
    TOP GUN
    When Brandon Crisp's parents took away his Xbox, they had no idea that their attempt to restrict their son's video gaming would lead to tragedy. In retaliation, Brandon ran away. His body was found three weeks later. His disappearance, and death, became a national news story as it revealed a dark side to what many thought was a harmless entertainment. Gillian Findlay investigates how a video gaming obsession can turn to addiction and a pro gaming circuit with thousands of dollars in potential winnings, experts say, can fuel the need to play.

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