Dr. Richard Graham, a London-based psychiatrist, is so concerned about MMO addiction that he plans to provide "in-game therapy" for those hopelessly lost in the virtual world. Oh, and, he'd like Blizzard to give up some free logins.
The Telegraph of London talked to Dr Graham, who plans by the end of the year to skulk around Azeroth to provide counseling to at-risk elves and such. "I think it's already clear that psychiatrists will have to stay within the parameters of the game. They certainly wouldn't be wandering around the game in white coats and would have to use the same characters available to other players," he said.
Mmm-hm. OK, so, you're gonna create characters that look and act and play like characters. Oh, and there's this, too: "One problem we're going to have to overcome is that while a psychiatrist may excel in what they do in the real world, they're probably not going to be very good at playing World of Warcraft. We may have to work at that if we are going to get through to those who play this game for hours at end."
Now, I'm not sure what the likelihood of success is for offering, let alone providing, "in-game therapy". What this project really sounds like it's gonna do, for the first few months anyway, is give a bunch of labcoats some free Warcraft and let them play it for a hundred hours so they can get real good at spotting and relating to addicts.
You know, I think porn addicts need some counseling. I think Bang Bus should give me and my friends some free logins.
Addiction Therapists Signing Up to World of Warcraft [The Daily Telegraph, via GamePolitics]