A DUTCH clinic that has begun offering the world’s first treatment for computer game addicts has been overwhelmed with pleas for help from parents and children all over the world.
“It’s amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Keith Bakker, the American director of the Smith & Jones clinic in Amsterdam. “The phone has been ringing constantly. Computer game addiction is obviously an even greater problem than we imagined.”
In a 16th-century building on one of Amsterdam’s canals, the clinic will begin treating two teenagers from Britain this week and other sufferers are being signed in from the US and Asia.
“These are perfectly decent kids whose lives have been taken over by an addiction,” said Mr Bakker, a former drug addict. “Some have given up school so they can play games. They have no friends. They don’t speak to their parents.”