- Ninety per cent of the young people who seek treatment for compulsive computer gaming are not addicted.
So says Keith Bakker
the founder and head of Europe's first and only clinic to treat gaming addicts.
The Smith & Jones Centre in Amsterdam, has treated hundreds of young gamers since the clinic opened in 2006. But the clinic is changing its treatment as it realises that compulsive gaming is a social rather than a psychological problem.
Using traditional abstinence-based treatment models the clinic has had very high success rate treating people who also show other addictive behaviours such as drug taking and excessive drinking.
But Mr Bakker believes that this kind of cross-addiction affects only 10% of gamers. For the other 90% who may spend four hours a day or more playing games such as World of Warcraft, he no longer thinks addiction counselling is the way to treat these people.
"These kids come in showing some kind of symptoms that are similar to other addictions and chemical dependencies," he says.
"But the more we work with these kids these less I believe we can call this addiction. What many of these kids need is their parents and their school teachers - this is a social problem."
In response to this realisation the clinic...