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Smith & Jones Centre Founder: Compulsive Gamers Not Addicts

100°
317w ago - 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...
 

Conservationists to Gamers: Turn Off Your PS3 After Use!

200°
318w ago - Video game consoles left running round-the-clock can send your annual electricity bill soaring. That's probably no surprise for most gamers. But the Natural Resources Defense Council, a New York-based conservation group, has conducted a study of gaming machine energy use to raise awareness among gamers and pressure manufacturers into making more energy-efficient machines.

The NRDC's study found that Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii machines in the U.S. use about as much electricity in a year as every home in San Diego combined. Much of the energy comes from machines that are left on, but not in use, the NRDC said.

Of the three consoles, Sony's PS3 was the biggest energy hog, followed by Microsoft's Xbox 360. Nintendo's Wii is by far the most energy efficient-and even uses less electricity than its predecessor, GameCube.

To quote: With more efficient devices and by utilizing existing power-saving features, consumers could save more than $1 billion a year on utility bills and reduce as much global warming pollution per year as the tailpipe emissions from all the cars in San Jose.

Specifically, automatic power-down features - which shut off devices if they are left idle for a certain amount of time - are big energy-savers. The feature exists in...
 

PlayStation Gamers Will be Disappointed by Sony Holiday Adverts

300°
318w ago - Believe it or not, whether you are a PlayStation gamer or not, you're going to be disappointed that Sony really doesn't have anything up their sleeve in terms of marketing their products... their odd ads are just plain out boring.

What's even worse is that they are releasing one TV Spot with the same theme every few days till the 21st when they are launching a "bigger campaign". I don't know about you guys, but the TV spots so far are not inspiring me yet.

The first one is known as the "Alley" and the second one known as "Office Park", and are part of the reflection campaign. Hopefully this "bigger campaign" will be more persuasive to the average consumer this holiday season.

Show us your killer titles, like Resistance 2, and LittleBigPlanet that you have been so excited for this year!








 

Gamers Willing to 'Trade' Advertising Exposure for Price Cuts

100°
320w ago - The latest research from Frank N. Magid Associates takes a look at how receptive gamers are to in-game ads. It seems that price drops or free games makes advertising very worthwhile for most.

Advertising in console games (as well as PC and other games) has become increasingly common in the industry today. Even presidential candidates are advertising in games these days.

We wondered, though, how consumers would feel if this trend grew and significantly more advertising was placed in console games but the price of the game was also cut in half or, was even free.

As it turns out, most gamers were quite receptive to this idea. Very few were negative about having major price reductions or even free games in return for considerable amounts of advertising in the games.

In fact, less than 20 percent of gamers said they were less likely to purchase a game, at half the price, but with more advertising. The plurality, 31 percent, said it would make no difference. About 15 percent of the gamers said they were much more likely to purchase a game at half price with more advertising and 28 percent said they were somewhat more likely.

When we indicated that the game would be free, but the advertising would be increased significantly in the game, naturally, even more players...
 

MTV: What Barack Obama's Win Means for Gamers

50°
320w ago - MTV has pieced together some of Barack Obama's thoughts on video games in order to understand what his presidency will mean for the gaming industry.

Previously he has called on the industry to give parents better information, and producers themselves to make descriptions available of exactly what content is included.

To quote: Obama's answer: "A: We need to give parents the tools and information they need to make choices about what programs their children are watching or what video games they are playing. As we move towards a digital environment, there is a golden opportunity for the industry to do this on their own–to use the latest in technology to give parents more information and more choice.

For example, this technology could make it possible for parents to create their own family tier just by programming their television to block certain channels, block certain genres of programming like dramas, or block television at certain times of the day.

The same can be said of video games, especially as we're moving into an era when they can be downloaded as easily as today's movies and television shows. I would call upon the video game industry to give parents better information about programs and video games by improving the voluntary rating system we currently...
 
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