The First Ever Clinic for Gaming Addicts Is Officially Open

Just weeks after gaming addiction was classified as a mental disorder, the UK’s National Health Service is opening a center solely for internet and gaming addicts.

Yuri_Arcurs/Getty Images
Yuri_Arcurs/Getty Images

In 2010, a South Korean couple pleaded guilty to homicide charges after their three-month-old daughter died of starvation due to their obsession with gaming. According to CNN, the couple would depart for 10 hours at a time, leaving their daughter in bed while they played video games at a local internet cafe. Instead of focusing on their baby at home, they played Prius Online, a game where players care for a virtual child.

Although years have passed since this tragic event, video game addiction is worse than ever. In addition to gaming addiction now being classified as an official mental disorder, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is funding its first-ever clinic for internet addiction, with a focus in gaming addiction.

The clinic will be launched in a London Hospital, providing both therapy and research opportunities. Enough funding has already been provided for weekly meetings for gaming addicts.

The center’s founder, Henriette Bowden-Jones, spoke to The Guardian about the need for the clinic saying, “Gaming disorder is finally getting the attention it deserves. The distress and harm it can cause is extreme and I feel a moral duty on behalf of the NHS to provide the evidence based treatment these young people and their families need”. 

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