Next, the author chose an atypical gaming addict to be the example. I would say that, yes, it's correct that gaming addicts do "use drugs" which give them the boost needed to play longer. This is why we hear of people in internet cafes in Asia dying after playing 50 hours of a game. It's not the game that kills them, it's the amphetamines they're taking to stay awake. The heart-pounding speed combined with the heart-pounding rush addicts get from games proves to be too much for their hearts and they die. It is for this reason that it's odd that the "game addict" chosen by the author used pot as his drug of choice to "play longer". I am not saying some gamers don't sometimes use pot as part of the gaming experience. I am saying that someone who believes pot helps them "play longer", when, in fact, pot is not an energy stimulant, is providing an excuse for using pot, not the other way around. However, when he went for treatment for "drug addiction" he was told that he actually had a gaming addiction, and now he's the poster child for the detox clinic. Odd, don't you think? Maybe he's one of the many people on this planet who have generally addictive behavior. How does he benefit from being told it's all about gaming? I don't think he does, but the people opening the new clinic sure do.
Finally, Baker warns parents what to look for in their potentially addicted teens: "Parents should take notice if a child neglects usual activities, spends several hours at a time with the computer and has no social life." Congrats Mr. Baker. You've just defined 80% of teens through their akward year. And now parents are going to make them feel even worse about themselves.
Again, gaming addiction is real, and I'm happy there's treatment for it. I just wish the treatment center was more about the actual treatment of the problem than scaring parents and making people think video games are the source of their problems.
Oh, and it would be awesome if the article in question wasn't featured on MSNBC's homepage as "Recommended Reading".