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Psychiatrist to use WoW to reach (potential) WoW addicts

July 30, 2009

Quest Completed: Threat from Above
Akromah: Thanks for the group!
You have left the party.
DrGrahammm: Excuse me, can I talk to you for a moment?
Akromah: Sure.
DrGrahammm: I’ve noticed you here every night for the last week or two. Do you play often?
Akromah: I’m sorry. I’m taken.
DrGrahammm: No, I don’t mean that. I’m remarking that I’ve seen you here on a consistent basis and I’m wondering if perhaps you have an addiction to World of Warcraft.
Akromah: WTF? DIAF!
/ignore DrGrahamm

Sound farfetched? It could happen if Dr. Richard Graham, a London psychiatrist, has his way. According to the Telegraph, Dr. Graham would like a team of therapists & peer mentors to play World of Warcraft (at a free or discounted subscription rate, natch) in order to get in contact with addicted gamers. He wants to launch this project by the end of the year.


[Addicted gamers] don’t exhibit the same outward warning signs as most teenage anti-social behaviour issues do because they’re in their bedrooms most of the time, seemingly out of trouble. Because of this we can’t get through to them in the traditional educational environment or intrude on their actual bedrooms, we need to turn to the internet itself to tackle these problems.

Oh wow. Do psychiatrists go to bars to find alcoholics? Do they go to adult book stores to find porn addicts? Are they sitting in a church hall on Friday nights, clutching a bingo dabber and lying in wait for your grandma to show up for her weekly game?

I don’t think so.

Without releasing how he’d find these potential WoW addicts (family referral?) I can’t help but think that Dr. Graham is joining the LFP: Looking for PUBLICITY channel.

Other great takes on the story: (be sure to read the comments)

I thought gold spammers were an irritation. I’d be PISSED if someone ingame was watching my habits and trying to diagnose me. How would YOU react if confronted by a psychiatrist in-game?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Embalmo the Rogue permalink*
    July 30, 2009 4:32 pm

    I knew grouping with a character named SiggyFreud was going to come back to haunt me.

  2. July 30, 2009 11:52 pm

    [Tankman]: Ok, Does everyone know this fight?
    [Psychee]: Do you seek to flaunt your knowledge over us? Perhaps you have an inferiority complex.
    [Tankman]: Um, no dude. Just need 2 check so we don’t wipe.
    [Psychee]: Why do you fear others’ failings harming you? Are there any issues with trust?
    [T]: Srsly, there are 25 of us. I can’t has 1 nub wasting all of our time. If you don’t know the fight then you’re being kicked.
    [P]: Do you always seek to identify the weakest to be eliminated? Were you bullied as a child? Perhaps you are lashing out.
    [T]: …
    [P]: Are you not talking now?
    [T]: …

    [P]: Why don’t you whisper to nice Mr Target what you don’t think you can say out loud?

    Seriously?!?! And they want discounted fees? “Dear Blizz, plz give me free lvl80 toon so I can help your active players quit.”

    I thought Jong was trouble. Now I has to look out for Jung.

  3. July 31, 2009 7:51 am

    I am a WoW player, however the stereotypes about WoW players is a little off at times. I am not some 30 year old that lives at home with his Mom and Dad and stays in his room all day and night playing a game… I have a job, work all day long, come home to the wife and kids, watch some TV, play some Wii fit, eat dinner, etc… Once the kids are in bed, and I am ready to wind down is when I play any games. WoW is a great game for me to escape from the real world for a little while.

    I am telling you now. Some Psychiatrist comes up to to me in-game asking questions like that, I will certainly ignore him. As I am sure other normal people will too. Most people are not playing the game cause they are addicted, but just needing some relief from the normal day in and day out life they lead, and I certainly do not want some certified shrink to come into my world and ask me “when you killed that Golem, how did it make you feel”. I am sure there are some people in the game, that do have issues with being addicted to it, but contacting them in-game to discuss their addiction will just lead in a lot of /ignore in-game, and them telling all their friends online and so on.

    Game On!

  4. July 31, 2009 12:53 pm

    Methinks the good doctor needs to GET A FREAKING LIFE. And go practice medicine. People like him give psychiatry a bad name.

  5. July 31, 2009 8:41 pm


    “I thought Jong was trouble. Now I has to look out for Jung.”


  6. Kristi permalink
    October 29, 2009 1:39 pm

    Maybe they just want free accounts so they can play too?

    I think it might be interesting for them to research online communities and how they are similar/different to real life communities, but I don’t think they will be able to reach individuals in this way. One of the keys to addiction is that you have to WANT help. What are they going to do? Stalk people into admitting they have a problem? How annoying.

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