London hospital opens to Web-addicted "screenagers"

By on March 19, 2010, 7:36 PM
A hospital in London has initiated Britain's first dedicated technology addiction clinic, aimed at teens that can't break away from the Web, video games, or their phones. The service is open to children as young as 12, but is mostly aimed at 15 to 17-year-olds who find it difficult to shut off their computers and video games.

Richard Graham, a lead consultant for the facility, said some kids play online games for the social contact, and it "gives them a sense of connection so they end up playing all the time." "I've been contacted by parents who see their children going into a rage when they're told to turn off their computer," said Graham. "Some end up having to call the police."

The hospital hopes to transform "screenagers" back to "teenagers" by yanking them away from WoW and encouraging them to interact with people face-to-face. Similar operations have opened stateside in recent years, such as the reSTART Internet addiction clinic, conveniently positioned 13 miles away from Microsoft's Redmond headquarters.

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