If you spent the entire weekend slumped on your couch deep in the wilds of Reddit or mindlessly clicking the Stumbleupon button, here is some good news for your Monday morning: According to a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, Internet addiction is supported largely by anecdotal evidence, so “It’s not a clear enough syndrome that you can say at this point it’s clearly a disease.” Huh.
Dr. Charles O’Brien chaired the working group that was responsible for determining whether or not Internet addiction should be classified as an official disorder. Ultimately, the group decided that more research needed to be conducted before your World of Warcraft obsession could officially be called a sickness. We think we know a few people who’d make some worth test subjects, though.
Even more curious than their reluctance to acknowledge our inability to unplug, is the way that some doctors are treating Internet and gaming addiction:
There we met with three young men who had been in some form of treatment for their obsession with video games — everything from “talk therapy” with counselors to “virtual-reality” treatment, which is designed to create negative associations between the player and the game they can’t stop playing.
Curing an addiction to virtual reality with virtual reality? *Insert Inception joke here*