Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Video Game Rehab

Okay, so you game a lot. If you were playing on a Nintendo Wii it would tell you to go outside and get a life. So what if you game so much that it is a “problem?"

Why do you game so much? Is it that fun? Is it so you can go pro? Is it so you can escape reality? Is it because you have a debilitating mental disorder? Is it because you are addicted to your xbox as if it was sweet sweet heroin and you are in desperate need of being checked into a rehab center? Did you know that now there are kids actually getting rehab to get over playing video games, as if playing video games was like doing drugs or something?

Is it possible that all this baloney must stop? I mean seriously. If these kids grew up before video games they would be reading comic books or rolling dice and playing Dungeons and Dragons. Do you really need rehab to get over playing Dungeons and Dragons? I mean, I played Dungeons and Dragons, I didn’t get any rehab; I wasn’t cool in high school is all. I got over it, you know why? Well, I’m not really sure, you just figure it out, grow up, get perspective, and get a life. So this doctor says he can give kids addicted to video games rehab. Rehab for what? Rehab for being an anti-social nerd? I mean, is he getting these kids laid or something? Let’s find out what this quack is up to.

Keith Bakker, founder of the first and only videogame addiction treatment clinic in Europe, says the vast majority of patients at his clinic are suffering from social difficulties rather than an actual psychological disorder.

Founded in 2006, the Smith & Jones Centre in Amsterdam has treated "hundreds of young gamers," according to a BBC report, but its treatment methods are changing with the realization that most gaming "addicts" are in fact suffering from "social problems." The clinic has experienced high levels of success with traditional treatment for people who partake in other addictive behaviors, but Bakker estimates that only accounts for roughly ten percent of gamers; for the remaining 90 percent, he said he no longer believes that addiction counseling is the best course of treatment.

"These kids come in showing some kind of symptoms that are similar to other addictions and chemical dependencies," he said. "But the more we work with these kids the less I believe we can call this addiction. What many of these kids need is their parents and their school teachers - this is a social problem."
"This gaming problem is a result of the society we live in today," he continued. "Eighty per cent of the young people we see have been bullied at school and feel isolated. Many of the symptoms they have can be solved by going back to good old fashioned communication." As a result, the clinic is now offering a program that focuses on developing "activity-based social and communications skills" that will help compulsive gamers cope with the pressures of society.

Bakker said the root cause of most videogame-addicted minors lies with parents who have "failed in their duty of care," adding that sometimes parents sometimes have to get tough. "It's a choice," he said. "These kids know exactly what they are doing and they just don't want to change. If no one is there to help them, then nothing will ever happen." However, he also pointed out that the vast majority of online gamers are over the age of 18, meaning they need to seek help on their own because they're beyond any form of legal parental intervention.

Research at the clinic also indicates that many of the negative emotions associated with excessive game play, like anger, powerlessness, isolation and frustration, are actually pre-existing causes, rather than symptoms, of compulsive gaming problems; Bakker said that if parents committed to a greater responsibility for their children, many of these feelings could be dealt with at their source rather than through a retreat into a virtual world.

"If I continue to call gaming an addiction it takes away the element of choice these people have. It's a complete shift in my thinking and also a shift in the thinking of my clinic and the way it treats these people," he said. "In most cases of compulsive gaming, it is not addiction and in that case, the solution lies elsewhere."

Yes it does.

Monday, November 24, 2008

CGS rant

CGS says they closed b/c "projected profitability was too far off"

Um, how was CGS going to EVER be profitable?

CGS is dependent on sponsorship dollars right? How do you make a profit when that is the case? If the sponsor sees you banking a lot of profit they say "hey CGS, what am I paying you all this extra cash for exactly?" Next time CGS will get less money from the sponsor, because CGS can't really do anything about it. CGS you DEPEND on the sponsor, you have NO LEVERAGE and therefore you get NO PROFIT, EVER.

Did CGS think people were going to be filling stadiums a la the NFL paying $100+ for a ticket, $10 for parking, $5 for a hot dog, $8 for a beer and $125 for a jersey after 2 years of being in business? Honestly I hope this happens with eSports someday, it’s just not going to happen quite yet. If this was their idea, then you have to expect it will take more than 2 years to build up. Look at MLG; they are just starting to kick it in the mainstream after a lot more hard work and time than the CGS put in.

What was CGS’ plan exactly? Take a game like CSS instead of 1.6 and change all the rules so that it is "TV friendly;" even though no one watches your league on TV. Make it so that aspiring pros are blocked off and can't play against CGS "pros" (save the too little too late pro-am tourney). Then broadcast the games on DirecTV channel 489484...when everyone that's into eSports can already watch on their CPU? Hello? EVERYONE that plays or is into eSports does it on their CPU. Not everyone has DirecTV; the only reason to put CGS on DirecTV is if you intentionally want to only reach a fraction of your target market, and by the way, for that fraction that you do reach, you are inconveniencing them. This last point really should tip you off that the people running CGS need to get a clue about eSports. If the people at the top don’t know what they are doing, you shouldn’t be surprised that the company is out of business.

Summary: Take a bunch of execs w/ backgrounds in cable TV that have never played a video game and start a eSports company = fail