Vietnam Opens Game Addiction Rehab Clinic

The Vietnam News Service reports that the nation’s first clinic for addicted gamers has been opened in Ho Chi Minh City.

All 50 current "patients" at the facility are 13-18 years old. The rehab program lasts eight weeks. From the VNS article:

Though the first game only appeared in Viet Nam four years ago, there are six million people playing them, mostly aged 13 – 18.

Huynh Hong Hiep head of training at the Southern Youth Centre – a centre for sport and culture that has set up the rehabilitation facility – says many parents complain they are unable to drag their children away from the computer.

The "treatment" works by developing their personalities through involvement in social work and other activities like music, painting, dancing, and sports, he says.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. timada says:

    Addiction to games is a real problem. My best friend was addicted to puzzle games, those ones that you can play online, for like 2 years. She even quit college because of this. Now she easily recovered, but she has to start college all over again.

  2. urutapu says:

    Stuff like this depends.

    Is it for actual problem cases? i.e., that Korean guy playing Starcraft to death? Or is it for desperate and uncreative parents?

  3. SeanB says:

    Why do you bother writing statements like this? JT has never, not ONCE, ever responded to a logical statement like this.

  4. Paul T. Farinelli says:

    So Jack, should TVs, computers, DVDs and CDs also come with addiction warnings? Because all of those have the potential to be just as addicting to people as videogames. I expect you’d agree with this position, because you’re totally not an idiot with nothing but a pointless vendetta against only the videogame industry. (Sarcasm, for people who may not have realized such)

  5. Derovius says:

     All this "clinic" does is reallocated obsessive behaviour on more socially acceptable passtimes. We should rise up as a gamer nation and call bigotry on all this hate.

  6. BlackIce says:

    Since when does a Religious Fundamentalist have anything to do with Science?

    ~You Could Be Mine, But You’re Way Out Of Line..~

  7. Adamas Draconis says:

    Subservient, brainwashed slaves. I think thats a couple of the terms your looking for Dero.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  8. Andrew Eisen says:

    Not following you.  Where exactly did I cross myself?

    What does positive and negative reinforcement have to do with addiction?


    Andrew Eisen

  9. Leet Gamer Jargon says:

    This is why the game industry will have to put addiction warning labels on their games before the end of this decade. Jack Thompson

    You know, before that last quote, you almost sounded like a normal, level-headed person. But, faithful to your insanity and jackassedness, you went right back into your bullshit ramblings. Bravo, troll!

    Game on, brothers and sisters.

  10. Derovius says:

     You pretty much crossed yourself there; a child acts in a "good" way because it expects praise, and therefore "happy juice". If you backhand the child everytime he says thank you, how long do you think it will be before he stops saying it? Likewise, if you praise him for acting violently, he will act violently more often to get more "happy juice".

     And people can be addicted to praise, but the term for that slips my mind…

  11. Erik says:

    Addiction stickers?  Really now?  So are we going to have to put a warning sticker on everything which has a similar effect on the brain, aka EVERYTHING fun.  Note: exercise releases an assload of endorphins, ergo I guess we should put similar warnings on all sporting equipment hm?



    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  12. Zevorick says:

    "there is no such thing as a purely psychological addiction."

    You really need to attend a psychological lecture on the different types of addiction. Do some research 😉

    It’ll do you some good.

  13. Vash-HT says:

    Terrible logic you have there, anything that stimulates a response from a person releases chemicals in the brain. Don’t assume to know what those chemicals do Jack, as you obviously have no idea. As a matter of fact any time a person succeeds endorphines are released in the brain to give you a feeling of accomplishment. Now a big question is do the chemicals released by our body control us or are the chemicals simply a physical means to create feelings that we feel.

    Anyway my point is that the brain is far far more comlex than chemicals released = addiction so I suggest you don’t jump to conclusions so readily.

  14. Andrew Eisen says:

    Yes but the introduction of happy juice is a chemical change.

    Semantics aside, unless you have a chemical imbalance, you can’t become addicted to the hormones and other stuff your brain produces naturally.  A child doesn’t seek praise because he/she’s addicted.  Happiness, pleasure, and enjoyment does not equal addiction.


    Andrew Eisen

  15. DavCube says:

    No, not all addictions are physiological. Look it up. I know you won’t, but i might as well suggest it.

    What about food, then? Because with the obeseity rate, people MUST be overly addicted to food…

    If the game industry puts that label on there, then that would put the image that the only outcome that can come from playing any video game is negative. What would that make television? Movies? Books? They’re all fiction, and equally, in the end, wastes of time. Should they come with addiction labels too?

    David Gagnon, User of Common Sense, and You’re Not.

    PS: Aw, too scared to try and sue me for speaking against you because I signed my name? Ohh, poor baby.

  16. Derovius says:

     Its not "chemical changes" that are addictive, its the chemical releases that are programmed into our mind. These same paths are used for learning as well as unpleasant things. For example, a child learning that saying thank you is a good thing does so through enforcement via praise. This praise releases said chemicals.

  17. Andrew Eisen says:

    "Games create certain chemical changes in the brain…  Even gambling causes such chemical changes."

    Yes, but those chemical changes do not equal addiction.  Your brain has a chemical reaction to everything.  Like the tingling shampoo, that’s how we know it’s working.

    Now, if recreational activities such as gaming or gambling cause an unnatural chemical reaction in your brain leading to obsessive behavior (especially at the expense of your social life, family life, and health) then there is something wrong with you.


    Andrew Eisen

  18. zel says:

    [sarcasm]Of course it will! he has a great track record of making things happen just by saying it will![/sarcasm]


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  19. hellfire7885 says:

    UM, you might want to get off the crazy train at rality station, because it’s not happening just because you say it will.

  20. Derovius says:

     Incorrect, there is fine line between OCD and addiction, one could agrue that someone who needs to comb their hair 10 times or vacuum the house 20 times a week is addicted to their behaviour as it provides comfort and are usually unable to help themselves. These would be psychological addictions, as the need to complete them is based on some form of mental instability.

     Things like sex, alcohol and drug addiction are physical addictions where by people complete tasks or intake substances for the endorphin rush that follows. Not so much psychological as psychochemical.

  21. Krono says:

    Food, sex, and uplifting sermons at Church create certain chemical changes in the brain. Can we get an addiction warning label on those first? After all, they are a bit more common than video games.


  22. Kharne says:

    I’m kind of surprised this one hasn’t met the banhammer yet. Though he’s getting there I’m sure.

    Personally, I’m wondering when we’re going to finally purge this fool. I mean, wasn’t part of the reason for moving the site off LJ so that Denis can give him a final, permanent ban without having to hand screen everything like he did on LJ?

  23. Adamas Draconis says:

    Your welcome We may disagree on a couple things, but all in all, you seem like a decent enough chap.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  24. Shadow D. Darkman says:



    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  25. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    I know, bro, I was referring to saying thank-you to Jack for helping with game addictions.

    Personally I believe you spoke for all of us when you sent that. He is a source of 1u1z. I despise everyone who says "don’t summon him" or "don’t feed the troll" for that reason.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  26. Adamas Draconis says:

    Hmmm True we do owe him for that. But as for thanking him for anything else, I agree with Shadow.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  27. DavCube says:

    We’ll believe that people are actually thanking you for anything as soon as we believe that you weren’t disbarred for being a complete lying jerk.

    You should go back to your own blog. You’re clearly addicted to this website. Look at this article. The Cook Mama article is getting plenty of comments without you. You’re no longer needed. Scratch that, you were never needed in the first place.

  28. Andrew Eisen says:

    "I’m presently receiving thank yous from recovering game addicts, expressing gratitude for my warnings."

    Okay.  I call.  Let’s see your hand.


    Andrew Eisen

  29. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    "I expect one from E. Zachary Knight, the moderator here, eventually."

    How about…



    Collin Griffin, A.K.A. Shadow Darkman, Sane Human Church-Goer, And Jack Needs To Grow Up.

  30. Derovius says:

     Can we get this clown a normal account, his name smecks of one of those old men who predates young children on the internet.

  31. DCOW says:

    Video games are about as addictive as movies and television are.


    they are only addictive if your stupid and LET THEM TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE.


    but then again, what would the person who was disbarred with no chance to reapply for his extreme tactics know about moderation?

  32. michelleobamarama says:

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, but video games are not possibly addictive, right?  Jack Thompson

    PS:  I’m presently receiving thank yous from recovering game addicts, expressing gratitude for my warnings.  I expect one from E. Zachary Knight, the moderator here, eventually.

  33. zel says:

    Just cause there is someone selling a cure doesn’t mean there is an illness, this clinic is basically snake oil. Lets think about this logically, they plan to replace one ‘addiction’ with another addiction….    ya that makes a tone of sense… Let’s face it, these people are just out to make a buck (or whatever they call their currency, I could look it up but i’m too lazy).


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  34. Erik says:

    I wonder if they have clinics in Vietnam for being addicted to music, painting, dancing, and sports?  It would be quite ironic and also feasible for them to latch onto a new addiction.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  35. Andrew Eisen says:

    So no weaning?  Just "do something else" for two months?

    Not a very powerful "addiction" is it?


    Andrew Eisen

  36. Keddren says:

    From that site:

    "Earn your Certificate in Internet Addiction Recovery through accredited home study courses."

    Because the best therapysts are homeschooled…

  37. Derovius says:

     See Jack, this is why it pays to read books instead of burning them. Vietnam is a communist country, so you do need the government to set them up.

     The more you know \o/.

  38. hellfire7885 says:

    Of course there are, and in one the irresponsible person who ran the program nearly starved the one person to try it. That is sooo much better, then again you do fully condone abusing people.

  39. Baruch_S says:

    I’d really like to see how well this works. If, as they claim, video games have only been around in Vietnam for four years, these kids would have been 9-14 and should have had another hobby. If they gave up other hobbies for gaming, I don’t see how this rehab clinic is going to make them go back to their old hobbies.

    And somebody is definitely going to use this as proof that game addiction is real and try to make the US government set up clinic of its own. It’s really only a matter of time.

  40. michelleobamarama says:

    All addictions are physiological, meaning there is no such thing as a purely psychological addiction.  Games create certain chemical changes in the brain.  I’m surprised certain folks here don’t know that.  Even gambling causes such chemical changes.  Do some research, people.  This is why the game industry will have to put addiction warning labels on their games before the end of this decade. Jack Thompson

  41. Arell says:

    What I’m interested in is if the clinic tries to get at the root of the addiction, rather than just trying to make them stop.  Most "behavioral" addictions (not to be confused with chemical addictions) usually stem from some other problem in the person’s life.  Trauma, social-anxiety, stress.  If you don’t adress the core issue, then you really aren’t helping them.  Making them play music or kick a ball instead of playing games, isn’t really a solution.

  42. SimonBob says:

    So it’s a summer camp with an "addiction treatment" spin?  Interesting.  The real benefit might be to parents who wouldn’t previously have considered sending their kids away from home before.  I don’t care for the idea that good parenting should happen due to fear, but if it works, I can’t say that the ends didn’t justify the means.

    The Mammon Industry

  43. hellfire7885 says:



    I really don’t know what to say, but I am not looking forward ot certain people clamoring for this to go stateside.

Comments are closed.