Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Are you addicted to videogames? We're here to help

Posted on

As always, today’s bad habit is tomorrow’s addiction: A videogame detox center has been opened in Amsterdam.

Big joke, right? That’s what I thought when I saw the headline. But you know what? I sympathize. I’m 30, and I’ve never owned a game console. Why? Because I know my weaknesses, and I know I’d never, ever get anything done. I remember the rush I felt playing Contra at a friend’s house in the mid-’80s. Endorphins, baby: the most dangerous high of all. You put me in a room with Halo, I don’t think you’d ever see me again. And let’s not even get started with the online stuff: I’d be nothing but a shuffling half-a-Leeroy Jenkins, existing in the twilight between this world and some neverending elfquest.

So bravo, videogame detox pioneers. I have only one question for you: Why open any kind of detox center in or near Amsterdam? Seems like the temptation to go from Worlds of Warcraft to wads of wackyweed might be, I dunno, a little strong. But I hear they teach you a little mantra to ward off such urges: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start. (Twas the great guru “Konami” who came up with that.)