June 09, 2006 at 12:00 PM EDT

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.)

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