Saturday, 1 August 2009


According to The Telegraph newspaper, addiction therapists are creating their own avatars in online fantasy games such as World of Warcraft in the hope of treating youngsters addicted to virtual worlds.

“We will be launching this project by the end of the year”, said Dr Graham, a consultant psychiatrist at the Tavistock Centre in London. “I think it’s already clear that psychiatrists will have to stay within the parameters of the game. They certainly wouldn’t be wandering around the game in white coats and would have to use the same characters available to other players. Of course one problem we’re going to have to overcome is that while a psychiatrist may excel in what they do in the real world, they’re probably not going to be very good at playing World of Warcraft. We may have to work at that if we are going to get through to those who play this game for hours at end.”

The mind gently boggles. As I drifted off, the following dialogue played itself out on the GLFF channel of my mind…

[GLFF] Shatterhand: 9/12 for Watcher, looking for mincer, dps and experienced champ.
[GLFF] Lacan: Well, hi there, Shatterhand! Want to talk a bit?
[GLFF] Shatterhand: What class?
[GLFF] Lacan: Well, you could think of me as a healer.
[GLFF] Shatterhand: Mincer, cool. What rad? Must have +50 min.
[GLFF] Lacan: How nice. Minimum 50 what, exactly?
[GLFF] Shatterhand: Radiance, man. +50 or you cower when we go for suchi.
[GLFF] Lacan: To be honest, I’m not that fond of Japanese food myself, but hey, it takes all sorts… I’d like to talk to you about cowering, though. Why do you think you have to cower?
[GLFF] Shatterhand: ???
[GLFF] Lacan: Do you think it might be because your social skills are a little, let us say, rusty? How many hours a day do you stay online, hmmm?
[GLFF] Shatterhand: One sec, inspecting… You noob, you’re l.5 and your pointy stick only does 1-3 damage!
[GLFF] Lacan: Now, what leads you to express yourself in those terms?
[GLFF] Shatterhand: *&%£@!?X!
[GLFF] Lacan: Oh, too bad, he’s gone. Never mind, I’m sure I must have helped him to a better understanding of himself…