• Sweden edition
 
Swedish teen sectioned due to gaming 'addiction'

Swedish teen sectioned due to gaming 'addiction'

Published: 24 Oct 2012 10:01 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Oct 2012 10:01 GMT+02:00

A 16-year-old boy who was "addicted" to computer games has been involuntarily committed to institutional care after his parents were unable to get him to stop playing.

The boy was so focused on his game playing that he physically attacked his father whenever he asked his son to stop playing.

Police were also called to the family's home on several occasions, according to the court ruling authorizing the boy be committed to institutional care, the Metro newspaper reported.

The frustrated parents first contacted social services last year after their son's incessant computer game playing caused his health to deteriorate and resulted in a "non-functioning circadian rhythm".

After efforts by social workers proved fruitless, the parents turned to the courts in hopes they could get help for their son through Sweden's Care of Young Persons Act (Lag med särskilda bestämmelser om vård av unga – LVU).

According to the statute, young people, generally between 12- and 21-years-old, can be taken out of their homes by social services and housed in facilities run by the National Board of Institutional Care.

Around 20,000 young people in Sweden are placed in special treatment homes each year, either due to family problems or because of their own behavioural problems, including criminal activity and addiction.

In its ruling, the court found that the 16-year-old's parents lacked the tools to deal with their son's computer gaming problems and thus ordered he be sent to a treatment home.

While the boy insists he is not addicted to computer games, a judge with the Malmö Administrative Court which ruled on the case disagreed.

"If playing computer games results in a person foregoing everything else, it's comparable to an addiction," Judge Ola Brändström told Metro.

Psychologist Owe Sandberg, one of Sweden's most prominent experts in gaming addiction, told the paper that he is contacted daily by distraught parents who are concerned about their children's gaming habits.

"The reward system is the same for World of Warcraft as it is for drugs," he told Metro, lamenting a lack of recognition of the problem by authorities in Sweden.

Most calls concern boys who are 16 or 17 and have dropped out of school as a result of their gaming.

"Some have this crazy notion that they can support themselves doing it, and they totally lose a grip on their lives," he told the paper.

Sandberg thinks computer gaming addiction should be a medical diagnosis of its own.

The case isn't the first time a Swedish teen has been sectioned for computer gaming addiction. In 2010, the Växjö Administrative Court ordered a 16-year-boy be placed in treatment after computer gaming caused him to skip school for several terms and he threatened to commit suicide.

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

10:40 October 24, 2012 by Grendel_T_Troll
Yes, this is tragic.....being addicted to a game is bad enough, but to waste your addiction fervor on a turd like World of Warcraft is shameful.......
11:09 October 24, 2012 by camsasuke
Gaming on a mac? Rookie move!
11:35 October 24, 2012 by reader
"In its ruling, the court found that the 16-year-old's parents lacked the tools to deal with their son's computer gaming problems and thus ordered he be sent to a treatment home."

"Lacked the tools to deal with their son's computer gaming problems"!

The tools have been taken away by the nanny state! It is impossible to discipline or control wayward children and young adults in Sweden because you'll get arrested and prosecuted on the say so of an irate youth! The parents are never believed.
12:10 October 24, 2012 by smilingjack
from someone who grew up and spent every cent playing galaga, tron etc and having a 12yo son I can understand the love of video games. but unlike me my son plays them at home. he would play halo and cod around the clock. we at least bought him portal 2 which he lapped up. yes there were tanties when he was restricted. if your going to have children you need to realise they need to be parented 24 hours a day. having children comes with responsibilities like massively reduced "indulging". end of story. and dishing out discipline!

we have a large very botanic block and when his 2 hour a day ( on weekends ) limit was reached he had to do the 2km run around the block for an extra hour or an hour of shovelling mulch and watering. no problems at all. that was for a bonus 2 hours. OK there is the added time bonus of dual game play with me:)

havent played world of warcraft and probably wont now.
13:11 October 24, 2012 by fakeempire
As someone who has been a gamer for nearly my whole life, I am glad I never truly became addicted. I was taught to put my priorities first and my reward was gaming.

So when I was in grade school, I always made sure to do my homework first and my chores. Then the evening was to gaming SNES, and then as the year progressed, Playstion, N64, etc. In High school, same thing though with PS2 and PC. When I started working in high school, I still gamed on the free time, but I never skipped a day of school or work just to play games (though I did end up gaming when I was sick). I even made it to Assistant Manager at Gamestop through college in the states before moving to Sweden. So gaming has been a huge part of life. I even met my husband through a game online (Dota) and now we play a lot of games together. (Reason I moved to Sweden).

But, like I said, work and chores first, then gaming second. We both work 8 hours a day, then come home, make dinner, then game for an hour or two. Sure I put some chores off for a couple hours or a day or two, but we always manage our lifestyle and that is how we are. It works for us!

Gaming is a hobby to me, it isn't an addiction. Though I see how it can become an addiction. It is really interesting when something of a hobby grows to an addiction. When and how? Anyways, I am glad this kid is getting help.
19:33 October 24, 2012 by Grokh
this looks more like bad parenting than anything else.
21:52 October 24, 2012 by dizzymoe33
How about taking the computer away and disciplining him by doing chores around the house or go volunteer at a hospital or and elderly care facility or pick up trash from around the neighborhood?!

Parents when you spread your legs to have some fun and make a baby by doing that guess what time to grow up and teach the kid some boundaries and responsibilities!!!
Today's headlines
Ikea to introduce 'green' vegetarian meatballs

Ikea to introduce 'green' vegetarian meatballs

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is planning to put vegetarian meatballs on the menu in an attempt to cut down on its carbon footprint, the company has announced. READ () »

Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

The Swedish government has proposed scrapping the 25-year span for repaying student loans, by suggesting those who attend higher education should keep paying the money back well into retirement. READ () »

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage
The crayfish cage in the picture is not the one mentioned in the story. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage

Police in eastern Sweden have launched a preliminary investigation of animal cruelty after two puppies were found drowned in a crayfish cage. READ () »

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party has stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
Advertisement:
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

729
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com