A Day at the First Video Game Rehab Clinic in the US
I'm somewhere in the hushed hinterlands beyond Bellevue and Redmond, Washington, the hometowns of Nintendo of America, Microsoft Game Studios, Valve, Sony Online Entertainment (Sony’s MMO studio), Bungie, Sucker Punch, and perhaps dozens of other game developers whose creative works enthrall millions.
This part of Fall City is so rural there aren’t even houses lining the streets, only a silent density of evergreens that occasionally yawned open to reveal gravel roads with Dead End signs posted at their entrances. Such was the road leading down to Heavensfield, the name of the five acre, ranch-like estate home to reSTART, the first in-patient treatment facility devoted exclusively to video game and internet addiction.
I don’t have a car, so my friend Corey, with his piercing-eyed toddler strapped into the backseat, drove me the 30 or so miles east from Seattle to reSTART's center. It's here that we're greeted by Dr. Hilarie Cash, reSTART’s co-founder and executive director, who tells us about her patients.