Ben Alexander was addicted to World of Warcraft and spent nearly every waking minute playing the MMORPG.
"At first, it was a couple of hours a day," Alexander said in an AP story. "By midway through the first semester, I was playing 16 or 17 hours a day."
As a result of his time sunk into the game, Alexander dropped out of the University of Iowa in his second semester and went to seek help. He originally found – and completed – a 10-week outdoors-based program in Utah, but felt that he hadn't yet shaken his WoW addiction.
Alexander eventually discovered a special center in Fall City, WA that deals with pathological computer use. The center, called ReSTART, offers a 45-day program costing $14,000 to help those addicted to internet, video games, texting, social networks, online auctions and other technological time-killers quit "cold turkey."
ReSTART is now providing Alexander with counseling and psychotherapy sessions, along with opportunities to do household chores, exercising, baking cookies, among other things.
"I don't think I'll go back to 'World of Warcraft' anytime soon," Alexander said.