Staff of the VF Clinic presenting at the recent DAW 2010 Symposium in Xi’an, China. Photo: Rasmus Vuori.
In public forums we often get questions about whether and how we hope to cure Internet addiction. Sometimes, and now is again one of those times, we are put in the midst of questions about the legitimacy of our entire project. First, since we are in the process of clinical trials, we do not know if Virta-Flaneurazine is an effective treatment for Internet addiction or WDD (Wanderlust Deficit Disorder), only that we have designed the drug study to address these issues. We are also well aware that Internet addiction, as a disorder, is itself a question. If there is a doubt raised by treating a disease with something of the same order, we need only look at the concept of inoculation.
If the question is whether this study is a hoax, as has been raised on Digg.com and sluniverse.com in the last day or so, We would have to answer clearly, no. We are Artist/Doctors. We have an actual programmable drug that works if you follow the proper procedures. When we have put the clinics into operation, three times in the past years, and all documented on this blog, we have interviewed scores of clinical volunteers who have taken VF in our guided presence. We have tried to conduct things in a manner that conforms to the highest clinical standards.
If the question is about the morality of introducing drugs to the virtual world, as was particularly raised in our past interview by W Radio from Bogotá, Colombia (see “Reality Addiction” blog entry), we need only respond by pointing out that gaming programs such as Grand Theft Auto allow users to steal cars and kill people willy-nilly. The very goal of VF is not mayhem and social disorder, but release from increasingly habitual virtual daily habits.
If the question is about the relationship of virtual and real lives we need only look at online stock market fluctuations and economies or gaming modules and military drones. These days, what happens in the virtual world, happens in the real world.