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Round Up: Gaijinworks, WoW Bans, Dutch Clinic Swamped

Today's Gamasutra round-up includes news of a new company named Gaijinworks formed by the former head of Working Designs, Blizzard banning 59,000 World of Warcraft...
Today's Gamasutra round-up includes news of a new company named Gaijinworks formed by the former head of Working Designs, Blizzard banning 59,000 World of Warcraft accounts, and a Dutch clinic devoted to helping video game addiction being overwhelmed by those requesting its help, as well as the latest GameSetWatch posts, product news, Serious Games Source news, and Gamasutra job postings. - Victor Ireland, former head of veteran U.S. import-game publisher Working Designs, announced on the company's website in mid-December 2005 that the company best known for the localization of RPGs such as those from the Lunar and Growlanser series had closed its doors for the last time. However, internet rumors have begun to circulate that Ireland has started his own video game company called Gaijinworks. While the company's website offers little more than a logo at the present, consumer website 1up has confirmed that the site itself was registered on January 30, 2006 by Ireland. No official announcement regarding the company has been released, however. - Following earlier accounts by Blizzard of mass banning of accounts within its popular massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) World of Warcraft, the company announced this week that it banned a total of 59,000 accounts in the month of June alone, a move that resulted in the removal of 22 million gold from the game. According to a post on the game's official forums: “While we regret having to take such extreme action, these accounts were participating in activities that directly violated World of Warcraft's Terms of Use, including the use of third-party programs to farm gold and items. Such behavior not only negatively impacts the economy of a realm, it diminishes the achievements of those who play legitimately. We will continue to aggressively monitor all World of Warcraft realms in order to protect the service and our players from the harmful effects of cheating.” - A new report from The Australian has indicated that a new Dutch clinic founded to assist those individuals suffering from video game addiction has been “overwhelmed” with requests for help. "It's amazing, I've never seen anything like it," said Keith Bakker, the American director of the Smith & Jones clinic in Amsterdam. "The phone has been ringing constantly. Computer game addiction is obviously an even greater problem than we imagined." The report noted that the issue of video game addiction is seen as a serious problem in South Korea and China, where game players have died from exhaustion after exceedingly long gaming marathons. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister weblog GameSetWatch include an initial report from Shanghai by Gamasutra Editorial Director Simon Carless, a little physics-enabled game called Rocky the Monkey, and gaming in Second Life. - Also updated today: Serious Games Source news, including news of a doctor using video games to treat ADHD, plus Gamasutra product news including Viviendi Games agreeing to use AI.implant and UserJoy to use BigWorld's MMO technology suite, plus the latest Gamasutra job postings, featuring openings from Deep Fried Entertainment, Destineer, Disney Buena Vista Games, Havok.Com, High Moon Studios, Longtail Studios, LucasArts, Monolith Productions, Retro Studios, and Torus Games.

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