The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

28 June 2007

Okay, maybe you're not an addict

The AMA reserves the right to decide if maybe that's a lie, though:

The American Medical Association on Wednesday backed off calling excessive video-game playing a formal psychiatric addiction, saying instead that more research is needed.

A report prepared for the AMA's annual policy meeting had sought to strongly encourage that video-game addiction be included in a widely used diagnostic manual of psychiatric illnesses.

AMA delegates instead adopted a watered-down measure declaring that while overuse of video games and online games can be a problem for children and adults, calling it a formal addiction would be premature.

Nintendo is reportedly working on a new Wiimote that simulates backpedaling.

And what of the "victims"?

Despite a lack of scientific proof, Jacob Schulist, 14, of Hales Corners, Wis., says he's certain he was addicted to video games — and that the AMA's vote was misguided. Until about two months ago, when he discovered a support group called On-Line Gamers Anonymous, Jacob said he played online fantasy video games for 10 hours straight some days. He said his habit got so severe that he quit spending time with family and friends.

And who better to judge an addiction than a 14-year-old?

Says Lileks:

News flash! Teen boy avoids family for computer games! While we're glad the kid found help, you have to be amused by the name of the organization: On-Line Gamers Anonymous. Not to dismiss their good works and good intentions, but which online gamer isn't anonymous? Unless your given name actually is DragonKilr0492 Ninth Level Wizard of Mordor Peterson.

"My friends call me Deek," says Peterson.

I expect at least one person will be amused by all this posturing.

Posted at 7:38 AM to Dyssynergy