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"Dangers of Internet Gaming"

Posted May 24, 2007 by Keith Cross

"Dangers of Internet Gaming"

Philadelphia's 6-ABC has posted a video report titled "Dangers of Internet Gaming" covering the topic of game addiction. The report begins on the sensationalist end of the spectrum with a few stories of gaming obsession, but toward the end offers some reasonable advice for gamers and parents on how to moderate behavior and avoid the pitfalls of addiction.

But Elizabeth Woolley says a game similar to World of Warcraft, called Everquest, didn't just cause her 21 year-old son to become a recluse. She believes it contributed to his suicide. "He was sitting there in front of the computer on his chair with the Everquest game on it and he had a rifle," said Woolley.

Woolley says her son, Shawn, played Everquest constantly, stopped taking his ADD and epilepsy medicine, quit his job and cut off his phone, basically ending all communication with his friends and family. "I guess my big thing is my anger towards the gaming companies because they are using this as a drug and they're getting their own customers addicted for money," said Woolley.

But Dudley is skeptical video games could cause anyone to commit suicide. "Millions of people play these games every day and they don't have a problem, but some are missing that connection with real life," said Dudley.

Dudley says children or adults who become obsessed with video games often have a history of struggling with depression or anxiety. The game, she says, is simply a catalyst, similar to drugs, alcohol or gambling.

Dudley says parents can help prevent problem playing by setting boundaries. Limit the amount of time per day a child is in front of the computer or TV.

Read more and watch the report here.

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