US physicians urge game-ratings overhaul

Earlier this week, the American Physiatrists Association tabled a resolution to "strongly encourage" the "inclusion of 'Internet/video game addiction' as a formal diagnostic disorder." That wasn't the end of the story, though. Now, the APA's parent organization, the American Medical Association, has called for further research on games' effects--and a reexamination of one of the game industry's central institutions. Today, the AMA's Council on Science and Public Health issued a revised edition of a report first commissioned at last year's annual AMA meeting. Originally titled "Emotional and Behavioral Effects, Including Addictive Potential, of Video Games," the report is now called "Emotional and Behavioral Effects of Video Game and Internet Overuse."

Citing government studies, medical findings, and surveys commissioned by the Entertainment Software Association, the game industry's own lobby, the report came to several conclusions. Though it did say games can play a "potentially positive role" in society, the report outlined how the AMA is becoming increasingly worried about the effects of gaming on health. "The [game] industry's predisposition toward age-inappropriate imaging and marketing techniques has led to concerns about untoward side effects, ranging from physical symptoms, such as seizures and tendonitis, to socially maladaptive behaviors, such as increased short-term aggressiveness and overuse syndromes," the report said.

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News source: Gamespot

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