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Video-game overuse needs more study: doctors

The American Medical Association called for more research into the public health risks of video and Internet games on Wednesday but stopped short of declaring them addictive.
/ Source: Reuters

The American Medical Association called for more research into the public health risks of video and Internet games on Wednesday but stopped short of declaring them addictive.

The AMA, which recommended a review of the current video game rating system, also said it would leave it up the American Psychiatric Association and other experts to decide whether video game addiction should be designated a mental illness.

"While more study is needed on the addictive potential of video games, the AMA remains concerned about the behavioral, health and societal effects of video game and Internet overuse," said AMA president Dr. Ronald Davis.

The AMA's debate over video game addiction at the group's annual meeting touched a nerve among doctors, who are not sure what to tell patients and worried parents.

"To the extent that a game is controlling someone's behaviors and taking over their daily life, then you are talking about a compulsive use, whether you categorize it in a psychiatric manual or not," Davis told reporters at a news briefing.