AMA might label Internet as an addiction

June 22, 2007

The American Medical Association plans to vote on a recommendation to classify Internet and video-game addiction as a formal diagnosis.

The AMA said the heaviest game players are those who play MMORPGs -- massive multiplayer online role-playing games -- such as World of Warcraft. Those players are more likely to be socially isolated and probably addicted, The Orlando Sentinel said Thursday.

Steve Jones -- a communications professor at the University of Illinois and a research fellow with the Pew Internet and American Life Project -- said he is skeptical about calling it an addiction.

"Just because any activity might interfere with other activities is not enough to call it an addiction," he told the newspaper.

Jones said there have been concerns about technology dating back to the 1920s, when people were worried movies were causing children to spend too much time inside.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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