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Brookfield Basics

A column about history, culture, policy, and things in between.

Video Games and Health Care for Wisconsin

Put this one in your “You can’t make this stuff up” file.

Just over one month ago, the esteemed American Medical Association decided by the narrowest of margins, that it should NOT classify the excessive playing of video games as a psychiatric addiction.  This decision was taken after much debate of an AMA generated report, which strongly argued that young people who spend inordinate amounts of time playing video games actually suffer from a “psychiatric addiction”.  The AMA called for “more research” into this question. 

To this level we have arrived – that a matter of laziness and self-discipline is, at the highest levels of medical science, seriously considered to be a “psychiatric addiction”.

An area youth was quoted as being critical of the Association’s decision, saying he was “certain” that this behavior was an addiction, and adding, “my grades were horrible; I failed the entire first semester.  It’s like they’re your life”.

I have no doubt that this teen’s grades were horrible, and that his video game habit “became like his life”.  But to hide behind the cloak of a supposed psychiatric addiction, rather than face up to his behavioral problem, is ridiculous to the point of being surreal.

So why should you care if someone else’s kid plays video games for ten plus hours a day, as this youth claims to have done?

Well normally you might not.  But under the umbrella of universal health care, a decision by the AMA to classify such tripe as an addiction could soon have us all paying for the “treatment” of such addictions.

And why not?

It certainly couldn’t be an issue of individual responsibility.  And it certainly couldn’t be his parents’ fault.

The lad just has an addiction.

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