Well, almost. The AMA still needs to do more research, but they sound close to making excessive video gaming “a formal psychiatric addiction.” I almost cannot contain the laughter.

But it is not funny. Listen to this poor child:

Jacob Schulist, 14, of Hales Corners, Wis., says he’s certain he was addicted to video games and that the AMA’s vote was misguided.

Until about two months ago, when he discovered a support group called On-Line Gamers Anonymous, Jacob said he played online fantasy video games for 10 hours straight some days.

He said his habit got so severe that he quit spending time with family and friends.

“My grades were horrible, I failed the entire first semester” this past school year because of excessive video-game playing, he said. “It’s like they’re your life.”

Poor guy! If he had only known the dangers of Play Station, perhaps he would be a happy little guy who liked to read instead. Maybe excessive compliance on the part of parents should be included as a psychiatric illness too.

We’re almost there – we have almost made laziness a nationally recognized illness. Ha! I knew I was not responsible for being irresponsible.

What will be even more interesting is if we do with a Play Station what we have to do with a package of cigarettes: Warning Labels. “The Surgeon General states that using this device for more than thirty minutes at a time may be addictive and hazardous to your mental health.” Huh, I’ve been saying that for years. Why didn’t they ask me?

Really, it isn’t funny. Consider this statistic from the AMA:

“The AMA’s report says up to 90 percent of American youngsters play video games and that up to 15 percent of them more than 5 million kids might be addicted.”

With their keen insight and sharp scientific naturalistic methodology, the AMA’s Council on Science and Public Health wisely learned:

“dependence-like behaviors are more likely in children who start playing video games at younger ages.”

Listen, you should be very thankful for this landmark research and the slight hesitancy of the AMA to not act too hastily in making video gaming an outright illness just yet. As the chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Chicago’s Rush Medical Center says, “They’re trying very hard not to make a premature diagnosis.” Thank goodness.

But wait. If you are like me in thinking that the AMA has just wasted a lot of time and money to come up with a medical excuse for laziness, consider other work this austere group came up with on the final day of their annual policy meeting:

Voted to have the AMA support government policies requiring fast-food restaurant chains to provide menus detailing nutritional information including calories, fat and sodium content. A key way to fighting the obesity epidemic “is that people know what they’re eating,” Pardon me, I did see Super Size Me. I think I do know what I’m eating. AND, when I’m hankering for a quick burger and fries from Carl’s Jr., I’m probably not going to take the time to check the fat intake levels.

Brilliant.

But wait there is more – consider the depths of research and years of specialized training it took to come up with this:

Recommended more research on a potential link between high fructose corn syrup and obesity. A measure had sought to have the AMA seek government restrictions on the popular sweetener and food labels declaring that excessive consumption of it may lead to obesity.

– Really? If I eat too much sugar, I’m going to get fat? Perish the thought!

Here’s one more for the road. I’m sooo glad they caught this one:

Rejected a move to lobby for limits on the noise levels of in-ear headphones used with iPods and other music-playing devices. A resolution supporting limits said devices with in-ear headphones can generate sound well above 100 decibels more noise than a chain saw makes and levels that have been linked with permanent hearing loss. AMA delegates voted instead to seek more research on the issue.

I noticed that something was starting to happen with my hearing. I have to turn The Albert Mohler Radio Podcast up so loud in my iPod while working out at the gym (in order to drown out the 80’s disco music), that I was wondering if it was having any adverse affects on my mental health. However, the jury is still out on this one. It still needs more research.

Thank you AMA for this kind of research.

If this is the type of stuff the pre-video game, fast-food inventing, almost-but-not-quite obese, pre-iPod generation has come up with, what illness will their children diagnose when they grow up to serve society through the AMA? I bet they say excessive blogging is a mental illness too.

I need a burger and a High fructose Coca-cola.

Too much video gaming not addiction, yet – Yahoo! News

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