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Diagnosis: Video game addict

Gaming on a PlayStation Portable

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: This country's psychiatrists publish a manual to help them diagnose and treat mental illness. Doctors are considering adding video game addiction to the manual. Could that have an impact on the industry? Here's Alisa Roth:


Alisa Roth: The 10-page report from the American Medical Association committee compares addictive video games to gambling. It says excessive time spent playing video games can lead to social dysfunction or disruption.

Declan McCullough, who writes about video games for Cnet, says the best games really are addictive, at least proverbially, with interesting plots and realistic graphics.

Declan McCullough: So I can't see the video game industry dramatically changing the way they do things as a result.

He says he can imagine a surgeon general's warning on video games reminding people that playing for eight hours straight could be harmful to their health.

But, he says, all that game playing often has a happy ending, social disruption be damned.

Some of the captains of industry in Silicon Valley today were what might now be called video games addicts. Video games were what got them hooked on computers and it turned out to be a career path for them.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a game to get back to.

In New York, I'm Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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