Video Game :: AMA takes action on video games

US’ physicians call for more research on the appropriate use of video games and increased monitoring by parents.

Given that approximately 70 to 90 percent of U.S. youths play video games, the American Medical Association (AMA) called for more research on the long-term beneficial and detrimental effects of video game and Internet use, as well as a review of the current video game ratings system.

To spur additional study, the AMA will submit the full report and recommendations to the American Psychiatric Association and other appropriate medical specialty societies for review and consideration in conjunction with the upcoming revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

?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 Ronald M. Davis, M.D., AMA President. ?We urge parents to closely monitor their children?s use of video games and the Internet.?

The AMA also called for a review of the current video game ratings systems. The current ratings system for video games has been in place since 1994. Research from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Surgeon General, links children?s exposure to media violence with increases in aggressive and violent behavior. Concern about this system?s effectiveness in alerting parents to violence and age appropriate content has led to attempts at both the federal and state levels to enact regulation of video game content and to better control the sale of inappropriate video games to minors.

?We would like to see a ratings system that better alerts parents to the content of the video game and recommended age of the player, so they can decide whether or not their child should be playing it,? said Dr. Davis. ?Parents need to more closely monitor and restrict the types of video games their children are playing and buying, and a clear rating system would help them do that.?

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