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FCC Commissioner Says Gaming Addiction a Leading Cause of College Drop-outs

BOOM widget 58322 A Federal Communications Commissioner has said that online gaming addiction is a "top reason" for college drop-outs, using World of Warcraft as an example in a recent speech to the Practicing Law Institute.

"You might find it alarming that one of the top reasons for college drop-outs in the U.S. is online gaming addiction--such as World of Warcraft--which is played by 11 million individuals worldwide," said the FCC's Deborah Taylor Tate, according to GamePolitics.

Tate prefaced her gaming-related comment by declaring: "With the explosion of educational resources available online, one might think parents would be 100% pleased with the internet's role in their children's lives. But a late 2006 survey that showed 59% of parents think the internet has been a totally positive influence in their children's lives--down from 67% in 2004."

GamePolitics notes that the connection between World of Warcraft and college drop-out rates has been made before, not to mention this week. A Sunday report in the Duluth News-Tribune quotes a University of Minnesota Duluth student adviser Vince Rapesh on the issue:

UMD academic adviser Vince Repesh worked with two students last year whose grades had plummeted from straight-A's to F's after months of playing World of Warcraft.

"I accused one of them of coming in loaded from smoking dope, he looked so bad," Repesh said. But the student had been up all night playing a computer game.

During freshman orientation this year, three of the 70 students Repesh talked to in groups about computer use had been to counseling for problematic gaming, one because he was too competitive to stop.

"I tell parents during talks, I believe it's one of the hidden causes for kids to fail that nobody knows about it," he said.