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Videogame pluses, minuses

One psychologist says gaming can be very effective for stress-reduction in both kids and adults. They’re not chemically altering anything, and the sustained focus of attention can be good, Boston College psychology professor Joseph Tecce told the New Bedford [Mass.] Standard-Times (he recommends videogame play for kids with ADD). Indeed, one 30-year-old dad and avid gamer said he doesn’t relax by going out drinking or driving drunk, he chooses to stay home with his family (but see “Cellphones disconnect us?” about “absent presence”). Professor Tecce stresses moderation, saying the difference between stress relief and obsession is the amount of time spent. And of course it falls on parents to set the time limits where young gamers are concerned. For a psychiatrist’s perspective, see “A Virtual World of Their Own,” by Jerald Block, MD. Meanwhile, the state of West Virginia is placing the game Dance Dance Revolution in all 765 of the state’s public schools, reports – to fight the “obesity epidemic” among West Virginia youth.

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