“You might find it alarming that one of the top reasons for college dropouts in the U.S. is online gaming addiction – such as World of Warcraft – which is played by 11 million individuals,” said FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate in an address at the Practicing Law Institute (reported by Game Politics).
Only one game was mentioned in her speech, and she made no comparisons to other factors that cause individuals to drop out…such as family hardship, and job offers. Her claims about online gaming came after making references to an unspecified survey in 2006.
The reason for this claim? Probably to scare people into supporting the administration’s agenda on digital rights managment. Just a week prior to the above speech Tate gave a speech saying “how important digital rights management methods,” such as watermarking and fingerprinting, “are to enabling” new methods of electronic distribution.
As a gaming community, I believe we should all be nervous when the head of the FCC cites online gaming addiction as a leading cause of dropouts, and then only cites one specific game in the process.