Psychiatrist Examines Effects of Video Game Play on Children

New Book Explores Psychological, Social, Physical and Educational Issues

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A Guide for Parents

Games have lots of benefits, which unfortunately, parents aren't always aware of when the only games they're exposed to are the controversial violent ones targeted to more mature players

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) January 7, 2009

Since the advent of faster game consoles, more realistic artwork and longer game play, two things have occurred in the video game market: it has grown into a record $1.7 billion industry, and the heated debate among the media, parents' groups, law makers, and game companies, over what effect videos games have on children - has gotten even hotter.

A new book, Video Game Play and Addiction: A Guide for Parents (iUniverse) aims to clarify both sides of the controversy, while offering the definitive assessment of video games' impact on children, including on their physical and emotional health, and educational and social development.

Written by Dr. Kourosh Dini, a Chicago-based psychiatrist known for his work with children, adolescents and adults, Video Game Play and Addiction provides advice for parents overwhelmed and under informed about the games their children play. Dr. Dini's solutions are based on years of personal and professional research, interviews and an almost endless supply of resource material documenting both the good and not-so-favorable.

"Games have lots of benefits, which unfortunately, parents aren't always aware of when the only games they're exposed to are the controversial violent ones targeted to more mature players," says Dr. Dini. "Age appropriate multi-player video games can allow children to learn how other people think - a key aspect of empathy. Games can also help a child become more comfortable with new and ever progressing technology."

Video Game Play and Addiction is the first book of its kind covering children and game play: its author is both a psychiatrist and a long-timer gamer - and it's this background that enables him to provide parents with a unique perspective on video game issues. This perspective also serves as a foundation for some of the most cohesive solutions offered today.

While discussing the various game genres in an engaging and parent-friendly manner, Dr. Dini shines the spotlight on many topics ranging from; improved learning and communications skills, emotional and mental health, aggression, motivational and withdrawal issues.

Of particular interest to parents will be Dr. Dini's discussion on the topic of video game addiction. Though pundits and talk show hosts have been quick to categorize extended periods of game play as 'dangerously addictive', the American Medical Association (AMA) is reluctant to define video game addiction as a mental illness. Earlier this year they concluded that more time was needed for study and research of the topic before making a determination on a problem that affects a mere 10 percent of all gamers. Nonetheless, 'problematic' game play is covered here in great detail as Dr. Dini provides a comprehensive review of the warning signs, causes and consequences of such behavior. "To be sure, there are those who play problematically. Learning how to tell the difference can be critical toward promoting healthy development."

The book further demystifies and explains the video game industry's voluntary Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings, making it easier for more age appropriate and assured game rentals and purchases.

Intended for primarily for parents, media writers, legislators and medical professionals, Video Game Play and Addiction will also benefit gamers and others interested in learning more about keeping game play responsible, safe, stimulating and fun.

Video Game Play and Addiction: A Guide for Parents is available through iUniverse.com, Amazon.com, and http://www.videogameplayandaddiction.com, for $15.95 retail.

About the Author
Dr. Kourosh Dini is an author, classically-trained pianist, composer, and Chicago area psychiatrist specializing in work with children, adolescents and adults. He received his MD from the University of Illinois at Chicago where he also completed his adult psychiatric residency. The topic of gaming was a central thesis in his Child and Adolescent Fellowship training at the University of Chicago. Currently, he continues his therapeutic training at Chicago's Institute for Psychoanalysis.

His interest in video games goes back 20 years beginning with Super Mario Brothers and Mortal Combat, continuing through Myst, Doom, the World of Warcraft series, and to the Grand Theft Auto series and Fallen 3.

Dr. Dini's lifelong interest in virtual worlds recently ascended to exciting new levels with the introduction of live, Video Game Play and Addiction-related seminars within the hugely popular, Second Life game (secondlife.com).

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