FCC: School Dropouts are due to WoW

According to the FCC Chairman and several members of academia, World of Warcraft and other video games are detrimental to college students everywhere.

The controversy started at the University of Minnesota’s Duluth campus, where an academic adviser noted of a frightening trend he was beginning to see. “I accused one of them of coming in loaded from smoking dope, he looked so bad,” said adviser Vince Repesh of a troubled student who came into his office. In reality, the student was up all night playing video games. According to Repesh, the student in question had gone from straight A’s to F’s in many of his classes over the period of a year. “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.

Mr. Repesh isn’t the only one at the institution who believes gaming is a real issue for today’s student. “These are very, very bright kids, and if you can’t get them back on track, you’ve lost a lot of potential,” said UMD Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin.

The story has now caught the attention of FCC Chairman Deborah Taylor Tate, who views Duluth’s problem as something that is now affecting students throughout the country. "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," said Martin. According to the chairman, surveys from 2006 have shown that 59 percent of parents think the internet has been a totally positive influence on their children. This number is down from 67 percent in 2004.

"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."

While Warcraft may be the easiest target because of its high number of players, the issue is easily one that applies to any and all online games, which have existed since the mid 1990s for computers and the early part of the decade for consoles.

  • Pei-chen
    Not new; this is why I don't play MMO.
  • America's secondary public schools do a very poor job of preparing students for the vast amount of freedom and decision-making that they suddenly find in college. The answer isn't to limit those freedoms as young adults, but rather to do a better job preparing them for a world where they can spend 28 hours straight gaming, but shouldn't.
  • wasteoftime
    You think that it's the public school's job to prepare students for the eventual freedom they will experience? Why not poor parenting? Is it really an educational institution's role to teach people how to spend their time wisely?

  • hemelskonijn
    Those kids fuck up there live because they dont have a live give them one and the problem will be solved.
    I played WoW since day one and i played all GuildWars campaigns ...
    For years i played all Final Fantasy games and loads of RPG's and a smaller load of other games like starcraft.
    still i never missed out on anything important and i dont have any problem with not logging in for a while.

    But than again i DO have a live...
  • "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."


    I would really like to see where this stat came from....Sounds more like an opinion / attack to me. I dont play WoW, but I play a lot of other MMO's and games. If someone isn't smart enough to put the game down to go to class, then they really aren't as "bright" as Mrs. Kathryn A. Martin says they are huh?
  • snotling
    Well, the good looking ones have sex and drugs, now there is an alternative for the nerdy and the ugly ones to waste their lives!
    There should be some sort of account limitator that refuse connexion after let's say... 4h in one day, with some sort of 1-3 hour bonus time if you haven't played for a few days or a higher limit on weekends, maybe 8 hours.
    Of course even with limits, real addicts would open multiple accounts to get their fix but would a parent accept TWO subscriptions per month on their credit card?
  • Why is everyone pointing the finger at video games? Why cant the individuals be responsible?!?!?! Thats like saying its the drugs fault that celebrities overdose, or its the pens fault you incorrectly spelled a word. Come on people! CAll a spade a sapde already! Stop shifting blame to where the blame is not supposed to be. Its these damn kids faults not the games, they cant bridle their passions and regulate their appetites. That is the fault of the individual and not the game.........
  • This is why I stopped playing MMOs. I lost so many days of my life eplaying Dark Age of Camelot. Thankfully I wouldnt play while I was at college. That was more because I didn't want to be called a nerd. But man when I 2was home for the summer how many hours I lost playing again. This is why I didn't pickup Warhammer. I work for a living now and just plain cannot afford to do it with my time. These games are funner than anything but way too time consuming to be
  • eccentric909
    I play WoW.. have been for 4 years now, so does my son. I'm in my 30's, he just became a teenager. I've held the same job doing web site and server administration for well over 7 years now, for a leading Fortune 50 company (not 500, but 50). I'm a single father, with sole custody of my child, who receives 0 child support. My son gets mostly As in school, with a few Bs here and there. He's missed 1 day of school this year, which was due to snow. I've not missed any work, except for planned vacation days and a personal day here and there. My live-in girlfriend also plays WoW with us and it is actually a very fun family activity, where we all interact together and enjoy ourselves. She goes to college and doesn't miss school due to some "need" to play an MMO.

    You can control your online gaming, or any other online habits quite easily. Unlike addiction to drugs or alcohol, where the disease can eat you up and spit you out, "addiction" to gaming is a joke and requires just a bit of self-discipline. If you notice yourself starting to fall behind or losing motivation to work or go to school, because of gaming, then you stop. People who compare an "addiction" to gaming to a real physical addiction to drugs or alcohol, give me a pretty hearty laugh.

    Blaming lack of self-discipline on a video game is the very wrong direction to take on the matter. Perhaps if the parents of these kids, didn't just use the TV/PC/Gaming Console as a baby-sitter and actually interacted with the kids, perhaps play some of these games with their children, or actually set some limits on their play time and show them self-discipline through example.. there most likely wouldn't be as big of a "problem" as this article tries state there is.

    Sure, the schools could help set an example as well, but this falls squarely on the shoulders of the parents and no one else.
  • frozenlead
    It sounds like somebody's kid isn't disciplined, and they're searching for a scapegoat.

    a: "Who killed him?"
    b: "The gun! I swear, it was the gun! I was just holding it."