FCC: World of Warcraft causes college dropouts

The other day we talked about how World of Warcraft was being blamed for failing grades in college students. Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate has gone one step further, claiming that WoW and other online games are directly responsible for students dropping out altogether.

“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,” Tate said in a speech to the Practicing Law Institute. “But surveys show just the opposite: 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.

“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.”

Tate provides no real evidence of her claim, but we’ve also seen what happens to people who let their lives be dominated by an MMO’s wily charms. While I find it hard to believe that huge swathes of people are dropping out purely to play Warcraft, I wouldn’t be surprised if it had a hand in a few educations getting flushed away. As always, however, this is less Blizzard’s fault and more the fault of whoever made the decision to let a computer game control them.

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James Stephanie Sterling
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