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Play Fetch or PlayStation?

It's easy to point a finger at video games when we're looking for a scapegoat to some of society's woes - obesity, violent tendencies, lack of social interaction. But can we really blame the GameBoy or the Wii for a decline in pet ownership?

When the Australian Companion Animals Council found the pet ownership was on the decline, the Australian Veterinary Association said that video games were part of the problem, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

"These days children interact more by playing computer games and less by going out there and throwing the ball to a dog," Kersti Seksel, president of the veterinary group, told the paper. "We need to learn people skills, physical skills, and sitting in the lounge room with a computer doesn't teach you that."

The doc was quick to point out that other factors - including dense urban housing with small yards - played a factor, as well.

Of course, the blogosphere is lighting up with snarky commentary about this link to games and the decline in pets. Some have chimed in about the iDog or Tamagochi as high-tech replacements for Fido. But one of the best lines, so far, comes from an entry on Joystiq: And while "you can't hug a computer," as the SMH article points out in the lede, you also don't have to take a computer out for walks. Man's best friend, indeed.

By Sam Diaz  |  March 8, 2007; 6:00 AM ET  | Category:  Sam Diaz
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I'd say the veterinarians are more to blame for any decline, at least in the U.S. Owning a pet is now too expensive.

Posted by: Chris | March 8, 2007 10:42 AM

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