Posts Tagged ‘Panorama’

Editorial: Panorama – Addicted To Games?

It's strange that they feel it's okay to keep using this name for the programme.

Timed to coincide with tonight’s release of World Of Warcraft’s Cataclysm, BBC 1’s Panorama tonight covered the topic of videogame addiction. I have always approached the subject of gaming addiction with great seriousness, because it’s my belief that if gaming is inherently harmful, I want to know about it, and I want to warn others who game. And I want to approach the subject with appropriate scrutiny, and with evidence-based understanding. It’s something I expect of others when they approach the subject. It was not present tonight. It was astonishing. An openly ignorant series of anecdotes and half-truths, forming a dangerous, lazy treatment of a serious subject.

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What Is The Truth About Gaming Addiction?

What is the truth about gaming addiction?

In response to tonight’s episode of Panorama, and the accompanying discussion of the subject at the moment, I’m reprinting an article I wrote in 2007 about the subject of gaming addiction. Originally written for PC Gamer, my intention was to explore the subject from an investigative angle, rather than as an attempt to prove an agenda of either side. Sadly, I’ve yet to see another piece approaching the subject in the same way in the years since. In the hope of throwing out a little evidence at this time, I’m re-posting it below. Clearly this is three years out of date now. The most crucial change since it was written is Keith Bakker’s complete reversal of his beliefs given at the time, now no longer recognising compulsive gaming as addiction, and no longer treating it. This change has a significant impact upon how the piece is read.

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Panoramadrama: BBC vs Games Addiction

An addicted child, yesterday

Across the internet, a wave of worried grumbling. It’s one thing when terribly shlocky UK TV stations like ITV gun for games, but when the generally more sober BBC announces an upcoming episode of its documentary series Paranorama will investigate “hidden psychological devices in games that are designed to keep us coming back for more,” things get a little more troubling.

Of course, no-one knows what the show will actually decide about games.
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