I’m pretty sure by now you will have all heard about the Panorama show exposing video game addiction, it’s presence in Britain and more international examples, and what an awful show of journalism it was. I am not going to spend much time attacking the show but will instead explain the major problem with videogame addictions.
The journalist presenting this show, was clearly not educated in the industry which he was investigating. This was shown by his comment made about the Starcraft II release where he couldn’t ‘believe how many people are here to buy a game’ and then seconds later said that the videogame industry in Britain is worth £3 billion. If you could not work out that a lot of people buy video games from that then your journalistic ability to collect information and interpret correctly to show the case is clearly tainted. By the time they began to interview the experts on the case they neglected to give them enough time to fully explain their studies.
It was noted that video game designers know methods of how to keep people playing, and they do, and they should. Video game designers need to sell games, they need to make something people want to play, and will keep playing. This is both because it triggers enjoyment in people, and people are simplistic, and because if people keep playing they will buy further products from the game developers. I suppose on the same note we should ban loyalty cards at restaurants and shops as they increase the amount of times we will go and get a products from these places (shown from studies) which is wrong according to Panorama.
A lot of cases of individuals were highlighted and while it was said a few times it was never really expressed by the presenter. Those with addictions had other underlying mental health issues: depression, addictive personalities and other such things were mentioned. This was the major point that is fundamental when understanding psychological addictions. There is a reason for these addictions and with looking at that you are not doing it any justice.
I’ve personally been called addicted to video games, and I would describe mine as being obsessive. I have an obsessive personality, I will stay awake for hours at night when a problem is presented that I can’t solve, if I am enthralled in a book I will read it a lot (I read the last three Harry Potter’s in a day each) and when I want to complete something in a video game I will really want to complete it. I had the problem with MW2 as I was trying to bump my KDR (Kill Death Ratio) as for the first 4 months of the game I was rubbish and only on a 0.7 but in the next 4 months pushed it to a 1.3. It took so long as by the time I was at 0.7 I had 30,000 kills. To get it higher I needed to pull it up I needed a lot of kills. Why did I want this higher KDR? Because I enjoyed seeing it increase. There are random things that other people like.
Some people like watching Soap Operas, others listen to songs or read comics for simple amusement. Some things just make people happier or feel good.
Does Video Game Addiction exist? Probably. Does it need more research? Definitely. Is it a major threat to our country? Not really. Was this TV mocumentary a farce? Yes.