BBC prepares to investigate the addictive properties of videogames

“Addicted to Games?” program set to “reveal the hidden psychological devices in games”

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Panorama, a BBC investigative television show, is preparing to turn its lens towards videogames and the gamers who are hopelessly addicted to them. Titled ‘Addicted to Games?,’ the next episode will feature “youngsters who’ve dropped out of school and university to play games for anything up to 21 hours a day.” Reporter Raphael Rowe will also be meeting with “leading experts calling for more independent research into this controversial subject,” and just might score himself the scoop of the century when he “reveals the hidden psychological devices in games that are designed to keep us coming back for more.” We wonder if it has anything to do with them being fun?

Above: Investigating the "addictive psychological devices in games" (aka graphics and sound)

We’d hate to judge ‘Addicted to Games?’ before we’ve seen it, but the episode’s official description reeks of the selective viewing and fear mongering we’re now accustomed to anytime the games industry finds itself in the spotlight of the mainstream media. It’ll be interesting to see if Panorama reporters will investigate the addictive properties of games based on popular BBC shows, like Top Gear and Doctor Who for the iPhone. Oh wait, we guess they’ll only be looking at good games.

‘Addicted to Games?’ is scheduled to air on Monday, December 6 on BBC One. It’s an especially fitting date for the show to air, just one day before the worldwide release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.


Dec 1, 2010