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Games industry representative vaguely calls for more research into video game addiction

Although addiction to technology and games is not currently recognized as a clinical condition, the consequences can be dire, and some believe that the addiction is serious enough to merit inclusion in the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  

Andy Paine, chairman of the association for UK Interactive Entertainment, isn’t as convinced. He told BBC’s Newsbeat, "[t]he word 'addiction' is quite emotive. If we're talking about clinical addiction - proven to be something that people want as a dependency - then we have to look at the evidence and the research."  He further argued that games have many redeeming qualities and made a loose and open-ended commitment to funding research on the issue.

Dozens of studies and experts have released statistics and spoken about the severity of the issue of addiction, with a defined focus on online multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft and StarCraft II. Payne’s lip service to the problem may be a step in the right direction, but is it enough? Should the games industry step up and address addiction more seriously?

Even Xeroxed procedural cop shows are sounding off - we hope a bit more research will help pop-culture avoid nonsense like this (though it is hilarious to watch!):

Sources: BBCScience Daily 

Oct 4, 2010

33 comments

  • Gameguy94 - October 5, 2010 10:39 p.m.

    I love the picture! Cocaine hero!
  • Vulneratus - October 5, 2010 1:58 p.m.

    Hmmm... This might garner me a lot of hate but I don't think its right to utterly dismiss the idea of videogames being potentially addictive. Yes, that clip is retarded, yes, the mainstream media's coverage of the issue is ill-informed and eschewed at best and reprehensible nonsense at worst and yes, for the vast majority of gamers out there it simply isn't an issue. However, videogames by their very nature, and MMOs in particular, are immersive to a point where they can offer the player unparalleled escapism. Escapism of this potency can, when a person is psychologically predisposed towards escapism (from a variety of factors eg. lifestyle, tragedy in a family, depression, etc etc.), become extremely addictive. And their standard of living can suffer as a result. One things for sure, its more complex than it appears, and with games only becoming ever-more immersive (3D etc.), theres only one way it can go... And more instances of extreme cases means more ill-informed condescending coverage in the mainstream media... But fuck all that, GAME ON!! :P
  • avantguardian - October 5, 2010 11 a.m.

    the highlight of the video for me is definitely the co-producer named speed weed... also, awesome shit can be addicting...FACT!
  • ShokuaHyuga - October 5, 2010 6:35 a.m.

    Meh, at least they weren't trying to blame the rape case on the video game.
  • Clovin64 - October 5, 2010 6 a.m.

    Damn it, I totally forgot that I havnt washed in 6 months and I have a neglected daughter living under my stairs, I've been playing too damn much Dragon Quest.
  • ChipTheExecutioner - October 5, 2010 3:48 a.m.

    some one needs to tighten up those graphics on level 3
  • RedBandit - October 5, 2010 2:39 a.m.

    Where's the rest of the episode?!?! I'm intrigued now...
  • GameManiac - October 5, 2010 1:54 a.m.

    So long as video games don't overshadow your lives to the point to where you don't even know your own name, then you can't call it an addiction. What is an addiction, in my opinion, is an addiction to drugs, because drugs clearly negatively influence you.
  • mrmorozov987 - October 5, 2010 1:53 a.m.

    Christopia: Try saying that to game critics (people against games, not Gamesradar). They'll just twist it around; "Exactly. If you prefer to spend more time in fantasy land than the real world, won't that lead to an addiction? Loser." Pretentious. Douchebags. Still, that's exactly the same way I feel. I could be a guy typing in a comments section, or I could be a globe-trotting treasure hunter who jumps out of falling buildings and climbs up precariously dangling train cars (Uncharted 2). Guess which one I prefer?
  • Metroidhunter32 - October 5, 2010 1:25 a.m.

    I'm addicted to games just like some people are addicted to soap opras. It's not harmfull we just have a habit of doing it.
  • wilypenguin - October 5, 2010 12:55 a.m.

    Ha south koreans dont play xbox silly law and order. they only play StarTrek online. Geesh the ignorance these days is killing me :P
  • Christopia - October 5, 2010 12:46 a.m.

    You make some good points matt, I've got a degree in psychology, and often feel people only view addiction as a chemical dependency. The fact is, it's possible to become emotionaly dependent on somthing. WoW is the cliche example, but I'd hazard a guess that for some people the emotional conection to a game and it's world are a factor in addiction. Why would I want to spend my time as chris, the guy who works in a call center when I can be comander shepard of the normandy battling the reapers, or the lone wounderer exploring the capital wastes? I play as though it was me in that situation, I make decisions based on my own morality, not as the game may "expect". In a way, my charcter is an extention of my physical self, existing in a fantasy world. It's not hard to imagine people prefering this virtual life to thier real one.
  • nadrewod999 - October 5, 2010 12:43 a.m.

    If playing a few video games a week can cause people to say "You are addicted," I hope they get free Wi-fi in rehab, cause that's where I'm going. Enough jokes, we need to have everyone take a GIANT step back, and just look at all the other "evil new technologies" of previous generations: horrible things like "rock and roll", "movies", "radio", "television", and "the internet". Almost every one of them was met with lots of criticism in the final days of the previous generations, and every one of those criticisms turned out to be nothing but lies. If you look at some of the other things you can easily get addicted to, as long as you aren't looking at too many WoW fanatics, you will probably see 10x the "drug", "coffee", or "energy drink" addicts compared to the "video game" addicts.
  • ombranox - October 5, 2010 12:40 a.m.

    Booo!
  • mrmorozov987 - October 5, 2010 12:32 a.m.

    Doctalen: that's how almost every gamer feels, contrary to popular belief. Video games are one of my favorite things on Earth, and even I'll admit that I won't keep playing them once they get boring, or just for the sake of playing a game. Once they do, I can go outside and try a new restaurant or go out with friends. Exactly the opposite of that damn Law and Order clip.
  • Doctalen - October 5, 2010 12:27 a.m.

    I like video games, I like them a lot, when I get a chance I would probably play a video game, but I still get bored. When I get bored I will do something else. Don't know if that counts as addiction or not but that's truth.
  • ShaneCedt - October 5, 2010 12:26 a.m.

    I play Heroin Hero all the time
  • GamesRadarMatthewKeast - October 5, 2010 12:20 a.m.

    I've learned a bit about psychiatry over the last few years, and the clinical definition of any disorder is if the thing you're doing significantly impacts your or your friends/families' lives in a negative way. Usually this is decided upon by the patients themselves. So for instance, if a person plays WoW to the point where they feel it's making their life worse (not necessarily ruining their life), then to them, they're addicted. Obviously, the usual addicts, drug addicts, won't admit that they're addicted, so it is a bit complicated. For instance, if all of your friends and family say you're addicted to games, are you addicted? What if those people aren't gamers and hold social stigmas in their minds? It comes down to insight. It's all about whether a person can see whether they have a problem or not. It is annoying, though, that the popular thing right now is to talk about game addiction, when a person can be addicted to almost anything in life. Hell, I have a friend who was addicted to playing with her cat - she would never leave the house and just "socialize" with her cat all day.
  • awsomemaster - October 4, 2010 11:58 p.m.

    @spambot lol these spam bots are getting so annoying that im working on a song about them.
  • Christopia - October 4, 2010 11:58 p.m.

    Well I'd be interested to see the results. I have no doubt that games can be addictive to certain personality types. Anything can be addictive, but some games are specificaly designed to be addictive, especialy RPG's, particularly mmo's.

Showing 1-20 of 33 comments

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