Ahead of tonight’s Panorama episode which will be tackling the topic of videogame addiction, TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson has preempted the show’s findings and released a statement to help allay any parental fears that the show is likely to uncover and no doubt sensationlise if previous Panorama reports are anything to go by.
“TIGA has yet to see the Panorama documentary, so cannot comment on specific points raised in the show. However, what we can say is that there is absolutely no proven link between video games and addiction. The World Health Organisation has no official medical diagnosis of video games addiction. Playing games is a hobby and people can certainly become passionate about them. This is no different from a passion for a particular book, TV programme or sport. In addition, playing games such as Wii Sports of Xbox Kinect can improve fitness. Games can also be educational. A fifth of UK games businesses make educational or serious games. ”
“There is a world of difference between people who claim, in the colloquial non medical sense, that they are addicted to games, music, football or a TV programme and people who are clinically addicted, in scientific parlance, to drugs or alcohol. People may claim to be addicted to something like games or football, but in most cases they are not.”
“TIGA would welcome additional independent research in to this topic and takes this issue very seriously. As with all hobbies we advocate that video games are played in moderation, with gamers taking regular breaks. Parents and retailers should also ensure that children only play games that are age appropriate. Games are clearly marked with PEGI or BBFC age ratings to inform parents about which games are suitable for their children.”
This particular episode has received a lot of hype prior to airing tonight in the mainstream UK press so it will be interesting to see how they tackle the subject.