Even before BBC One airs the Panorama special "Addicted to Games" next Monday, the UK games industry trade group UKIE is sounding off. The Panorama special promises to "reveal the hidden psychological devices in games that are designed to keep us coming back for more," according to a promo for the show.
UKIE director general Michael Rawlinson, who was interviewed for the show according to Computer & Videogames, issued a statement ahead of the broadcast highlighting the fact that there is no "proven link between video games and addiction," adding that opinions among academics on the subject are mixed. More from the UKIE head:
"Playing games is a hobby – just like reading, listening to music or playing a sport – that millions of people around the world engage in safely every day," said Rawlinson. "We know that most people use games as part of a balanced lifestyle: in the UK, 55 percent of gamers aged 16-49 play for 1-5 hours a week, with only 12 percent playing in excess of 10 hours a week. "
UKIE is aware of some individuals that play games excessively but often the cause of many of the sad cases that we hear about are down to other underlying medical, social or environmental issues concerning the individuals concerned.
Rawlinson went on to say that playing games sensibly has multiple benefits such as developing social skills, nurturing strategic thinking, physical health through games that provide physical activity, and other general health benefits.