In an interview with GameIndustry.biz Panorama producer and director Emeka Onono, explains why the BBC news program decided to tackle the subject of game addiction. While Onono claims that the program is not "anti-gaming," his comments to GI.biz do not sound game industry friendly.
"What we’ve said is there’s a potential for things in games to be addictive," he explains to GamesIndustry.biz. "There is a potential there. And that’s something that the industry’s always doggedly denied. The fact is it’s there and however small or large that possibility is it needs to be researched and acknowledged."
Onono also accuses a segment of the games industry of being "very defensive" on the issue of addiction:
"There have been some scientific studies which are suggesting there could be a problem. A small problem, but given the ubiquity of games a small problem could be a big problem in that there could be a serious underlying issue that needs to be looked at. That’s what started off the investigation."
While the program, which GI.biz caught an early screening of, does show the worst of the worst when it comes to gaming addiction, it also reveals that many of the subjects highlighted in the show have underlying issues or personalities prone to addictive behavior. It also reveals that some of the parents in the program had little or no idea just what their children were doing online. Viewers will have to decide if the Panorama episode is fair to both sides of the issue.
You can catch the full interview with Emeka Onono on GI.Biz. The Panorama program airs tonight at 8:30 PM UK time on BBC One in the UK.