RPS Editorial on Panorama Game Addiction Show

December 7, 2010 -

Rock, Paper, Shotgun's John Walker responds to the Panorama TV episode on game addiction (it aired on BBC 1 in the UK last night) with an editorial of his own. While acknowledging that he does not "possess the evidence that gaming does not cause addiction," Walker lays into the Panorama episode and its host for producing a slapdash expose on gaming addiction, leading viewers to conclusions without providing any real evidence.

For example, the show promised to provide details on the secret mechanics that keep gamers "coming back for more," but that secret gaming sauce was never revealed during the program. Likewise, while the host talked a lot about studies that claimed to make a connection between gaming and addiction, no proof was ever provided.

Here is a sample from Walker's editorial:

"For the first seven minutes of the programme, reporter Raphael Rowe brings us many references to people being “addicts”, people who suffer from “addiction”. It’s stated as fact, unambiguous. Seven minutes in it’s admitted that there’s no evidence that gaming can cause addiction, but long after they’ve made their position completely clear. In fact, it clearly reminded me of that classic Brass Eye moment where DJ Neil Fox explains to camera that there’s no evidence that paedophiles share most of their DNA with crabs, but it’s still scientific fact. Never mind the facts, the data, the proof; we have an agenda here, and we’re going to demonstrate it through unresearched, unevidenced, anecdotal stories."

And here is another about "experts" the show used to make their point:

"Further proof of addiction in games comes from a scientist who has been studying the subject for many yea… oh wait, no, sorry. An artist who takes pictures of kids playing games, and finds that their faces are different when they watch television. No one ventures the notion that there may be physical differences in how one responds to the passive activity of watching TV and the active participation in gaming. But one kid didn’t blink, so there’s danger.

Read the rest here. Maybe someone will take a serious look at the subject.


Comments

Re: RPS Editorial on Panorama Game Addiction Show

For example, the show promised to provide details on the secret mechanics that keep gamers "coming back for more," but that secret gaming sauce was never revealed during the program

Sorry but they did. They discussed operant conditioning, but the use of it in games is no secret, they sensationalised this area of the programme in the previews. Essentially they said that in order to get gamers to keep coming back for more you have a system where you get rewarded for the more you play on it (crudely discussed as "earning more lives"), basically an XP system and levelling up (with rewards for levelling up), hardly a secret mechanic, but possibly a revelation for the journalist whose own experience of gaming consisted of Pong.

Re: RPS Editorial on Panorama Game Addiction Show

Not that I agree with the documentary, but here is one of the mechanisms that SOME game designers use to "keep them coming back for more."

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/extra-credits/2487-The-Skinner-Box

I still have yet to watch the documentary or read the editorial.  I'll comment more after I do so.

-------

Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: RPS Editorial on Panorama Game Addiction Show

PWNED...

Pretty much what I think about this documental. They don´t have any evidence, but still they will prove the dangers of videogames.

You can´t be fair when you show to your public a dead baby, an idiot mother and a kid without the ability to blink, plus scary music and footage of a shocking long-ass line to get the new Starcraft.

I recognize they didn´t use too much shocking value to prove their points, but still, it was fear-mongering.

Also, the birth of a new meme: randomly giving us extra lives...

 

 

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Sleaker@prh99 - the ZQ stuff was a catalyst, but GG didn't explode until the Gamers are dead articles popped up everywhere, see article 3 in the link I posted.10/02/2014 - 9:04am
prh99The articles by Leigh Alexander and others were in response to what happened to Anita and Quinn and this toxic subset of gamers. 10/02/2014 - 9:02am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, My timeline puts events in the order that prh99 just laid out. Had Quinn's ex-boyfriend not been an incredible douchebag, we might not be where we are.10/02/2014 - 9:00am
prh99The blog post by Quinn's exboyfriend suggesting she slept with journalists to get favorable reviews was the impetus for #gamergate.10/02/2014 - 8:54am
SleakerTechRaptor seems to do a decent job of breaking down things in it's currently 6-part series: http://techraptor.net/2014/09/23/good-morning-orthodoxy-1/ - and why atleast for him, the whole Media-thing is offensive.10/02/2014 - 8:53am
SleakerSo from all of the articles I've read that give timelines and show tag trends, there's nothing to support GG being about AS or Quinn. These were a minority of people harassing.. The large portion of GG started when the 'Gamers are dead' articles started.10/02/2014 - 8:45am
prh99Btw apparently they've gone as far as creating a GitHub for this Operation Disrespectful Nod. http://bit.ly/1qsbWcq10/02/2014 - 8:44am
Sleakerthey don't consider the issue. This is the consumeristic nature of a market.10/02/2014 - 8:41am
prh99Attacking their integrity and now getting advertisers to pull their ads from those sites.10/02/2014 - 8:40am
Sleaker@EZK - Telling a company you disagree with the nature of a news sites methodology and feel it negatively impacts the ad-running company as a supporter of said articles is not censorship. It's voicing your opinion that you will vote with your wallet if10/02/2014 - 8:38am
prh99I don't think they have any interested in debate. They scared Anita and Quinn with threats of violence, now they are going to try and damage organizations who called them their behavior.10/02/2014 - 8:36am
E. Zachary KnightWhat I can't understand is why gamergate supporters feel the need to silence their critics. Why can't they simply fight free speech with free speech.10/02/2014 - 8:23am
E. Zachary KnightSo what I am saying is that since gamergate failed to force Gamasutra to retract their editorial directly, they are now going the starvation route.10/02/2014 - 8:22am
E. Zachary KnightAs an illustration, you can kill someone by shooting them in the head, or you can starve them to death. The means don't matter, just the ends.10/02/2014 - 8:18am
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I can't speak for James, but trying to silence a critic by blocking its financial supporters is a censorious activity. It may not be the same as direct censoring, but its ends are the same.10/02/2014 - 8:18am
E. Zachary KnightMecha, I found neither the title nor the content of Gamasutra's Gamers are Dead article inflammatory. But I guess that just means I was the target audience for it.10/02/2014 - 8:16am
prh99@james_fudge Agreed, but then again this group doesn't exactly have high ethical standards or even a grasp of hypocrisy. They do pretty much anything to damage their targets.10/02/2014 - 8:14am
MechaTama31Are... Are you guys suggesting that the content of the "Gamers are over" article is *less* inflammatory than the title?10/02/2014 - 7:58am
quiknkoldhey James, Boycotts are not Censorship. Supreme Court NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. (1982)10/02/2014 - 7:37am
Michael ChandraWhat's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. That said, the name says it all.10/02/2014 - 7:34am
 

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