As part of an annual BBC project where school kids get to produce their own news reports, William (last name not provided) from Tendring Technology College in Essex decided to research video game addiction. What did his research entail? Interviews with:
-His school guidance counselor: “It’s estimated that 3/5 of all under sixteens actually have some sort of addiction to a gaming machine.”
-A classmate: “[I play video games] usually six or seven [hours per day] because there’s so much to do. That’s what average people do... It’s not like thirty or forty years ago when people used to play outside.”
-And his mom: “[Game addiction] does effect family life, yes, because it is a struggle to get you out of your room.”
Oh, and he phoned Nintendo UK’s Head of Communications, Robert Saunders who told him:
“We haven’t at Nintendo received any complaints directly in the UK on [game addiction] but we are aware of it. It’s potentially an issue for all people who play video games or indeed anybody who picks up any hobby and starts to fixate on it obsessively.”
Saunders went on to say that Nintendo advises all players to take a 15 minute break after every hour of play and asks parents to supervise their kids’ gaming habits.
William concluded, “games are fun but if you spend too much time on them, they can cause serious problems.”
Like your mom having to drag your uncooperative butt out of your room to spend time with the family.
Watch William’s video report at BBC News.
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen