Ah the British Broadcasting Corporation. Otherwise known as the BBC. Provider of multiple entertainment resources, most recently video games like the downloadable Doctor Who adventures or inclusion of Top Gear in Gran Turismo 5. Oh and both those franchises are also getting iPhone games too. So gaming is great in the eyes of BBC right? That depends on how this coming Monday’s Panorama goes. Despite the company’s foray into the industry, their controversial TV show is said to “reveal the hidden psychological devices in games that are designed to keep us coming back for more,” CVG reports. Yep it’s the old gaming addiction story that the media is so desperate to write about. But it’s true, video games are addictive. As is caffeine. Evil, evil caffeine. Cigarettes are pretty bad too.
Part of the programme will speak with “youngsters who’ve dropped out of school and university to play games for anything up to 21 hours a day,” who “describe their obsessive gaming as an addiction”. I hope Panorama also speak with the parents of said school-leavers and ask them why they allow their kids to play for so long. Kids that were very likely hounding their parents for the ‘must have’ Christmas toy only a few years ago. Now they seem to be doing the same with video games and the show picks up on this too: “as pester power kicks in and the computer games’ industry launches its latest products on to the Christmas market”. How very dare they.
Lets not judge the quality of Panorama’s reporting or indeed the importance of raising awareness of the latest addiction before we watch the show. Just bear in mind that movies and rap music have already accused of poisoning our youth so it’ll just take the next scapegoat to come along before the video games industry is free of all the finger pointing. And that most if not all issues can be addressed with better parenting.