People have addictive personalities. Said people can conceivably become addicted to games. As games become more popular that risk increases. That’s the central premise of Panorama’s ‘Addicted to Games’, which airs on BBC one tonight at 20:30.
Where the programme slides into murky territory, however, is the insinuation that developers employ some kind of underhand, hidden techniques to psychologically manipulate gamers into a state of addiction.
The show begins with reporter Rafael Rowe attending a launch event for Blizzard’s StarCraft II.
“I can’t believe how many people are here just to buy a game,” he states. “It’s ten past eleven at night! As I parent I often wonder what effect it’s having on my children. Is it too much for some people to handle?”
The show then moves on to Joe Staley, who has apparently enjoyed computer games since he was a child. But when he bought an Xbox, we are told, it all changed.
“I just spend more and more time playing,” Joe confesses. “It started with Grand Theft Auto 4, then moved on to Call of Duty. I wouldn’t move from my bed, with my controller by my side. I couldn’t physically drag myself away from the game. I could go two or three days without sleep. That to me sounds like an addiction.”
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