BBC: Online game firms need to do more to prevent addiction say researchers

#1
Online game companies need to do more to prevent players becoming too addicted in order to avoid government intervention, a study has warned.

Researchers at Cardiff, Derby and Nottingham Trent universities said some gamers play up to 90 hours a session, developing a "pathological" addiction.

They claim while conventional video games have an ending, role-playing games do not.

But the gaming body Ukie said it took the health of users seriously.

It said it had a number of measures in place to ensure that games could be enjoyed safely and sensibly.

The universities' research warned if game companies did not create restraints for players and their games grew in popularity, Western governments might have no choice but to follow Asia and limit usage.

The study, published in the Addiction Research and Theory journal, has said Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) are an inexhaustible system of goals and success.

The character becomes stronger and richer by moving to new levels while accumulating treasures, power and weaponry.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-23576035

There's much more at the source. But I love the image they have chosen for the article.



Do not get addicted to that online Mario Kart.
 
#6
Meh. There's always the option of the consumer not being a moron, idiot, loser, etc. I'd rather see that approach taken before we change games. Games don't form a chemical dependency like say nicotine (a legal substance) or cocaine. Any perceived addiction is just someone being weak of mind and spirit, both of which are issues only the individual can solve and changing games either won't work our simply leave their dumbass open to get hooked on some other totally non-addictive thing.
 

BocoDragon

or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
#8
I would never want any government legislation over this (like China).

But perhaps it's a fair thing for MMO designers to consider as a matter of social responsibility.

"We won't force you to structure a game to limit play time... but if you did, it might be a better thing for the well-being of your consumers".
 
#9
My life has pretty much fallen apart since I've started playing Mario Kart. My mother won't even look me in the eye because of the things I've done to support that habit.
 
#11
Meh. There's always the option of the consumer not being a moron, idiot, loser, etc. I'd rather see that approach taken before we change games. Games don't form a chemical dependency like say nicotine (a legal substance) or cocaine. Any perceived addiction is just someone being weak of mind and spirit, both of which are issues only the individual can solve and changing games either won't work our simply leave their dumbass open to get hooked on some other totally non-addictive thing.
I disagree with this. Gaming and gambling addictions are serious issues and not simply a case of stupid people. But it's always great to be a better person than the rest, am I right?
 

BocoDragon

or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
#15
My life has pretty much fallen apart since I've started playing Mario Kart. My mother won't even look me in the eye because of the things I've done to support that habit.
That gives "snaking" a whole new meaning.
 
#18
But perhaps it's a fair thing for MMO designers to consider as a matter of social responsibility.
The problem is, they have pretty much proven that they don't have any. It's a detestable industry, not unlike gambling, as much of what they're doing is looking at player metrics to improve the addictiveness, and thereby profitability, of the game. To the detriment of their users and their families.

This goes doubly so for the social F2P developers by the way; more than half of the budgets of those studios is in R&D trying to coerce people out of more money.
 
#19
"Parents" applies to adult addicts how? "Common sense" applies to addicts how?
Common-sense applies to not letting it get to that point. It's not a developer's job to tell you not to play too much or to prevent you from doing so.

The universities' research warned if game companies did not create restraints for players and their games grew in popularity
This is like saying that tobacco companies need to be health conscious and warn their costumers not to smoke too much.
 
#21
I disagree with this. Gaming and gambling addictions are serious issues and not simply a case of stupid people. But it's always great to be a better person than the rest, am I right?
It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant people can be when it comes to an issue like addiction. The word "willpower" used towards addicts by people who have never experienced addiction first hand is comedy. It is apparently an easy trap for your ego to push you into, given how often it is trotted out even by folks who have navigated dependencies like nicotine.
 
#22
You seem to have missed about 50 years of litigation.
And it made sense 50 years ago when people did not know about the risks and when tobacco was sponsored by doctors. It doesn't now, I have no fucking clue why packs need to have warning labels and cancer pictures. Anybody with a little bit of common-sense knows that gaming in excess can be hazardous. Developers shouldn't have to prevent you from playing or explain to you why it is hazardous, use the fucking internet to do something else besides look at funny pictures of cats and educate yourself.
 

Principate

Saint Titanfall
#24
And it made sense 50 years ago when people did not know about the risks and when tobacco was sponsored by doctors. It doesn't now, I have no fucking clue why packs need to have warning labels and cancer pictures. Anybody with a little bit of common-sense knows that gaming in excess can be hazardous. Developers shouldn't have to prevent you from playing or explain to you why it is hazardous, use the fucking internet to do something else besides look at funny pictures of cats and educate yourself.
Eh games can be played by kids of all ages so obviously not everyone knows. Just because it's the parents responsibility it doesn't mean developers should do jack shit. More obvious health could help parents who aren't quite as aware to put in more stringent rules, to at least sure the kid knows about the issues (which he may not if a parent just once in a while tells him/her to get some fresh air).
 
#27
Eh games can be played by kids of all ages so obviously not everyone knows. Just because it's the parents responsibility it doesn't mean developers should do jack shit. More obvious health could help parents who aren't quite as aware to put in more stringent rules, to at least sure the kid knows about the issues (which he may not if a parent just once in a while tells him/her to get some fresh air).
Well, if you're a parent and you don't know that your 10 year old shouldn't be spending 7 hours shooting people every day, then you shouldn't be a parent to begin with.
 
#28
Accompanying it with a picture of Mario Kart, of all games, just shows what wonderful journalism this article is.

I think this is a worthwhile debate to have, but we can do without the implied threat about governments having to restrict playtime. No need to give them ideas.
 
#29
At least they are addicted to something that keeps them indoors and not on the streets....

I don't get how "adults" constantly believe that kids should instead get involved more with healthy stuff like exercise, reading and music....
 
#31
The same people who are liable to get addicted to a video game are the same people susceptible to getting addicted to just about anything; gambling, television, porn, etc. If the government want's to have programs to help those suffering through addiction than fine, but don't hold it against the software to be responsible or to have government get involved.
 
#33
Yeah, the market will fix itself and companies will act responsibly. When has this ever failed?
Not really what I said, or even implied. I'd like to think the choice is a little less binary than either 'let companies do what the fuck they want' or 'have the government step in for the good of us all'. Neither of those is a good solution to me.
 
#34
The same people who are liable to get addicted to a video game are the same people susceptible to getting addicted to just about anything; gambling, television, porn, etc. If the government want's to have programs to help those suffering through addiction than fine, but don't hold it against the software to be responsible or to have government get involved.
It's a grey area. Gambling games are designed to be addictive and unfair, they specifically target the weaker people that can't restrain themselves and rob them of every penny. It's like selling pills and guns to a group of depressed people. Would you say that the seller has no (at least moral) responsibility?
 
#38
Roleplaying games dont have an ending guys. They DONT EVER END.

Honestly they should be asking how to make other things better than they are now, since tbh videogames are a bit better than real life for alot of people at the moment.
 
#42
Who the hell can play for 90 hours straight? O_O
Seriously. I mean, I'm a huge gamer, and a huge World of Warcraft fan, to the extent that I'll take time off work when an expansion is released - and even I'd struggle to go past 20 hours before needing sleep.
 
#44
Common-sense applies to not letting it get to that point. It's not a developer's job to tell you not to play too much or to prevent you from doing so.
But those games are made to trigger certain neural responses to cause addiction. Almost everything in games is designed to cause an addictive response. Developers make their games in such a way to cause addiction so that you keep playing them. Mechanisms in games like WoW and Animal Crossing have been set up to make sure you come back. And it doesn't even just apply to games, a lot of things - even ice cubes - have been set up to form an addicting behaviour without ever realizing it.
 
#47
I agree, but I can't really see anything being done about it. There's a whole lot of information out there about "addiction". You can find out why some personalities are more susceptible and much more....no need to play the blame game whilst moving goal posts or hand-waving people.
 
#50
I agree, but I can't really see anything being done about it. There's a whole lot of information out there about "addiction". You can find out why some personalities are more susceptible and much more....no need to play the blame game whilst moving goal posts or hand-waving people.
Why is addiction in quotes...?