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The Telegraph criticised for claiming gaming could be the next ‘global pandemic’

kingfey

Banned

The UK’s Telegraph newspaper has been criticised by the games industry’s trade body for “extensively misrepresenting” the effects of playing video games on young people.

A recent Telegraph article, ‘Spiritual opium: could gaming addiction ruin a generation?’, warns that “classroom iPads and online textbooks are normalising the use of screens” in a way that is “potentially harmful to teenage brains”.

The piece goes on to specifically highlight gaming as a perceived health risk, as opposed to other screen activities. “It’s time all of us woke up to the ‘opioid’ possibility of gaming, before teenage screen addiction becomes another global pandemic,” it reads.

The basis for the article is partly a statement made by the Chinese state media last week, in which it compared video games to “electronic drugs”. China heavily regulates video games and requires government approval for all foreign titles.

However, The Telegraph’s core claims come from Abi Silver, a book author who recently published a work of fiction about the video games industry.



Silver’s new book, The Midas Game, sees “two lawyers team up to defend a local gamer and YouTube celebrity who has been accused of killing an eminent anti-gaming psychiatrist.”

“Did he target her because of her anti-gaming views and the work she undertook to expose the dangers of playing online games?” The book’s synopsis reads. “Just because he makes a living killing people on screen it does not mean he’d do it in real life. Or does it?”

In The Telegraph’s article, Silver shares anecdotes of her son’s experience playing video games, during a time in which the publication says he became “obsessed with the addictive, dopamine-releasing game” Fortnite.

“I was shocked, and indignant, that there was something out there, unregulated and freely available to our kids, which was considered highly dangerous but nobody was doing anything about it,” Silver said. “It was like someone was coming into my son’s bedroom at night and injecting him with an addictive drug.”

In the article, Telegraph author Annabel Heseltine claims that the World Health Organisation estimates that some 86 million people could suffer from gaming disorder.

But this figure appears to be based on a past Telegraph report, which cited a study that said it believed 3% of video game players suffered from the disorder (in 2021, it was estimated that 2.9 billion people played video games).

Recently, figures obtained by The Guardian via freedom of information requests showed that just 56 people entered treatment for gaming addiction between January and May this year. According to OFCOM, around 40 million UK residents played video games in 2020, not including children.

It’s also worth noting that Silver’s claims that the UK games industry is unregulated are technically incorrect. Although there is no dedicated video games regulator in the UK, the industry is beholden to legally enforceable ratings bodies, consumer and data protection laws, business regulations and soon OFCOM will likely oversee it too as part of the proposed Online Safety Bill.

The games industry is subject to investigation from various bodies including the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Gambling Commission (GC). Recently, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigated Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony over online gaming contracts.

Responding to the Telegraph piece, Ukie, the trade association for the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry, told VGC that the UK games industry was “a responsible, regulated industry that has demonstrated it takes concerns seriously”.

“It’s disappointing to see pieces like this extensively misrepresenting games,” a spokesperson told VGC.

“It both unfairly demonises the 37 million people across the UK who find games to be a relaxing source of healthy entertainment and undermines evidence-based efforts to support the very small number of people who do need help managing play.

“We are a responsible, regulated industry that has demonstrated it takes concerns seriously by running campaigns such as our Get Smart About PLAY initiative to support safe and sensible play. We will continue to take this responsible approach and keep educating players and parents about all aspects of play over at www.askaboutgames.com.”


The World Health Organisation (WHO) voted to officially recognise gaming disorder as an international disease in May.

WHO defines gaming disorder as a pattern of gaming behaviour characterised by “impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences”.

The decision to classify gaming disorder as a mental health condition for the first time was heavily criticised by leading video game firms, who argued the move was not based on sufficiently robust evidence and created a risk of misdiagnosis for patients.

Last year neuroscientist Nastasia Griffioen warned of the dangers of stigmatising people as being addicted to video games.
 

nush

Gold Member
he became “obsessed with the addictive, dopamine-releasing game” Fortnite.

“I was shocked, and indignant, that there was something out there, unregulated and freely available to our kids, which was considered highly dangerous but nobody was doing anything about it,” Silver said.

Like your dopamine-releasing unregulated social media that's also freely available to kids?

 
I love me some videogames but there's probably something to this.

All these companies do is study vast amounts of data on why people stop playing and why people stop spending on videogames, then engineer future iterations to be even more engaging.
 
A bit too late for that. 🧞‍♀️ is out of the bottle for at least 20 years now.

They are watching 🇨🇳 because it is leaving them in the dust in all fields so maybe it’s time to copy their methods.

Thing is, China still has the time to nip it in the bud (at least I think so) while in the West that ship has sailed long long time ago.
 

Boglin

Member
"I was shocked, and indignant, that there was something out there, unregulated and freely available to our kids, which was considered highly dangerous but nobody was doing anything about it,” Silver said. “It was like someone was coming into my son’s bedroom at night and injecting him with an addictive drug.”

The UK should introduce some sort of mandatory license that's required to play video games that gives the government control over how much time kids can play video games. I just can't bare the thought of a parent taking responsibility and acting like an authority in their child's life :pie_crying:
 

IFireflyl

Member
Previous generations: All you do is read. You'll rot your brain staring at books all the time.

Next generation: All you do is read off of a computer screen. You'll rot your brain. You should read books instead.

Generation after that: All you do is read. You'll rot your brain staring at books all the time. Now go have sex with your sister so we can help repopulate the earth.
 

rnlval

Member

The UK’s Telegraph newspaper has been criticised by the games industry’s trade body for “extensively misrepresenting” the effects of playing video games on young people.

A recent Telegraph article, ‘Spiritual opium: could gaming addiction ruin a generation?’, warns that “classroom iPads and online textbooks are normalising the use of screens” in a way that is “potentially harmful to teenage brains”.

The piece goes on to specifically highlight gaming as a perceived health risk, as opposed to other screen activities. “It’s time all of us woke up to the ‘opioid’ possibility of gaming, before teenage screen addiction becomes another global pandemic,” it reads.

The basis for the article is partly a statement made by the Chinese state media last week, in which it compared video games to “electronic drugs”. China heavily regulates video games and requires government approval for all foreign titles.

However, The Telegraph’s core claims come from Abi Silver, a book author who recently published a work of fiction about the video games industry.



Silver’s new book, The Midas Game, sees “two lawyers team up to defend a local gamer and YouTube celebrity who has been accused of killing an eminent anti-gaming psychiatrist.”

“Did he target her because of her anti-gaming views and the work she undertook to expose the dangers of playing online games?” The book’s synopsis reads. “Just because he makes a living killing people on screen it does not mean he’d do it in real life. Or does it?”

In The Telegraph’s article, Silver shares anecdotes of her son’s experience playing video games, during a time in which the publication says he became “obsessed with the addictive, dopamine-releasing game” Fortnite.

“I was shocked, and indignant, that there was something out there, unregulated and freely available to our kids, which was considered highly dangerous but nobody was doing anything about it,” Silver said. “It was like someone was coming into my son’s bedroom at night and injecting him with an addictive drug.”

In the article, Telegraph author Annabel Heseltine claims that the World Health Organisation estimates that some 86 million people could suffer from gaming disorder.

But this figure appears to be based on a past Telegraph report, which cited a study that said it believed 3% of video game players suffered from the disorder (in 2021, it was estimated that 2.9 billion people played video games).

Recently, figures obtained by The Guardian via freedom of information requests showed that just 56 people entered treatment for gaming addiction between January and May this year. According to OFCOM, around 40 million UK residents played video games in 2020, not including children.

It’s also worth noting that Silver’s claims that the UK games industry is unregulated are technically incorrect. Although there is no dedicated video games regulator in the UK, the industry is beholden to legally enforceable ratings bodies, consumer and data protection laws, business regulations and soon OFCOM will likely oversee it too as part of the proposed Online Safety Bill.

The games industry is subject to investigation from various bodies including the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Gambling Commission (GC). Recently, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigated Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony over online gaming contracts.

Responding to the Telegraph piece, Ukie, the trade association for the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry, told VGC that the UK games industry was “a responsible, regulated industry that has demonstrated it takes concerns seriously”.

“It’s disappointing to see pieces like this extensively misrepresenting games,” a spokesperson told VGC.

“It both unfairly demonises the 37 million people across the UK who find games to be a relaxing source of healthy entertainment and undermines evidence-based efforts to support the very small number of people who do need help managing play.

“We are a responsible, regulated industry that has demonstrated it takes concerns seriously by running campaigns such as our Get Smart About PLAY initiative to support safe and sensible play. We will continue to take this responsible approach and keep educating players and parents about all aspects of play over at www.askaboutgames.com.”


The World Health Organisation (WHO) voted to officially recognise gaming disorder as an international disease in May.

WHO defines gaming disorder as a pattern of gaming behaviour characterised by “impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences”.

The decision to classify gaming disorder as a mental health condition for the first time was heavily criticised by leading video game firms, who argued the move was not based on sufficiently robust evidence and created a risk of misdiagnosis for patients.

Last year neuroscientist Nastasia Griffioen warned of the dangers of stigmatising people as being addicted to video games.
To quote a feminist slogan, "My body, my choice" .
 

rnlval

Member
Australia is so embarrassing sometimes

Especially funny considering gambling is one of the most heavily advertised industries in the country
That's initiative is from South Australia's state government, hence it has no bearing on the state of New South Wales, but simulated gambling with a real-world payment will be government regulated.

Gambling policy in Australia has traditionally been the responsibility of the States rather than the Commonwealth. State and territory governments regulate and provide gambling services and rely heavily on the ensuing revenue. However, recent developments have seen the Commonwealth take a more active role in this area.

----

I support the government's action against simulated gambling with a real-world payment.
 

Barakov

Member

The UK’s Telegraph newspaper has been criticised by the games industry’s trade body for “extensively misrepresenting” the effects of playing video games on young people.

A recent Telegraph article, ‘Spiritual opium: could gaming addiction ruin a generation?’, warns that “classroom iPads and online textbooks are normalising the use of screens” in a way that is “potentially harmful to teenage brains”.

The piece goes on to specifically highlight gaming as a perceived health risk, as opposed to other screen activities. “It’s time all of us woke up to the ‘opioid’ possibility of gaming, before teenage screen addiction becomes another global pandemic,” it reads.

The basis for the article is partly a statement made by the Chinese state media last week, in which it compared video games to “electronic drugs”. China heavily regulates video games and requires government approval for all foreign titles.

However, The Telegraph’s core claims come from Abi Silver, a book author who recently published a work of fiction about the video games industry.



Silver’s new book, The Midas Game, sees “two lawyers team up to defend a local gamer and YouTube celebrity who has been accused of killing an eminent anti-gaming psychiatrist.”

“Did he target her because of her anti-gaming views and the work she undertook to expose the dangers of playing online games?” The book’s synopsis reads. “Just because he makes a living killing people on screen it does not mean he’d do it in real life. Or does it?”

In The Telegraph’s article, Silver shares anecdotes of her son’s experience playing video games, during a time in which the publication says he became “obsessed with the addictive, dopamine-releasing game” Fortnite.

“I was shocked, and indignant, that there was something out there, unregulated and freely available to our kids, which was considered highly dangerous but nobody was doing anything about it,” Silver said. “It was like someone was coming into my son’s bedroom at night and injecting him with an addictive drug.”

In the article, Telegraph author Annabel Heseltine claims that the World Health Organisation estimates that some 86 million people could suffer from gaming disorder.

But this figure appears to be based on a past Telegraph report, which cited a study that said it believed 3% of video game players suffered from the disorder (in 2021, it was estimated that 2.9 billion people played video games).

Recently, figures obtained by The Guardian via freedom of information requests showed that just 56 people entered treatment for gaming addiction between January and May this year. According to OFCOM, around 40 million UK residents played video games in 2020, not including children.

It’s also worth noting that Silver’s claims that the UK games industry is unregulated are technically incorrect. Although there is no dedicated video games regulator in the UK, the industry is beholden to legally enforceable ratings bodies, consumer and data protection laws, business regulations and soon OFCOM will likely oversee it too as part of the proposed Online Safety Bill.

The games industry is subject to investigation from various bodies including the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Gambling Commission (GC). Recently, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigated Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony over online gaming contracts.

Responding to the Telegraph piece, Ukie, the trade association for the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry, told VGC that the UK games industry was “a responsible, regulated industry that has demonstrated it takes concerns seriously”.

“It’s disappointing to see pieces like this extensively misrepresenting games,” a spokesperson told VGC.

“It both unfairly demonises the 37 million people across the UK who find games to be a relaxing source of healthy entertainment and undermines evidence-based efforts to support the very small number of people who do need help managing play.

“We are a responsible, regulated industry that has demonstrated it takes concerns seriously by running campaigns such as our Get Smart About PLAY initiative to support safe and sensible play. We will continue to take this responsible approach and keep educating players and parents about all aspects of play over at www.askaboutgames.com.”


The World Health Organisation (WHO) voted to officially recognise gaming disorder as an international disease in May.

WHO defines gaming disorder as a pattern of gaming behaviour characterised by “impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences”.

The decision to classify gaming disorder as a mental health condition for the first time was heavily criticised by leading video game firms, who argued the move was not based on sufficiently robust evidence and created a risk of misdiagnosis for patients.

Last year neuroscientist Nastasia Griffioen warned of the dangers of stigmatising people as being addicted to video games.

Delete Old Man GIF

This is some boomer shit.
 

Dream-Knife

Member
Video games are addictive, and they are designed to be. Then again older people are addicted to TV and whatnot.

Of course they want to try to regulate them. Nanny state wants you to be miserable.
 

sephiroth7x

Member
Oh The Telegraph - the UK loves you...

It is a shoddy paper still trying to survive in the digital world. I wouldn't give it the time of day.
 

nerdface

Banned
maybe not the games themselves, but the toxic entitlement projecting itself on a world that doesn't give a shit... all brought to you by mom's basement and a microwave burrito
 

Clear

Gold Member
"Screen addiction" is a very real and growing social problem.

But its mainly a side-effect of social media's ubiquity, and has little to do with videogames.
 
I don't take moral instructions from a country where every street has a bookmaker (and a pawnshop and payday lender right next to it).
 

WitchHunter

Member
I love me some videogames but there's probably something to this.

All these companies do is study vast amounts of data on why people stop playing and why people stop spending on videogames, then engineer future iterations to be even more engaging.
MMOs, yeah, those time vampire games and games without story, and procedurally generated roguewhatevers, those MUST BE REGULATED. Neverending stimulation, quickly reachable goals on a daily basis, spend money on virtual bullshittery, mmmmmmm
 
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RyRy93

Member
What fucking year is it? No mention of the benefits of gaming? It's no coincidence most of the smart kids at school were gamers.
 
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“I was shocked, and indignant, that there was something out there, unregulated and freely available to our kids, which was considered highly dangerous but nobody was doing anything about it,” Silver said. “It was like someone was coming into my son’s bedroo
WTH, she's so mad about her kid playing all day that she wrote a entire book about it!
 
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