7th August 2013
A new study warns that online game companies must take more steps to prevent players becoming too addicted in order to avoid government action, says a BBC report.
The study by researchers at Cardiff, Derby and Nottingham Trent universities warns that governments in the western world may have to follow those in Asia in limiting usage, if publishers of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) do not impose restraints.
They say that some gamers are developing a "pathological" addiction, adding that while conventional video games have an ending, role-playing games may not. There is evidence that some seven to 11% of gamers have real problems – playing for up to to 90 hours in one session. The games are an inexhaustible system of goals and success, they say, with the character becoming stronger and richer by moving to new levels while building treasures, power and weapons.
Gaming industry body Ukie – the Association for UK Active Entertainment – says it already has measures in place to ensure safe and sensible gaming. The Association's Dr Jo Twist commented: "There is no medical diagnosis of game addiction but like anything enjoyable in life, some people play games excessively. We actively promote safe and sensible game playing through our askaboutgames.com site and encourage all players to take regular breaks of at least five minutes every 45-60 minutes."
She continued: "The games industry takes the health and wellbeing of all consumers very seriously and has a number of measures in place to ensure that games can be enjoyed safely and sensibly. There are also control systems available on all main games consoles that can be used to restrict the amount of time spent playing games, limit internet access and control access to age appropriate content."