BBC returns to games addiction

Listeners to BBC Radio 5Live this morning have heard the broadcaster’s return to the touchy subject of alleged video games addiction.

The surprise report comes as the result of advice from government childhood safety advisor John Carr who has called for schools to educate kids about safe video gaming.

Last December the BBC’s Panorama programme examined the subject in a widely criticised show.

MCV also understands that in the last week a number of UK TV shows have made enquiries to industry representatives on the subject.

Listeners this morning heard Breakfast presenter Nicky Campbell interview a young lad called Jack, who claimed his life had been ruined by an addiction to Call of Duty. At the same time, the monosyllabic youth also confessed to not liking "school and books and stuff".

UKIE director general Mike Rawlinson then took to the airwaves to outline the trade body’s position.

UKIE was pleased to take the opportunity to comment as part of Radio 5Live’s debate about excessive gaming this morning," Rawlinson told MCV. "John Carr, secretary for the Children’s Charities’ coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS) had raised the issue that gaming addiction is only likely to increase in the future yet presented no new evidence to suggest that this was the case.

There remains no official medical diagnosis of video game addiction, either from the American Medical Association or the World Health Organisation.

"UKIE fully agrees that parents, teachers and children need to understand that games should be played safely and sensibly as part of an active and healthy lifestyle and that they can have many beneficial effects. Parents also need to be aware of games’ age ratings systems to ensure that their children are playing games with suitable content. UKIE is working with schools and parenting groups to promote these messages.

UKIE will also continue to monitor any developments in this important debate.”

Contributors to the phone in on the subject that followed the Breakfast show included Professor Mike Griffith.

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