Games targeted by BBC probe are â??a lot differentâ?? to those made by its commercial arm

BBC Worldwide: Our games are not addictive

Games published by BBC Worldwide “are absolutely not addictive”, the licensing division has said ahead of a BBC Panorama investigation into the so-called psychological hooks placed into video games.

BBC Worldwide communications boss Phil Fleming told Develop that the firm’s games are “built to be enjoyable.”

Tonight the BBC will air a Panorama documentary on the so-called addictive properties of video games, focusing much of its time on portraying the detrimental effect games have had on several young people.

Fleming suggested the firm’s own game output is completely safe in the hands of minors.

“The games that we do are family-based, they’re not about traditional firearms, the games are about using your brain.”

He added: “As I understand it, the games featured tonight are a lot different to what the BBC would put out. The games tonight talk about World Of Warcraft, and Call Of Duty, and all those kinds of games. The BBC’s games are family-oriented, they’re learning games, they’re puzzle games, they’re racing games.”

At no stage does the Panorama show provide evidence that games are intrinsically addictive, though its agenda appears to have been to find such data.

“Until we see the Panorama piece tonight we can’t comment on details of the show,” said Fleming.

BBC Worldwide has published a range of games to extend its TV brands such as Dr Who. UK studios such as Sumo Digital and Tag Games have already benefited from the initiative, having been commissioned work on the titles.

The broadcaster is now lining up a whole string of titles to be released across 2011, said MCV deputy editor Chris Dring, including an app for pre-schoolers based on the Teletubbies brand.

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