Industry body takes hard line against controversial documentary

Tiga assault on BBC Panorama show

"There is absolutely no proven link between video games and addiction,” the game developers association Tiga has stated.

The group made the claims ahead of a BBC Panorama show which tonight will heavily imply – though not state with any scientific substance – that games are inherently addictive.

“The World Health Organisation has no official medical diagnosis of video games addiction,” said the firm’s CEO Richard Wilson.

“Playing games is a hobby and people can certainly become passionate about them. This is no different from a passion for a particular book, TV programme or sport.

“In addition, playing games such as Wii Sports of Xbox Kinect can improve fitness. Games can also be educational. A fifth of UK games businesses make educational or serious games.”

The thirty minute programme, which Develop has obtained a copy of, will focus much of its time on portraying the detrimental effect games have had on several young people.

Tiga said it has yet to see the Panorama documentary, so could not discuss specific points. Wilson did outline, however, that the terms ‘addictive’ and ‘addiction’ can be misleading.

“There is a world of difference between people who claim, in the colloquial non-medical sense, that they are addicted to games, music, football or a TV programme and people who are clinically addicted, in scientific parlance, to drugs or alcohol. People may claim to be addicted to something like games or football, but in most cases they are not.”

“Tiga would welcome additional independent research in to this topic and takes this issue very seriously.

“As with all hobbies we advocate that video games are played in moderation, with gamers taking regular breaks. Parents and retailers should also ensure that children only play games that are age appropriate. Games are clearly marked with PEGI or BBFC age ratings to inform parents about which games are suitable for their children.”

BBC Worldwide today told Develop that its were "not addictive".

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