Mainstream Media: If You Must Cover Video Games, Could You Please Do A Better Job Of It?

Mainstream Media: If You Must Cover Video Games, Could You Please Do A Better Job Of It?

“You might think games are only played in dark basements by computer addicted geeks but it’s a very big business,” drawls the presenter, repeating a paraphrased opening gambit that’s been rehashed since 1994, with very little change.

I was even involved in one myself.

“Video games were once the domain of super nerds like Mark Serrels,” opened Today Tonight’s segment on ‘Cutting Edge’ games. I wasn’t offended in the slightest; I’ve been called far worse, and it was kinda hilarious to be involved in the matrix of tropes that is mainstream video game reportage.

Today’s Daily Telegraph headline? ‘Video Game Kids Going Crazy?’ That’s part of another trope entirely, a far more insidious type — that of the moral panic, and the ‘we’re losing our kids to this crazy new fangled technology we have no understanding of’ trope. The kind of headline you might expect, and probably not something worth getting worked up about, but when it comes to The Telegraph’s irresponsible story in this morning’s edition, I just can’t help myself.

The story itself is hardly cutting-edge news — a handful of parents and psychiatrists are looking to have “video game addiction” included as a psychological disorder in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Laura Parker from Gamespot did a far better job, reporting on this topic in 2009 — two years ago.

And that’s about the sum of it. I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of The Daily Telegraph’s ‘exclusive’ report on an issue that’s been rumbling since the proposed “video game addiction” disorder was rejected from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual back in 2007 — that would be the very definition of pissing in the wind — but I do have a question to ask…

Dear mainstream media: if you must cover video games, could you please do a better job of it?

Mainstream Media: If You Must Cover Video Games, Could You Please Do A Better Job Of It?

Step one would most likely be this: kindly update your stock images. Pictures of children holding PlayStation controllers designed in 1994, surrounded by chocolate, chips and a box copy of the original Crash Bandicoot, is hardly doing your story any favours in the legitimacy department.

Step two: anecdotal evidence is meaningless. Sure, feel free to pepper your story with examples of how ‘Little Timmy’ was up all night playing Minecraft so couldn’t do his homework and doesn’t have any friends, but do not frame this as the norm, and please back up any wild statements with some kind of proper evidence.

Step three: balance. Criticism of he said/she said journalism aside, if you’re going to report on video games, kindly give both sides of the argument a fair and equal hearing. Do not pander to your presumed audience of cranky, scared conservatives — and don’t insult the intelligence of that presumed audience either. If you’re going to open with that oft-used ‘video games are more mainstream than you think’ gambit — believe it. Your audience is likely far more video game savvy than you think. They’ll probably laugh at your hyperbole-ridden headline for a second, blame the parents and move on to the sports pages.

Step four: if you’re going to write about video games, you don’t have to be a video game expert — part of the fun of journalism is the joy of discovery — but kindly show games the respect they deserve. I fully understand that playing on the fears of the misinformed is your modus operandi but, for the most part, people aren’t afraid of video games anymore, they’ve embraced them. Mainstream media — you’re lagging behind.

In ten years time I’ll be 40. If things go to plan I may even have a couple of children myself and I’ll want someone to be thinking of them. At this point I’ll most likely be socially conservative, misinformed on the youth of the day and completely vulnerable and terrified. In short: I’ll be your new target audience…

And you’d better have something better for me than the bloody social dangers of video games.

Comments

  • I’m happy to pronounce this the best article that was posted at 12:30PM today that I read. While sober.

    Seriously though – fantastic article. If only it could be sent to the editors at the newspapers and actually be read by them.

        • I used to until I reached high school. It’s main reason I hardly watch the news or read a paper these days.

          Anyone who is anyone can get a article printed in the paper these days – its insane.

    • I love how the “go to” rebuttal for psychological problems caused by video games is the bible.

      Statistically it’s true, there are bound to me more incidents of religion based violence/mental issues than video game violence/mental issues.

    • I sent them an email while reading that article this morning. Had a great laugh. Then I hopped in the car and BAM! It’s being talked about on the radio with one mother calling up and saying that games are being developed with psychologists designed to intentionally deliver dopamine to the gamer to get them addicted.
      I then get to work (Games Studio) and look around, alas, no psychologists.

      I had a good time arguing the difference between a hobby and an addiction over lunch though. Anyway, back to making games to get the youth of today hooked!

      • I giggled because I saw that in a brief scene of NCIS (which I disowned my mother for watching) talking about that.

        • Unfortunately, that’s propably EXACTLY where the caller got her information from. Yet another stereotypical midday drama viewing homemaker, maybe someone should write an article about how they lock themselves away from the world all day and are endorsing anti-social behaviour?

      • Zynga do, I believe. According to some Cracked article over 12 months old.

        Funny then, that Farmville players are probably more mothers than children.

      • You must work for one of those less successful smaller studios. My company had as many psychologists as animators. We even lobbied Microsoft, Sony & Nintendo to install dermal opoid pads to stimulate gamers when they got more points for killing prostitutes or police officers. We even encourage piracy as a way to get more Somali’s hooked!

  • I agree with the Daily Telegraph that vidyagames are sending our children insane and are ruining our society.Just look at what happened with World War 2. They made a game about shooting nazis, and then before you know it, Germany invades Poland.The evidence is there people, you just have to look.

  • Shame this weekend hosted one of the best events out of a “dark basement” in quite a while.

    How does that stereotype even work in Australia where we don’t tend to have basements?

    Anyhow, this is just the usual yellow journalism that we’re used to seeing in the Aussie papers nowadays. They don’t respect their readers and they know that they can get away with it. Doesn’t take much to see why newpapers are a dying medium.

    For those who care, the pictures I linked above are from Dreamhack Winter 2011, the world’s biggest LAN. There were tournaments for all of the biggest competitive games and that arena was where they played the finals.

    • I should also mention that “balance” is almost always misused in journalism these days. It isn’t giving both sides equal airtime, it should be giving both sides equal scrutiny. Sida A says X but Side B says that X is not true, so you present the arguments for both and when it turns out that Side B is correct you make it clear.

      Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but simply showing different opinions and giving them equal weighting without regards for which opinion is actually true is a dangerous game to play.

      It’s safe to say that I am not a big fan of the mainstream media.

    • Heehee, I can read the whole news.com.au front page in about 2 seconds, goes like this:

      No terror attacks in Australia….good
      No major incidents near me or my family…good
      No announcement the company I work for has gone broke…good
      All done

      I really couldn’t care less if Kylie got the PM to hold her trophy, if fact I couldn’t really care less for the PM either.

  • Could this not be something up to the ACCC or something. I mean, essentially these media outlets are defaming a product without any evidence. This can do harm to a business, and if anyone else turned around an back a company or the product without good grounding, they could find themselves in court.

  • Won’t somebody think of the children?!

    Great article, but doubt those that feed on the fear (almost all media outlets) are going to take notice.

    “5 year old recomendation to add gaming addiction to DSM to be revisited” isn’t going to scare all those little old conservatives now is it?

  • I think the key factor here is not videogames but the perception that the mainstream media cover anything adequately. I’m talking about the Everyday News Cycle kinds of pieces here, in particular, not the longer form features and actual, you know, investigative journalism that does still happen from time to time. But the vast majority of what’s printed in newspapers and on TV ‘News Programs’ (those 4 hour morning shows in particular) is not journalism.

    The fact that Fox News is, in fact, mainstream in the US is probably the most obvious example of this. They don’t do journalism.

    • A big problem with those sorts of outlets is that they come up with the “story” first and then try to find something to corroborate it. When they should be taking the facts as they are presented and work out how to make a story from it. They’ve got it all backwards.

      • Makes me sad that CNN, the most legitimate cable news channel, is the lowest rated behind Fox News and MSNBC — two networks with clear bias. I guess this isn’t really related to the article, except for real news being frowned upon by the masses. 😀

        • That’s probably the worst part about it. They do it simply because it gets more viewers than legitimate news. People don’t want to be informed, they want their views reinforced.

          A favourite example for this sort of thing is the reporting of violence in the media. Let’s face it, things these days are pretty awesome. Violent crime is continually dropping, quality of life improves and everything is rainbows and lollipops. Except when you watch American news channels, where the sky is falling and if you aren’t careful, people will break in to your house and rape you with a stolen shotgun.

          The perception of violent crime is significantly higher than the reality of it. For some reason, people are comforted by this idea that there is more violence because it isn’t happening to them. So they feel fortunate to escape this “harsh reality”.

          The world is a twisted place.

  • Another great article Mark.

    As a nerd/geek I’m offended that the phrase has been hijacked by people who purely play games. If you’re only playing games and want to claim the nerd tag – then you’re doing it wrong.

    Apart from that, only mindless plebeian drones believe in anything the Telegraph, Today Tonight, ACA or any other sensationalist media “report”.

    Get Media Watch on to them – STAT!

    • Actually, according to the definitions, nerds are specific, geeks are general, so you can be a computer nerd or a sci-fi nerd or a gaming nerd.
      But you can’t be a geek if you’re only into sci-fi or comics, but you can if you’re into both.
      Journalist here, who agrees but can’t do much to affect change.
      Yet.

  • Thank you so much for writing this Mark, Unfortunately the article has spread to nearly every one of Daily Telegraph subsidiaries, written word for word in the same ‘moral panic’ inducing style. Luckily it appears as you said, most people laughed at the story, blamed the parents and then promptly moved on

    • I don’t think the problem is that we’re all able to identify a terrible article and move on. The problem should be that some ill-informed, care-free journalist is allowed to write such a shocking article and have it published in the newspaper. What happened to having to put your credibility to every article you write?
      Articles like this shouldn’t be printed in the first place, it taints the newspapers reputation and then almost all of the articles become discredited, even the ones are still worth reading.

  • I couldn’t agree anymore with those steps. Today I’ve read a videogame article in the Herald Sun and I was very frustrated that there was not enough proper evidence being used and how biased it was. You also made a very good point about anecdotal evidence. In every videogame article, all I ever see is anecdotal evidence which only weakens the argument.

    I’ve been very tired of how the media makes a load of crap on the very essence of videogames andI’d be very happy if you could send this article as an opinion piece to the newspapers.

  • Its articles like this that annoy me. The mainstream media assumes it knows what its talking about but they’re far off base. Parents need to be parents and not be afraid to use discipline. It’s the only way they’ll learn what’s right and socially acceptable, and what’s not.

  • I’m still waiting for a story to top the Mass Effect “alein rape” news coverage. I don’t think anything has come close to how misinformed and mishandled everything was around that.

  • Daily Telegraph = Daily LOLs. Worst newspaper ever!
    I don’t think anyone expects “balance” from the Telegraph – I think they threw that rule out ages ago.

    But I agree – it is tiresome seeing such incorrect details being used in any articles relating to gaming, be it old hardware being shown, wrong terminology being used, or being just plain stupid and ignorant.

  • I don’t understand how video games can make more then the film and music industries but still be seen as “underground”.

  • The part that irritates me is that they could cite any kind of addiction as stemming from or leading to mental illness. Gamers are just the flavor of the month (Decades).

    As a gamer with diagnosed mental illness, I’m very tempted to go off on a vicious rant here.

    • +1. I actually find that the gaming time helps with my mental state. I feel calmer and more focused after a couple of hours solving puzzles or trying to get 100 per cent in some games…

      And I haven’t paid attention to any “news” either on television or in print for going on 5 years now. It’s too depressing.

  • At least their headline was better than the Courier Mail (same article): “Real-life violence sparked by World of Warcraft”

    • Also…
      GO FORTH AND BE FERTILE!
      ~o ~o ~o ~o ~o ~o ~o ~o

      Now, I’d best be off. I’ve got some hookers to kill… FOR POINTS!

      Super Nerd! AWAAAAAAAAYYY!!! ~o=

  • something like 7.5 million copies of MW3 sold, + about 3 million or more of BF3.

    now i don’t know about you guys, but i’m pretty sure everyone who bought those games are running around being vandalism jerks and/or murderers. in fact, haven’t humans been killing the shit out of each other for tens of millions of years??

    What’s that? oh mainstream media! didn’t one of your corporations hack into a girls phone and convince American police she was still alive? then a huge inquiry was lodged? yes yes, lets throw the attention off our own corrupt business to a minority of gamers, because apparently they’re all psychos with no morals and are up to no good

  • Super nerd.

    ….Super nerd.

    ………….SUPER NERD?

    Just, what even, I don’t, but the, how, we, so can, but the……….

    • Its Today Tonight. Mark was lucky they didn’t accuse him of being an illegal immigrant who exploits welfare while doing dodgy contract work on the side.

      • Haha yeah dude, I am well aware of both the standard of reporting from Today Tonight and the mainstream media in general.

        But it is just hilarious. I just found the piece online as well because it didnt screen here in SA (as far as I know) and had a hearty laugh. It is just abysmal the reporting that goes on there. From the editing to the dialogue, it just makes me cringe. There’s not even mention of how long voice controls took to get here. Maybe Microsoft paid for that entire segment.

        I am also interested to know how edited Mark’s dialogue is.

        • Back when I was at Uni an industry insider told us the producers of the show look at their audience with contempt, yet they still come back for more.

          • Thus the cycle continues…..

            I am also interested in the editing because I have a neighbour who’s really starting to piss me off, so I wanted to make sure I am represented correctly when I take it to television……

            ….

  • Nicely said. It would be great if one of them read this and actually listened. But then the Daily Telegraph has been rubbish for a long, long time.

    It isn’t even worth $1.20 or so that you can get it for at Central station.

  • http://resources0.news.com.au/images/2011/11/27/1226207/549328-video-games.jpg

    Alright the above link is the picture they use for the online article and just look at it. It probably came from one of ye olde archives of Playstation 1. For years now these sort of stories have never changed beyond a certain stereotype that gamers are potentially insane. The fact that this article did not have a single amount of debate from the other side just makes it fall flat on its face. Then again it is the Daily Telegraph…

  • That concluding paragraph is me all over. Kids do indeed make you (or me, at least) more socially conservative than you might think.

    For my part, I would like to see less focus on the ‘evils’ of video games, and more on the evils of multinationals hawking sugar-loaded cereals as health foods and fast food companies sponsoring school canteens. More on the intense social pressures to look and behave ‘right’, and less on what harmless (in moderation) activities that kids choose to do in their precious leisure time.

    But if I’m wishing for that, I might as well just wish for two hundred billion dollars so I could overhaul the world’s media networks by myself.

    • I don’t think the fast food and sugar-loaded cereal issues are products of becoming more socially conservative. I’d argue those types of issues are progressive or lefty ones.

      Anyway. Wonderfully written article, Mark. However, I feel you might be wasting your time. As long as “X is dangerous and it’s harming your children!” type headlines sell more papers then thoughtful, accurate pieces, we’re going to keep seeing more of this nonsense.

    • I use the lock box that came with my GTAIV limited edition to lock up all the controllers.

      Then my wife phones me at work and gives of to me cause she can’t play Hexic.

      • Damed if you do, damned if you don’t eh?

        It would be better to take the cables away – controllers are easy enough to find and sync with the console. Whereas cables are more proprietary than printer cartridges.

        • I’ll disagree with that. My PS3 has the standard figure-8 power cable and a HDMi cable. Take away those and I’ve got heaps around. Take away my Dualshock 3’s and all I’ve got is the PS3 Bluetooth remote!

  • Unfortunately newspapers primary goal has become only to sell more newspapers and balance does not sell as many litter tray liners as moral panic focused pieces that play to stereotypes and stupidity.

    and maybe it’s been a while since I last saw her, but when the hell did Kylie Minogue have her face replaced with Chucky from childs play? Her creepy emotionless botoxed face looks like she’s incapable of even frowning.

  • Look! Up in the sky!

    Is it a bird?
    Is it a plane?
    No, it’s Mark Serrels, SUPER NERD!

    And hes’ wearing a kilt. Ew.

  • At least ‘The Project’ treat you will a little more respect when you went on there Mark, they even had a gamer on the panel who backed you up.

  • *slow but sincere clap*
    GIVE THIS MAN A FREAKING MEDAL!!!
    i read the aforementioned article…
    it was to be straight; sh*t

    thank you for saying exactly what i was thinking Mr. Serrels… thank you

  • *siiiiigh*

    Working on the enemy’s side of the wire, the sad truth of the matter is that every single person commenting on this headline, be it Serrels, or the Kotaku pundits in general, are basing their very valid and intelligent feedback on an entirely unintelligent truth.

    I once questioned my boss on the manner in which I was told to write a headline. “Is this a news article or an entertainment commentary?”
    The answer: “News *IS* entertainment.”

    The tabloids make their money off of fear, sensationalism and beat-up headlines. It is no coincidence that the rise of ACA and Today Tonight as ratings juggernaughts coincided with the decline of 60 Minutes, both literally and figuratively.

    You are all, without knowing it apparently, asking the proverbial prostitute to embrace celibacy. The ‘mainstream’ media does not care about true accuracy. Their only aim is to grab as many morons who are suspectible to smiling-faces-product-shots advertising as they possibly can, in as short a time as practical.

    If this headline graced the pages of The Age or the Sydney Morning Herald, I could understand the backlash. But this is the Daily Telegraph, and giving their toilet rag the light of day on this website is a little bit like complaining about Playschool limiting their scripts to words no longer than two syllables each.

  • Well we’ve got trouble friend… right here in River City.
    Trouble, that starts with T and that rymes with P and that stands for pool.

  • This is a repost from my blog (which i won’t post here because that would be seen as a plug 😉 i don’t want to do that 🙂 🙂 )

    anyway, its not all of it but some of it

    ‘It does, no matter how much gamers want to rally against the mainstream media, video game addiction is a problem in a small percentage of gamers. Just like alcohol, just like poker machines, a small percentage of gamers can’t get enough of it and it is a real social problem.’

    ‘But when the media present a calm, collected argument and facts from a world body that there is a problem (and numerous people have died playing games for to long over the years), we should sit back and think you know what, perhaps they have a point. Perhaps there is a problem and perhaps it should be dealt with. Viewing this as an attack is akin to viewing Alcoholics Anonymous as an attack our on right to drink alcohol. It’s not and it never will be.’ (ASIDE FROM THE HEADLINE)

    ‘Gamers are often referred to as immature brats in the mainstream media (I am looking at you Samantha Brett (Smh.com.au) and your ‘i will never date a gamer attitude’) and often blamed for many things. But by jumping down the medias throat every time they mention gaming in a bad light you are not helping. Using the aforementioned alcoholic comparison, do people who enjoy alcohol jump down the medias throat when alcohol addiction is mentioned? No.’

    ‘By continuing to smear and write clearly slanderous comments on news websites, twitter and forums, gamers are building that psyche and stereotype of gamers in the community. Perhaps, just perhaps next time you read something about gaming in the mainstream media, stop and think about it. They might have a point and by choosing when to attack the mainstream media, if you do it at a time when they really are being ridiculous and inflammatory, you will gain a lot more respect as a collective, then if you fly off the handle every time they comment about gamers.

    If 2012 is the year we receive R18+ and gaming finally comes of age, then perhaps its time we as gamers grow up as well.’

      • I totally agree. Although I find that the just like the small percentage that have an additction, it’s a small percentage they talk crap online and make the rest of us look bad.
        Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason.
        Unfortunately i don’t think that the gaming community as a whole can just sit up and stop this behaviour.

        One other point – how come gamers are still refered to as teenagers in the basement when the average age of a “gamer” in Australia is somwhere round 30?

        • Actually i just watched that Today Tonight story. If 92% of households have a console, why are video games still considered the domain of pipmly teenages in the basement? And as Mark states, why the hell doesn’t mainstream media catch up?
          Bottom line I guess is lazy journalism and stereotyping.

  • and one more thing, when i was younger and played games quite a bit in my teens my mum told her friends

    ‘at least he isnt out doing drugs at 3am in the morning and i have no idea where he is’

    indeed.

    • Indeed!

      Just to put it all in perspective..

      A kid plays team sports for 3 or more hours and he’s talented
      A kid plays an instrument for 3 or more hours and he’s gifted
      A kid plays video games for 3 or more hours and he’s an addict

      The good news is at least video games *are* becoming mainstream enough that hopefully these articles shock style articles will be relegated to the same dustbin as “D&D taught my son to worship satan!” stories xD

  • Great article, but I like how its the games fault, not the parents, I mean the parents wouldn’t let little Johnny, play in the park, football, or bike for all night, why let them play games… KNOW WHAT YOUR KIDS ARE DOING… your the parent… have some parental control, losers…

  • What a load of croc. I’ve been playing video games since I was 3 years old and if I remember the first game I played was Doom. I can safetly say that I do not run around melbourne, chainsaw in hand mowing people down.

  • So the parent lets her child miss school because he’s playing video games…
    and its the games fault?

    Where is DOCS and why are they not having a very serious discussion with this so called “parent” about what HER RESPONSIBILITY is as a parent?

  • I actually saw that article on TV while at my parents’ place by accident – as soon as they started talking about video games my family collectively groaned as we’re all aware of the media bias on them. The only part that I didn’t laugh/scorn over the top of was when a Kotaku representative popped up making merciful sense. 😛

  • How 1 story can be interpreted in different states differently

    Same story (the oen about addiction), different headlines

    This is the news limited headlines nationwide for THAT story

    NSW Daily Telegraph – Video Game Kids Going Crazy

    QLD Courier Mail – Real life violence sparked by WOW

    Perth – Real Life Violence Sparked by Wow

    Melbourne – Violence sparked by WOW

    Adelaide – Teens hooked on the internet

    I’d say that adelaide is the smartest of the lot!

    Pick which one had the front page headline, thats right, NSW.

  • No offense to the author, but Kotaku is essentially “mainstream media” in that it appeals to, erm, the mainstream. Just sayin’…

  • While i echo the comments of those made about the media’s depiction of video games in general, with this story being no exception, i am interested in the story itself even though it was reported with the intent to make parents spit out their morning joe over the front page headline while little timmy played his gameboy across the table.

    I am a Psychology Honours student (hopefully soon to be masters student *cross fingers*) and i frequently work with the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR – That is the fourth edition, text revised). For those that don’t know what it is – it is basically a list of mental disorders (such as depression) that have criteria that it lists for a psychologist or other health professional to measure against a client that must be met before they can be diagnosed as having that disorder. It isn’t used here frequently in WA as we have our own criterions for each disorder but it is used in some parts of Australia and it is the gold standard in the US.

    While the DSM-IV-TR covers a lot of disorders that most people would expect to be in there that are pretty common (depression, anxiety, Schizophernia etc…) there are disorders in there that psychologists do diagnose but people wouldn’t think they would (substance abuse disorders, sexual/gender disorders, Eating disorders, sleep disorders etc…). In fact the DSM in past versions has had quite controversial disorders added to it, the most famous being homosexuality being listed as a diagnosable mental disorder from the first DSM in 1952 to the third iteration in 1974.

    But how does this tie to video game addiction and why now? Well the simplest explanation would be that the American Psychological Association (APA) is now making the DSM-V and generally accepts comments, requests and submissions to get views from both the general and clinical community as to what disorders should be present or left out and how criteria for disorders might be refined. It shouldn’t be surprising that video games addition would come up in reference to being submitted to the DSM since almost anything and everything is generally submitted for consideration (which is generally why it takes them about 5-7 years just to make a new version). But there is i believe also another reason.

    Recent literature and studies on the topic investigating video games has become more vocal in stating that there needs to be more research on the topic urgently due to the violently different nature video games have taken and how different they are from 15-20 years ago. Video games are definitely becoming not only more popular but have a much greater level of immersion thanks in part to better graphics, voice acting, story and more freedom and control for the player then ever before.

    Personally i am considering doing an article on this (i did my thesis on this very topic) since while the article over at gamespot by Laura is very good, it seems to focus a little to heavily on pointing the finger at MMO’s as the classic addictive game genre of choice when more recent research suggests that it is game elements and features that are not exclusive to MMO’s but are applicable to all genres that are of interest to researchers investigating addiction.

    • The very fact that practically everyone who knows anything about the issue on a psychological level is exactly the reason it shouldn’t be put in the DSM as a disorder, at least yet. Granted a few months of reading Psych articles will tell you that there needs to be more research done on every thing in the history of ever, , but there’s a difference between using the scientific method and casual observation. Certainly the research is beginning to develop a good base, but as I’m sure you’re well aware, there’s some seriously conflicting findings, and certainly no common consensus.

      • Oh yes – i know at practically at the end of every scientific study there is generally almost always a call for future research into the area to verify their findings. However the (well i guess some would call it the “field”) investigation of video games in general from a psychological perspective is gaining momentum as more and more studies are being conducted year after year as it becomes more mainstream.

        Personally i am waiting to see what the longitudinal studies (i know of 4 in progress) will show regarding video game “addiction” as hopefully they will be capturing how video games have evolved over time and demonstrate that some of the “late one night” studies that journalists seem to pick up on that offer the same quality of results that my dog could give.

        (Also i am quietly confident it won’t make it into the DSM-V).

  • As sad as it sounds, I’m going to go ahead and say that it’s likely the studios behind games designed to be addictive, like World Of Warcraft, Farmville, and Smurf village or whatever its called, probably have some kind of psychological experts that they consult with to optimise the addictiveness. Maybe not the key programming teams, but the publishers and big corperate execs would make use of these experts – its all just money to them.

    Great article btw.

  • Not sticking up for how they went about trying to scare dumbasses to think a certain way about games, plus get a few extra readers for a dieing media.

    In saying that game addiction is real though it doesnt really cause violence (if someones violent they will be so without the aid of games). I know 1st hand of the addiction of gaming when I was a WoW fanatic it would eat into my life more than I should of let it, and It started affecting other aspects of my life which is why I stopped.

    A few countries throughout Asia have already announced it as a disorder and some like Vietnam have set gaming curfews, so wont be long till the DSM puts it down a disorder (probably will be in the DSM5 due next year).

    For most part its ot he parents to stop the addiction from happening as the kids will become reliant on the games cause them physical and mental problems when they are taking away like depression, stress an anxiety (this only in cases of addiction which really isn’t that common if you have caring parents).

    • I was a Meth addict at the age of 16. I borrow, stole or sold what I had to get high, every day.

      You played a fucking video game. Pull your head out of your ass, you weren’t dependant on it, needing it every day or legitimately contemplatinto suicide when you didn’t have it.

      You were just a guy who liked a particular game and You chose to keep playing. Don’t even pretend they are the same thing.

  • Mass Effect’s ‘virtual orgasmic rape’ comment will always be the most bizarre of all the misinformed comments me!

  • They just never learn do they my old man says 30-20 years ago it use to be horror movies taking the blame for issues

  • I think it’s hypocritical of anyone involved in ‘games journalism’ to act holier than thou regarding mainstream journalism.

  • Hm… And to think me and my friend played the spec ops in MW2 from 1am to 5am on friday… But hey, I at least realised we should stop and sleep! .__.

  • Is it just me or is that headline implying that anyone with mental illness is “crazy”?
    Society is going backwards at a rate of notes.

  • I get so mad every time I read that kind of rubbish, let’s face it how many people bought MW3 day 1? 1.4 million people did. That’s how many bought 1 game to play on the first day. So by standard media math that means 1.4 million people went out and shot their families and fellow students and co-workers. Didn’t see that news story? No I saw civil unrest in Egypt.
    I will admit I am a heavy game player and social obscure. But I will also admit that this is more to do with the fact I travelled constantly to countries I couldn’t understand the language in for 5 years between 7 and 13 years of age.
    I will admit that I can get angry at times, outrageously so. My anger management is actually video games. Prior to video games, I would get into fights and get sent to the school councillor. Doom came out, apache gunship came out. I learnt to how to treat my anger in a healthy normal way by redirecting it and not deploying or bottling it. Where did this anger come from? Family abuse, I guess video games caused that did it? No it didn’t. A lot of kids who suffer abuse, turn abusive. I did not and i like to think games are the reason.

  • the telegraph writes news articles now?

    Here I just thought they reported on sport, added a few puzzles and comics and the rest of the paper was kindling.

    The article is a sensationalist joke, and proves quite seriously that the telegraph caters to the LCD.

  • Mark, your my hero, I’m sick and tired of media labeling video games as a toxic brain washing technique that does nothing but depress people. You always hear media run a story about how a parent thinks a video game influenced their children to commit illegal acts but they don’t mention how playing Starcraft II was found to help fight against Alzheimer’s disease do you?

    Honestly, I’m starting to believe that media think we’re fools. Send your article to all the newspapers so that they can actually learn how to write a proper god damn article about the pros and cons of video games.

  • As a Psych major, if this get’s into the next DSM, I’m changing fields, seems unlikely though, the next edition is expected to cut down on a lot of this pseudo disorder crap.

  • the article should be retitled – bad parenting, letting kids have their way with videogames instead of paying attention to them

  • Those crazy psychiatrist leeches, I wouldn’t trust anyone who has held people captive, tortured them with electricity, pick ice and pills, maimed and killed tens of thousands of people since they started this industry of death.

    They sit around and invent these “illnesses” ohh and guess what they have the “treatment” selling pills to you for the rest of your life.

    I see them as local drug dealers simply pushing drugs from the pharmaceutical giants, why are they not arrested?.

    Ohh they had gays labelled as “mentally ill” but later changed it.
    There is no test they can do scientifically to prove someone crazy or sane it is all simply based upon an opinion.

  • The funny/worst thing about this is that they ran the article on news.com.au but it had 2 titles. One was about Internet misuse being a mental health issue, but the one that linked to it in the most popular feed was “real life violence soaked by world of Warcraft”. Nice job on the game bashing news.com.au. How bout next time you actually name your articles properly instead of misleading your readers Bryce McDougal (author of article) pull your head in

  • Forget how the media reports video games, the media doesn’t know how to report in general. I saw the news the other day and it featured a story on the 2012 apocalypse in which the ‘reporter’ pointed out how stupid the story was by referencing the y2k bug and various other crazy religious claims, yet continued with his story. If the media knew how to report then I would have a problem with their view on video games, but as it stands now they’re just a bunch of crack addled toddlers behind a computer making “stories”

  • Did anyone see sunrise last week? Their method of balance was to included a ‘professional’ mother (read as complainer) and one of their own from the panel as the ‘opposite’ side. What this exuated to was another video game bashing session to which koshie ended with… “its definately a growing concern”. Nothing valid was presented…. it was all “young kids are playing scary violent games!!! praise jebus this doesnt continue” style.

    Lets just the thankful that the australian journalism industry isnt as harsh as the americ….. FOX NEWS….

  • A now subscriber of mine on YouTube which is a Lady Gaga fan, once visited my profile and called me like, “Wow you are such a f**king nerd.” I can’t help but wonder why she said that and it came to my mind that it is indeed, stereotype. Most non-playing people hate gamers, or if not hating at any, putting some bad connotations. Something like that.

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