Tanya Byron's Gamer Addiction Show - A Fact

Let's all calm down a bit.

Posted by Staff
Tanya Byron's Gamer Addiction Show - A Fact
The UK video games industry appears to be getting somewhat flustered over a TV show called Are You Normal? that aired on the BBC this week. It was presented by Dr Tanya Byron - and it was not adulatory about video games or 'addiction'.

One of the most damning quotes to fall from the doctor's lips was, "It might seem ludicrous to compare a childish computer fantasy game with hard drug addiction. But addiction counsellors offering treatment to gamers argue that there are key similarities in the way that the consumer gets hooked into coming back for more."

How could she? Only last month it appeared that Dr Byron was the belle of the video game industry, full of understanding, intelligent research and reasonable recommendations. But now, it appears, she has turned!

We were a little taken aback about such an apparent (and neck-breaking) volte face - calling video games 'childish'; saying we we are addicts! Something wasn't quite right.

Bearing in mind that Dr Byron was asked (apparently by Gordon Brown) to conduct the review into child safety in September of 2007 - we contacted her representatives to ask one simple question: "Was the TV show commissioned and filmed before the Byron Review was commissioned and completed?"

It didn't take too long before the response arrived, "Filming on the series finished Summer 2007.

"The Byron Review was commissioned after the series was filmed".

So, we then did a quick compare and contrast with the mentions of 'addiction' in the Review itself. Here are some notables.

"(Page 11)
Very few people are genuinely addicted to video games but lots of time spent playing can result in missed opportunities for other forms of development and socialisation."

"Excessive use in online gaming
6.70 (page 157) "There is some evidence from Germany that high users share reactions with drug addicts (Wells, 2005), but clear evidence of a group of ?addicted? online gamers is still lacking (Griffiths, 2007)."

It might be us, but we do tend to see a change in attitude in the Review itself compared to the TV show. Could it be that Byron - like the industry - learnt something along the way?

We've asked for comment on just that question. In the mean time:

You can watch the TV show here.

Although MCV has produced a handy page of video game-related quotes from the same program, here.

You can download a copy of the Byron Review here.
People:

Comments

deleted 17 Apr 2008 11:19
1/9
"(Page 11)
Very few people are genuinely addicted to video games but lots of time spent playing can result in missed opportunities for other forms of development and socialisation."

Really!! i never thought of like that all that time playing Halo i could of been out catching butterfly`s or learning to tango, seriously that quote is the most obvious thing ever stated, its like saying

few people are addicted to watching TV but viewing lots of TV can result in you missing out on something, its like that quote was written by a child who is scared of missing out on something while do somehting else.

honestly. oh yeah please dont call gaming childish at least not when im on GTA IV in 11 days.
Joji 17 Apr 2008 11:44
2/9
This is laughable at best and plain patronising bs at worst.

This coming from the BBC, who recently pimped their iPlayer service on Wii and PS3, so you can watch all your BBC favourites on said home consoles.

Other forms of development and socialisation? Have these people never heard of Live and PSN, let alone XNA and the possible creative endeavor of creating their own game.

Aren't the majority of the nation addicted to lame arse soaps every evening? Perhaps they need help more than we do, since many women think the actors are really their characters.
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Horatio 17 Apr 2008 12:01
3/9
I was about to comment, but then realised that Spong. Haritori and Joji have pretty much said everything I was thinking.

Whilst I was NOT watching the program, I was outside (yes. really!) playing a game of tennis.... I'm not sure how I feel about this state of affairs now though, as I was missing out on watching TV and on playing games.... my head hurts :-(
king skins 17 Apr 2008 12:21
4/9
Horatio wrote:
I'm not sure how I feel about this state of affairs now though, as I was missing out on watching TV and on playing games.... my head hurts :-(


Cloning is the answer! Then we can do lots of the things at the same time and not have to miss out on anything :)
Tim Smith 17 Apr 2008 14:09
5/9
king skins wrote:
Cloning is the answer! Then we can do lots of the things at the same time and not have to miss out on anything :)


No it is not.
Cheers
Tim

Yes it is!
Cheers
Tim
Horatio 17 Apr 2008 14:21
6/9
Tim Smith wrote:
king skins wrote:
Cloning is the answer! Then we can do lots of the things at the same time and not have to miss out on anything :)


No it is not.
Cheers
Tim

Yes it is!
Cheers
Tim


Assuming my clones all share my intelligence (or lack of it) and my other traits, then surely cloning isn't the answer.... I'd simply have several different versions of me, all missing out :-(

Did we go off-topic here :-P
Tim Smith 17 Apr 2008 14:24
7/9
Horatio wrote:
Assuming my clones all share my intelligence (or lack of it) and my other traits, then surely cloning isn't the answer.... I'd simply have several different versions of me, all missing out :-(

Did we go off-topic here :-P


And they'll all die young like Dolly the sheep did.

Yes we did go off topic.
Cheers
Tim
deleted 17 Apr 2008 17:14
8/9
Tim Smith wrote:
Horatio wrote:
Assuming my clones all share my intelligence (or lack of it) and my other traits, then surely cloning isn't the answer.... I'd simply have several different versions of me, all missing out :-(

Did we go off-topic here :-P


And they'll all die young like Dolly the sheep did.

Yes we did go off topic.
Cheers
Tim


to get back on topic, iron man and hulk would make great lovers!
p 19 Apr 2008 18:48
9/9
Tim Smith wrote:
king skins wrote:
Cloning is the answer! Then we can do lots of the things at the same time and not have to miss out on anything :)


No it is not.
Cheers
Tim

Yes it is!
Cheers
Tim


No, it?s not. Interlinked brains are the answer, or just pretend you?ve done stuff (Like on a CV).
Anyway, must go, this air traffic doesn?t control its self, apparently.
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