UKIE comments on Panorama programme on video game addiction

7 December 2010 - London, United Kingdom – Michael Rawlinson, Director General of video games and interactive entertainment trade body UKIE, comments on the Panorama programme on video game addiction: “There is currently no proven link between video games and addiction, with there being mixed opinion among academics about whether a game can be clinically addictive. There is no official medical diagnosis of video game addiction, either from the American Medical Association or the World Health Organization.”

“Playing games is a hobby - just like reading, listening to music or playing a sport - that millions of people around the world engage in safely every day. We know that most people use games as part of a balanced lifestyle: in the UK, 55% of gamers aged 16-49 play for 1-5 hours a week, with only 12% playing in excess of 10 hours a week.”

"UKIE is aware of some individuals that play games excessively but often the causes of many of the sad cases that we hear about are down to other underlying medical, social or environmental issues concerning the individuals concerned."

“UKIE and the wider video games and interactive entertainment industry takes the health and wellbeing of consumers very seriously and promotes balance and moderation as part of its safe and sensible gaming message. This includes recommending gamers take regular breaks of at least five minutes every 45-60 minutes as a rule of thumb.”

“UKIE promotes this message and other safe and sensible gaming tips on our website www.ukie.info/playsafe. UKIE will continue to update this area of their website with the latest relevant information on this topic.”

“Playing games sensibly and safely can have benefits: helping gamers of all ages to develop social skills such as collaboration and turn taking, and nurturing strategic thinking. Playing active technology and fitness games can also improve physical health, and offer other general health benefits that result from this.”

“UKIE continues to monitor any research developments on the issue of excessive gaming and will welcome reviewing any conclusive new research. Any new research undertaken should be as balanced as possible. Therefore any research undertaken should ideally be independent of the games industry and any other bodies that may have an interest in the results.”

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Contacts:
For all press enquiries, please contact the UKIE press office on T: +44 (0)20 7534 0582 or E: press@ukie.info

About UKIE
The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or UKIE is a trade body that represents the whole of the UK’s video games and wider interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 1989 (and formerly known as ELSPA), UKIE’s membership includes games publishers, developers and the academic institutions that support the industry.

UKIE works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, tax incentives and protecting intellectual property rights. It also works with the media to ensure true and accurate representation of the sector by raising awareness of the industry’s positive economic contribution and the societal benefits of gaming to policy makers, regulators and consumers.

One of UKIE’s key roles is to support its members by providing them with key market information, promoting careers and offering the business support services, training and best-practice knowledge to enable them to operate most effectively.

In addition, UKIE works with GfK Chart-Track to compile weekly, monthly and annual retail charts and sales reports for the UK market.