Video firms must make games safe
FOR parents who grew up with a couple of Italian plumbers called Mario and Luigi, today’s games market is a minefield.
Sometimes literally. Plenty of violent games feature exploding mines.
So responsible mums and dads ensure the games their children disappear into their bedrooms with are age appropriate and play is time limited. Then they leave them to it.
For them we have a salutary warning – our revelation today of how a nine-year-old girl ended up in rehab after becoming addicted to Fortnite.
Her story will disturb every parent with children of a similar age. As she became increasingly drawn into the game she began falling asleep in school.
Even though her parents give her an hour time limit on school days, she was getting up in the middle of the night for more, wetting herself because she was too engrossed to go to the loo.
It does not help that star footballers who kids look up to also promote the game.
Nor that professional game players can earn big money on internet video channels.
This shows is that all computer games have the potential to turn young people into addicts.
But too little is known about how they do it.
That’s why Digital Secretary Matt Hancock is insisting on industry-funded research into the potential damage they cause.
The industry is not so keen on co-operating. That means the Government must get even tougher with them.
They must come up with proper safeguards and comprehensive guidelines for young players.
And if they do not, Mr Hancock must legislate to make them.