THERE’S MORE WORK TO BED ONE…
VIDEOGAMES ISSUES THAT STILL NEED ADDRESSING
While videogames bring an overwhelming amount of goodwill, it would be ridiculous to pretend that it’s all sweetness and light. There are still issues which the industry would do well to address, rather than ignore.
The one which the tabloids and their ilk always jump on is, of course, violence. Over the years, some research has periodically surfaced purporting to show that violent games breed aggressive behaviour, but on closer scrutiny, much of that ‘information’ emerged from dubious educational establishments situated in the US bible belt, with a censorious agenda.
Professor Mark Griffiths points out the problem with research into violent games: “I don’t believe that scientifically, empirically that it has been absolutely shown that playing violent videogames makes people more aggressive,” he says. “We just can’t ethically allow eight-year-olds to play GrandTheftAuto, then study them in the lab to see what happens. It’s not our fault that we can’t do the experiments we’d like to do, but I don’t think the science is there to do it.”
Griffiths, as one of the world’s leading experts on addiction, does have misgivings about loot boxes, though: “I personally think, at the very least, it’s gambling-like. It’s still socially and behaviourally conditioning your children about the concepts of gambling, even if they don’t realise it’s gambling that they are doing. Personally, I think children and adults should be told what the probability of winning is. If you want something in terms of extending your gameplay or improving your gameplay, you should know what the odds are when you open that loot box.”