The Sun run story claiming games make us ‘violent’ and ‘depressed’
The Sun, Britain’s top-selling newspaper, is running an article which has psychologist Steve Pope claiming that games are “addictive”, cause “depression” and are one of the main reasons why “we are getting more violent”.
Pope says players find it difficult to go about “their daily business” after “they spend all day killing people”. According to Pope, Modern Warfare appears to be the game that causes the most problems.
Amongst the evidence cited by Pope, is a claim that he was hired by a premier league football club to figure out why their players were incapable of winning an away football game. The diagnosis was that the players were playing video games on the journey to the match.
“Last year a premier league football club called me in to try to find out why the players weren’t playing well in away games. I found that on the coaches to the matches they were all playing computer games.”
It seems the solution to that age old problem, of football teams struggling to win away, is to stop the players from playing video games. With solutions such as this, Pope must be odds on favourite to be next manager at Manchester United once Sir Alex Ferguson retires. In light of this new evidence, PS3 Attitude believes that Rooney must be banned from playing video games otherwise England’s chances of winning the World Cup could be in jeopardy.
Pope later adds:
“One of the games causing many problems is the warfare series Call Of Duty. It is highly addictive and people play for hours on end. They spend all day killing people, then come off it and have to go about their daily business. I believe such games are one reason we are getting more violent.”
“I’ve got several patients who are what would be clinically termed addicted to… computer games. These things set the brain up for a pattern of gross fluctuation, too many highs and lows. For a short time, they can make people feel valued and boost their self-esteem. When they realise these feelings don’t last, some people – particularly youngsters – can become down, even having feelings of depression.”
It isn’t surprising to see an article such as this in the Sun, a tabloid famed for its sensationalism, but, worryingly, these negative stories are appearing with an alarming frequency. What is more concerning to gamers is that the industry has been getting little chance to defend itself.
Tim Ingham, editor of Computer and Video Games, was given a rare opportunity to defend the video games industry on national television on a popular talk show hosted by former gardener Alan Titchmarsh. The BAFTA awards for video games had made gaming a topic of discussion, but rather than celebrate the success of the industry, the opportunity was used to criticise gaming.
Ingham tried not to defend the violence, instead he attempted to educate parents about the age rating systems and the parental lock features on game consoles. He received a hostile reception from an audience that was more interested in what Julie Peasgood had to say. Peasgood, a previous winner of the Best Sex Writer Award from Scarlet Magazine for her book The Greatest Sex Tips in the World, labelled games as “racist” much to rapture of the audience. Check out the video above.
Can this negative perception of video games be changed? We hope so. We would be interested to hear your thoughts on the perception of gaming below…