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Microsoft says gaming companies must ‘do more’ to curb overuse ahead of WHO 'addiction' ruling

Dave McCarthy, head of operations at Xbox ,told The Telegraph that he wants to “push the industry to recognise that it is challenging to be a parent and manage digital and online.”

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telegraph.co.uk
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fathertime446431d ago

How about the WHO come up with a program for the parental sickness that afflictly most parents. You know the one, it's where a parent blames 90 percent of their kids problems on everyone and everything else and let's their kid do what ever it wants instead of parenting

ILoveEmman31d ago (Edited 31d ago )

That's what you call a passive aggressive parent.

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andibandit31d ago (Edited 31d ago )

"let's their kid do what ever it wants instead of parenting"

If I let my daughter do that, she'd be glued to the ipad 16 hours a day.

blacktiger31d ago

that's bad parenting that kids don't know what they want and how to deal with it,

81BX30d ago

Actually that's pretty damn good parenting. He now only has 8hrs to not screw up! Excellent plan.

TacoTaco31d ago

Sounds like the post of someone upset they're being labeled and they don't wanna because it's their parent's fault.

The_Sage31d ago

Being a parent is about setting boundaries and limits and enforcing them. If your child is behaving in an unacceptable way it your fault. Period.

GtPawnSacrifices31d ago

You mean like this?
https://www.news.com.au/lif...

Step 1: Turn the internet off 🤪

Seraphim31d ago

Everything is caused by an outside source. It's not my fault, it's *fill in the blank.* There is absolutely no accountability with far too many people and parents.

it does seem like there are far too many bad and absentee parents nowadays. To be fair there's certainly plenty of others who do parent or at least try. between both groups there are certainly people who can't take responsibility for lack of their parenting. I can't get my kid off their tablet. Well yeah you gave it to them when they were 3 so they wouldn't bother you and they became accustomed to being on it the entire time they're at home. Thing is we're not animals. We don't give birth, nurse them for a few months then let them loose on the world. We have to instill values, set routines, teach, play, etc our kids from birth until they're adults.

Having said that idk that any console manufacturer has a responsibility. I guess they could all come together for a campaign targeting parents to inform them of what should be common sense. Excessive use is not good and could lead to problems for their children... Not sure what parental features the consoles do have but I suppose, if not present already, giving parents the ability to set time limits for their kids.

Rude-ro31d ago

😂 although true.. the average age of the gamer is 21-35.
It effects adults more than children.

Godmars29031d ago

That's called stupidity. There's no real cure for that...

gamer780430d ago (Edited 30d ago )

hah, this 100% , but this way neither the gamer nor the parent has to take any responsibility, its now the government's fault.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 30d ago
rainslacker31d ago (Edited 31d ago )

Why must game companies do more to curb overuse? What could they possibly do that they already don't? Parental controls are there. I think Xbox, or maybe it's PS, has a feature that can alert you at regular intervals about how much time you're playing. none of this is relevant to adults who own their own systems, and don't use the features, so realistically, outside of having a nanny installed at an OS or game level to cut your time down arbitrarily based on what someone feels you should be playing as a normal person, what can be done? Add a disclaimer that maybe if you play a lot of games, or play for a lot of time, that you may have an addiction? Such disclaimers don't work, although there is nothing wrong with maybe informing people and offering a way to get help if they want it.

I can sometimes game for a whole weekend if it's raining outside, or too cold to work in the shop, or during the week if I don't have much else going on. I can devote a lot of hours to gaming...well beyond what a normal person does. I find time during my lunch breaks to play a bit as well. I don't shirk my responsibilities, and there is no way for a publisher or console maker to discern if I am an addict, or have a disorder, of if I'm just someone who really likes to play games.

If the WHO wants to classify gaming addiction as a disorder, that's fine, but there is more to it than just saying it exists. There needs to be root causes listed, as well as potential treatments. Studies have to be done to ascertain that kind of thing, and about the only studies I see nowadays are some non-peer reviewed studies which come to arbitrary conclusions, and state that gaming can produce chemicals in the brain. Neither of which suggests that gaming is addictive, or that it can be a disorder on it's own.

I would like statistics on those who are diagnosed with this disorder, how many of them are also diagnosed with other things like depression, social anxiety disorder, ADD/ADHD, or some other less common disorder which causes people to not be active in society or place the wrong importance on the wrong things.

l33t_haxx0r31d ago

I'm not reading this, post is to long

rainslacker31d ago

Thanks for the constructive input I guess.

Ricegum31d ago

No one asked you to read it. Move along Xbox troll.

Rimeskeem30d ago

I have an easier time reading that entire post than trying to figure out your name.

Smokehouse31d ago

When have you ever heard of a company trying to “curb” the use of their own products lmao. This is stupid. “WHO” is exactly right, who the hell are they to determine anything? So these guys at combobreaker that practice 6-7 hours a day on fighting games have a disorder?

DarXyde31d ago

I might be the only one in this topic who is intimately familiar with WHO by nature of work and connections, but I think you are misguided.

Much like the APA (American Psychiatric Association), when things are classified as disorders, there is very strict criteria that rules out other causes and must persist for a certain amount of time and impact activities of daily living. In this case, it is the International Classification of Disease. For example, diagnosing something like premature ejaculation is ruled out if it is not a problem-- that is, it cannot be diagnosed if someone is content with their performance. Likewise, some mental disorder diagnoses are ruled out if it is not better explained by another phenomenon. You cannot, for instance, diagnose someone with a psychotic disorder if they use meth and are not detoxed before assessment.

In the case of gaming and training, I guarantee there will be a clear criteria that outlines something along the lines of "difficulty stopping" and impacting their abilities to take care of themselves, which goes into the territory of being gravely disabled. There is a reason why it takes a long time for the considerations we hear about to take effect. It will include things like duration, specifiers based on severity, and strict qualifying factors that address context.

I assure you, the WHO is quite comprehensive.

rainslacker31d ago (Edited 31d ago )

@Dark

That still doesn't answer why the gaming companies are responsible for deciding how to handle it. It's not like smoking, where the most they did in the US was require warning labels which didn't do anything. I doubt they'd say they couldn't advertise the stuff anymore. Disclaimers already exist, and there are parental controls.

I just fail to see what more gaming companies must do to curb overuse, because at the core of the terminology, it requires "overuse" be defined. I can play up to 40 hours a week. Sometimes more if I'm on vacation without much to do. I easily get in 20 hours a week either way. Am I addicted, or do I just really enjoy playing games? I mean, I guess I could watch TV or read instead, but games are more satisfying. But, how are console makers or publishers able to determine if I'm just an avid gamer, or if my play time is excessive and how are they able to tell if I"m shirking other responsibilities that would make it more of an addiction?

How are gaming companies able to curb something beyond education, and do we need more disclaimers at the start of our games, which no one reads anyways? The WHO is more than capable of educating people if it's an issue, but MS and Sony coming around talking like it's an immediate action item, and like there is much more they can do, just for the PR of it, is not constructive, and it's premature until the WHO actually does define it.

I don't suspect the WHO will try to get governments to regulate gaming because of it or anything, but even as a gamer who follows gamers, and hears about these cases at times, they seem exceedingly rare in the bigger picture, and again, if I had to guess, addiction to gaming isn't the disorder, but the need to suppliment other parts of their life, which they achieve through gaming.

I don't take issue with the WHO defining it as an addiction disorder. I take issue with others acting like they need to do something without understanding how it's defined, or the pandering that they're using to try and look good in the press. It's a serious issue for some, that the game industry has no responsibility for, and has no logical means of helping other people with before it becomes a problem for those people. If they want to set up education funds through the ESA or something, that's cool I guess.

gamer780430d ago

this is mostly just talk, they'll add a feature like a warning when you've played so long, like popping up a warning like Kinect did saying you've been playing for an hour you want to take a break? or more parental control features. This really won't affect anything. I'm more concerned with censorship.

DarXyde30d ago

rainslacker,
"That still doesn't answer why the gaming companies are responsible for deciding how to handle it.”
Gaming companies are NOT responsible for handling it yet, but Microsoft's statement is about preempting policy.
“It's not like smoking, where the most they did in the US was require warning labels which didn't do anything."
Smoking is outright unhealthy. Gaming has bad components praying on addictive aspects of the human psyche, but not necessarily; disciplined, self-controlled smokers indulge in poor behavior every time they smoke, but gaming has not been found to be outright unhealthy.

"I just fail to see what more gaming companies must do to curb overuse, because at the core of the terminology, it requires "overuse" be defined."

It is. Per the article: “[a] pattern of gaming behaviour characterised by impaired control over gaming.” Addiction of any substance/behavior is explicit in that overuse is basically an inability to quit despite consequences. The ICD-10 is freely available, so I encourage you to look at some of the existing criteria.

"How are gaming companies able to curb something beyond education, and do we need more disclaimers at the start of our games, which no one reads anyways?”
Industry actions would likely work to mitigate some of the addictive practices associated with gaming (loot boxes, excessive grinding).

"I don't suspect the WHO will try to get governments to regulate gaming because of it or anything, but even as a gamer who follows gamers, and hears about these cases at times, they seem exceedingly rare in the bigger picture, and again, if I had to guess, addiction to gaming isn't the disorder, but the need to suppliment other parts of their life, which they achieve through gaming"

Did you know that many people with drug addiction abuse substances as a means of coping with trauma? Addiction in general is frequently a coping mechanism, not supplementation: biting nails to quell anxiety, getting a fix to dissociate, gaming extensively to compartmentalize stress or assuage feelings of social unfulfillment.

As a branch of an intergovernmental entity, WHO will not regulate governments. WHO's role is essentially influencing public policy/advocacy, intervening with epidemics/pandemics, and mitigating health concerns of developing nations by developing programs & assessment tools directed at providing infrastructure and compliance with minimum standards.

"I don't take issue with the WHO defining it as an addiction disorder. I take issue with others acting like they need to do something without understanding how it's defined, or the pandering that they're using to try and look good in the press. It's a serious issue for some, that the game industry has no responsibility for, and has no logical means of helping other people with before it becomes a problem for those people."

I understand your point that it is difficult to address something that has yet to be published, but it’s proaction over reaction. Is it for good press? Probably. But it hardly matters if they end up making good on their statements without intervention. I disagree that no logical means of prevention exist. Identifying addicting aspects and understanding how long an issue has presented itself are important: what are frequently played games? What games have the highest amount of gameplay hours per person? Are there commonalities? With some demographic probing and statistics, reliable factors that predict gaming addiction can be established—probably loot boxes and heavy grinding. Things can be done, and I believe you underestimate how prevention is possible.

rainslacker30d ago

Except MS is stating that they "must" do something to curb overuse. I understand they should do this ahead of policy, but a WHO policy won't have any affect on the actual selling or usage of video games, because one can't just judge if a person is addicted based on play time. Even if WHO affects policy, I'm not sure what kind of regulatory policies can be officially made that would be legal. It requires a clinical diagnosis. Unless the WHO ruling somehow incites panic and everyone thinks that gamers are somehow addicted, in which case, just par for the course, as the media will play it's part to make a mountain out of a molehill, and we'll just be back to where we were in the 80's and 90's, where all gamers were apparently bad people with no life.

Except there are more gamers now, both casual and hardcore, and there will be those who play games, but think they aren't as bad as those they'd judge. Like the people who say bad things about people who smoke pot, then pour themselves a drink.

"The ICD-10 is freely available, so I encourage you to look at some of the existing criteria."

That's not the issue I take from all this, although I've touched on it a bit here or there. My issue is what can they do to curb it more than they are already doing? And despite classification, if it happens or not, how could these companies or publishers possibly hope to determine if someone needs help. About all they can do is inform, or maybe set up fuding for help. I think either Sony or MS already have a thing that lets you know if you've played too much. It's an optional feature though. But beyond that, are they going to stop your ability to play a game?

Addiction, in most cases, isn't something that can just be stopped by an intervention. An intervention isn't about solving the problem, it's about getting people to see they have a problem, and hopefully wanting to get help. About all these companies can do is maybe intervene, but they can't go too far, because it's too assumptive on their part to say that someone is actually addicted.

"Industry actions would likely work to mitigate some of the addictive practices associated with gaming (loot boxes, excessive grinding)."

Yeah....that's not going to happen. Quite the opposite really.

"Did you know that many people with drug addiction abuse substances as a means of coping with trauma"

Yes, and I feel gaming addiction is likely more often a replacement for some other disorder or mental condition, as it will fill a need in the person.

"but it’s proaction over reaction."

No, it's no action as of now. It's pandering by saying that something needs to be done. Sony did it too. Neither has committed to anything, and saying they need to do something, as if they can do something, despite obviously not appearing like they even have an inkling of what to do, is more for PR, than it is to make it seem like they can somehow do more than they're doing. It's a temporary way to keep the spotlight off them, by acting like the sympathetic supporter. It can grow from that, but the current statements from both companies don't really do that, and I feel they've done about all they can do at this point without getting directly involved in people's lives. This doesn't mean they can't offer funding for information services, or even to help people who need help. Like lotteries or cigarette companies have their addiction hotlines.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 30d ago
Godmars29031d ago

Honestly? Because they've based their game design models on addictive traits.

l33t_haxx0r30d ago

You actually read all of that?

theshredded31d ago (Edited 31d ago )

Mp grindy tactics should be cut back and made better. Like Why should I take more time time to level up in COD nowadays and why does Rainbow Six coming with only one operator still a thing? The people who don't complain are stupid idiots that are asking to be abused.

Angerfist31d ago

The same WHO that says you are mentally sane when you mutilate yourself cause you feel you have the wrong sex.

CaitSith30d ago

What do you know, you're a cis gendered white man! My body, my choice, you POS! /s

DarXyde30d ago

ICD codes:

F64.0
F64.1
F64.2
F64.8
F64.9

Do your research. It saves you this kind of embarrassment.

Rimeskeem30d ago

The brain works in mysterious ways, there is a lot of science behind that whole thought process. You should research it, seriously, its interesting and it will educate people so they dont make naive assumptions.

Cikatriz_ESP30d ago

Science? Pssh. Everyone knows the human body is governed by politics.

rainslacker29d ago

Generally speaking, anyone that willingly mutilated themselves, would be classified as insane. Aren't there actual names disorders for people who do that without the impetus of gender association being a factor? Why is it not the case because one also feels they are the wrong gender.

Gender is a physical trait. It's pretty irrefutable, and based on rather defined metrics. There is actually more than Male and female, but for those with specific genetalia, they are that gender.

How they feel about it is more based on sociological beliefs on how a person should feel because they are a certain gender. There may be physiological factors involved which influence a person feeling a certain way.

I just feel people should accept who they are physically, and be comfortable with who they are mentally. A person's scientific gender shouldn't define them. If they want to feel like a different gender, or behave or act in a way that a specific gender is generally expected to feel or act in society, then I say let them have at it.

IRetrouk31d ago (Edited 31d ago )

What can the game companies really do though? It's on us to sort it out isn't it? They sell the console and games, we buy and play them, what is it they should do more of? If they start controlling how much time we can play for etc then sales will slow, Games already come with warnings saying not to play for too long and to take regular breaks, parental controls are also available on consoles, if you or yours are addicted to this hobby then it's on you to sort that crap out, not Ms, Sony or the other gaming companies.

31d ago Replies(5)
rob-GP31d ago

All they need to do is what Nintendo does, put a disclaimer up saying you should take a break every now and again, and maybe have it pop up a similar message after a few hours of continuous play. That will cover them as it’s advising you what to do.

They’ll never forcefully stop you playing or restrict your time allowed. That’s something parents can already set up in the parental settings, but nobody bothers. With the switch I think you can do it remotely with the app.

Petebloodyonion31d ago

How about changing the ACTUAL mentality of GAAS?
Things like rewarding you for playing each day.
Providing you with advantages over certain user if you play more or certain moment in the day.
Rewards base on time.
Loot boxes.
Etc.

Here some ideas:
Breaking the structure of the game into chapters of normal game time each.
Having moments where the game allows you to rest (as an example when your hero rest in an INN having a message suggesting that you too should need a rest).

30d ago