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Schools told to educate on safe gaming

Game industry hits back.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

A childhood safety advisor has called on the government to tell schools to educate kids about safe videogaming.

The recommendation by John Carr, secretary for the Children's Charities' coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS), sparked a debate about videogames and addiction on BBC Radio 5 Live this morning, listened to by MCV.

Breakfast presenter Nicky Campbell interviewed Jack, a young man who claimed his life had been ruined by an addiction to Call of Duty.

UKIE director general Mike Rawlinson appeared on the show to defend videogames and, in a statement given to MCV, questioned Carr's advice.

"Carr... raised the issue that gaming addiction is only likely to increase in the future yet presented no new evidence to suggest that this was the case," Rawlinson said.

"There remains no official medical diagnosis of videogame addiction, either from the American Medical Association or the World Health Organisation.

"UKIE fully agrees that parents, teachers and children need to understand that games should be played safely and sensibly as part of an active and healthy lifestyle and that they can have many beneficial effects. Parents also need to be aware of games' age ratings systems to ensure that their children are playing games with suitable content. UKIE is working with schools and parenting groups to promote these messages.

"UKIE will also continue to monitor any developments in this important debate."

Radio 5's report followed Panorama's controversial December investigation into videogame addiction.

Eurogamer's Johnny Minkley saw the Panorama documentary and spoke to the director and producer behind it.

The government is yet to respond to Carr's recommendation. Eurogamer has requested further detail from the CHIS.

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