Take cover! BBC aims crosshairs at 'addictive' video games

Monday's Panorama ain't going to be pretty

Oh dear, folks. Video games are in the dock again - on prime time BBC One.

Auntie's respected investigative programme Panorama looks set to vilify some of the industry's biggest releases on Monday evening, in a documentary entitled: 'Addicted to Games?'.

No need to check the calendar, Blizzard: That's the night World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm launches.


The Beeb promises to "reveal the hidden psychological devices in games that are designed to keep us coming back for more". (The creators of MorphX must have missed those out.)

Panorama reporter Raphael Rowe will "hear from youngsters who've dropped out of school and university to play games for anything up to 21 hours a day" and who "describe their obsessive gaming as an addiction".

He also promises to "meet leading experts calling for more independent research into this controversial subject".

A fiver at least one of them works for a clinic that accepts money to treat video games 'addiction'.

Depressingly, the programme sets out its stall "as pester power kicks in and the computer games' industry launches its latest products on to the Christmas market" - suggesting never-ending MMOs and regular console fare will be lumped in together.

Don't act surprised - it's happened before.

The news comes as the BBC pledges a never-before-seen commitment to creating video games of its own, with major licences such as Top Gear and Teletubbies given the interactive treatment.

Its downloadable Doctor Who titles were commissioned for a second series in September. They're very good. Excellent, in fact. Once you start playing them, it's really hard to sto... oh, wait.

Tin hats on, folks. Over to you, Jeremy Vine.

'Addicted to Games?' will air on BBC One on Monday (December 6) at 8.30pm UK time.