×

UK Gov Holding Inquiry On Gaming Disorder, ‘Addictive Technologies’

The UK Parliament will hold an inquiry regarding gaming disorder and addictive immersive technologies on Wednesday, according to its official government website.

The UK government’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee will look into the larger reach of technologies and their potential to be addictive by asking for experts to weigh in on the matter. Loot boxes were specifically mentioned in the notice, examining the link between the randomized contents of the purchasable in-game boxes might have links to gambling behaviors, according to the inquiry notice.

“The inquiry will examine the development of immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, and the potential impact these could have in the worlds of sport, entertainment and news,” it is stated on the Parliament website. “The inquiry will also look at how the addictive nature of some technologies can affect users’ engagement with gaming and social media, particularly amongst younger people.”

Parliament is currently accepting written submissions of evidence for the inquiry. A few submissions of this sort have already been published on the website, including a letter from one gamer who compared the “Call of Duty: Black Ops 3” loot box system to an actual slot machine and wrote that he spent £800 to £1000 a year on “FIFA” as a teen. The full list of published written evidence from the community can be found here. Naturally, the opinions of the public vary widely, and the written evidence submitted offers varying perspectives on whether or not certain aspects of gaming, such as loot boxes, are addictive or harmful.

“[The committee] has heard differing views about the nature and extent of gaming disorder, and has discussed the robust evidence-base that is needed for reliable policy making on the issue,” according to a press release from Parliament.

The UK isn’t alone in its concerns over loot boxes. The US Federal Trade Commission will hold a public workshop later this year to discuss the issue, according to a letter from commission chairman Joseph Simons.

“… We are currently planning a public workshop on loot boxes for later this year as one non-law enforcement option,” Simons wrote. “A workshop could provide a forum for stakeholders representing wide-ranging perspectives, including consumer advocacy organizations, parent groups, and industry members. It also could help elicit information to guide subsequent consumer outreach, which could include a consumer alert.”

The concern over “gaming disorder” caught public attention last summer, when the World Health Organization proposed the addition of the disorder to its International Classification of Diseases.

Witnesses for the inquiry will include Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones, director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic, Dr. Daria Kuss of Nottingham Trent University, and Dr. David Zendle of York St. John University.

The inquiry will be held 2:30 p.m. UK time on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the Grimond Room of the Portcullis House.

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • Venn co-founders

    VENN Raises $17 Million to Launch a Cheddar-like TV Network for Gaming

    Video game industry veterans Ariel Horn and Ben Kusin have raised a massive $17 million seed funding round to launch a new gaming-focused TV network called VENN. Short for Video Game Entertainment and News Network, VENN wants to mix esports with Twitch-style video game streaming and other gaming-related entertainment content when it launches in 2020. [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

  • Game Awards OrchestraThe Game Awards, Show,

    The Game Awards 2019 Sets December Date, Will Live-Stream Across 45 Platforms

    The Game Awards 2019, the fifth annual video game industry kudosfest, will be held Dec. 12 in Los Angeles and will be live-streamed for free again on more than 45 different platforms worldwide. The Game Awards is an annual celebration of video games and the people who make them, created and executive produced by Geoff [...]

  • HTC Vive Cosmos

    HTC Replaces HTC Vive With New $699 Vive Comos VR Headset

    HTC is getting ready to retire the headset that was central to its expansion into the virtual reality market 3 years ago: The company announced on Thursday that its new Vive Comos headset will effectively replace the original HTC Vive, which was first released in April of 2016. “It was time to upgrade our consumer [...]

  • Sohu logo

    China's Sohu Seeks Games Consolidation With $500 Million Bid for Changyou

    Sohu, one of China’s Internet pioneers, is offering to buy out its games subsidiary Changyou in a deal that values Changyou at $532 million. Both companies currently have their shares listed on NASDAQ, but if the deal goes ahead Changyou would lose its separate stock listing. Sohu, which has interests covering search, digital advertising and [...]

  • marvel lenovo ar

    Lenovo, Disney Launch Marvel AR Headset

    Lenovo has once again teamed up with Disney to bring one of the studio’s iconic franchises to augmented reality (AR). After first launching the “Star Wars: Jedi Challenges” AR headset in 2017, the two companies are back with a new “Marvel Dimension of Heroes” experience running on slightly revamped hardware. News of Lenovo and Disney [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content