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Oxford academic supports call for industry levy to support independent research on long-term effects of gaming

Published on
12 Sep 2019
Professor Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford responds to the Immersive and Addictive Technologies Report, published by the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee.

The Committee’s report calls for greater regulation in the gaming sector and tighter measures to ensure games companies act responsibility and Professor Przybylski presents the case for a proportionate response built on independent research into the long-term effects of gaming.

Professor Przybylski said, “Video games or digital technologies are, by their very nature, immersive and interactive hobbies therefore a clear distinction needs to be made between high engagement and problematic or addictive use.  Spending a lot of time gaming is not inherently harmful and may, in fact, be a coping mechanism for other underlying concerns.

“Many of the existing studies on gaming disorder are of poor quality or are based on diagnostic tools that are inherently flawed.

“We welcome the Committee’s proposal for an industry levy to fund an independent body formed of academics and representatives of the industry to oversee research into online gaming.  It’s vital we ensure the relevant data is made available from the industry as part of this new approach to enable it to be effective.

“We look forward to working closely with Government to identify the key questions that need to be addressed, helping policymakers develop a strategy to support high-quality, fully transparent and independent research into the long-term effects of gaming.

In addition to giving written and oral evidence to the Parliamentary Select Committee, previous research carried out by Professor Przybylski and his team has extensively studied the potentially addictive nature of games and tested their effects on mental health, these include:

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