Star Craft

South Korea and gaming addiction

The world is full of people addicted to games if the media is be believed, yet even the recent Panorama witch-hunt could only find three people addicted to games in the UK. So, off they went to South Korea to show what apparently heading our way in the near future. This made me want to search for more facts rather than opinion.

Whilst the people of North Korea struggle behind closed doors, their neighbours in South Korea continue to lead the world with the fastest broadband speeds in the world and even hope to be getting speeds of 1 Gbps service by 2012. To put it into perspective, that is 200 times as fast as your typical 5 Mbps DSL connection that you may find here in the UK. With super-fast speeds like this I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised that an estimated 17 million people in the country of 48 million play video-games as they lead the way in the MMO and online gaming industries.

Reports suggest that a typical high school student, meanwhile, spends 23 hours a week playing games online and the world’s media has been quick to blame much of the country’s problems on their favourite pastime. In fact, as you read this your perception of South Korea will probably be something along the lines of “I hear the nation is addicted to games and they play for 20 hours at a time and it has even driven many people to suicide or even murder!” In truth it was this growing theory in the media that made me want to find out more. (more…)

Panorama: Addicted to Games?

The BBC has a worldwide reputation for being unbiased and for providing fair and balanced journalism in the form of news and documentaries of a very high standard. The respected reputation is currently being tarnished somewhat recently, thanks to the show Panorama, which seems intent on reporting opinion as fact and showing the kind of sensationalist reporting offered by Fox News or the Daily Mail and not our beloved BBC.

The golden rule in of any form of journalism is to understand your subject matter and do your research. These simple rules will allow you write a fair and balanced article and show the story from both viewpoints. After all, there are two sides to every story as we all know.

As the ‘Panorama: Addicted to Games’ report began it was clear that the reporter Raphael Rowe had done neither of these and instead seemed intent on reporting his own opinions and prejudices as fact. He looks shocked and bewildered that people actually queued up to buy a  game on release night and made several gaffs along the way such as “now we’re going to interview the maker of Laura Croft” and “it’s so surprising how far things have some since that ‘ping pong’ game”. This quickly showed any viewer with more than a passing interest in games that a balanced report was not on the agenda. (more…)