Ministers seek to understand more about video games

2023-05-30 16:21:45  • 3 mins

By Sam Francis

Political reporter, BBC News

The government wants to find out more about the UK's booming video games industry - including whether its products harm users' mental health.

Some of the world's best-selling games - including Grand Theft Auto and the Fifa series - are made in the UK.

Over half of British adults play video games and the industry is worth 2.8bn to the UK economy.

But the government says not enough research has been done on how it can benefit the wider economy.

It also wants research on how games can be used to improve learning skills and promote "positive relationships, perceptions and behaviour" among gamers.

Researchers have also been asked to look at whether companies are using unethical methods to keep gamers playing.

Several studies have found that research into the psychological effects of playing video games has been hampered by a lack of data.

  • How computer games encourage kids to spend cash
  • Is Zelda helping fans with their mental health?
  • How the UK became a major player in the gaming world

This lack of evidence was highlighted by a government study on loot boxes - in-game features which allow users to purchase sealed mystery "boxes" with real money or points accrued in a game - last year.

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The company also launched its first game, "Pirate Nation," in free-to-play mode Thursday.
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