Kingston gamers have ‘everything in good measure’ attitude towards game playing.

With concerns about game playing addiction becoming ever more vocal, Kingston gamers recognise the risks but aren’t worried about their own habits.

James Scott, 14, Hampton, said: “I am not at all addicted, games are just for fun.” He plays two to three hours a day during half term and five hours a week during school time.

Worried about the influences of game playing, James’ mum said: “I vet the games or get someone else to vet them before he plays them.”

According to a study published online on January 13, conducted by scholars from Adelphi University and the National Development and Research Institute, New York, problem game playing might relate to specific games and game genres.

First-person Shooters, like Call of Duty, and Action Adventures, like Grand Theft Auto, were amongst the four game genres which reportedly are more likely to cause game playing addiction.

Michael Cannon, 30, sales assistant for Game, Bentalls Centre, Kingston, said: “I can see part of it. I’m a pretty chilled out person but sometimes when I play Call of Duty it makes me shout and that’s something I just don’t do. It’s a weird kind of competitive rage that I find unique to video gaming. I can see why people would get sucked in.”

Billy Tracy, 17, Kingston, said: “I wouldn’t say it’s a mental health issue, but there’s definitely a problem there. But these studies make me feel stereotyped to be honest. They think all teenagers are the same but that’s not the reality.”

Other controversial studies about gaming habits in recent years have found a correlation between violent games and real life violence.

Rob Holmes, 21, sales assistant at Game, 64-66 Clarence Street, Kingston, said: “I don’t think games are a direct cause of violence. No one would play a game and feel so strongly about it that they would want to recreate it.”

Stores like Game try to make sure parents know what they are buying for their children, even when they seem to discard the possible effects of game playing in their children.

Rob said: “It’s our job to make sure that the game is suitable for their kids.”

Michael said: “We have to advise people. We have to say, you do realize this is not suitable content for a seven year old. Sometimes parents say ok, thank you, but sometimes they just buy it, I think that they think because it’s a game it’s not the same as a movie, but it is.”

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