WHO considers Video Game Addiction a Mental Disorder. What happens next?

WHO (World Health Organization) is considering to add Video Game addiction to the list of mental disorders in 2018. It would be known as a mental disorder. As stated by WHO, excessive gaming addiction can determined by:

  • impaired control in playing  or quitting games
  • Prioritizing video games over anything else
  • Continuing to play games despite the negative effects affecting you

Like all mental disorder affects, it would considered to have an affect on your personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. It would take about 12 months to diagnose game addiction as a mental disorder. ICD-WHO

Image result for WHO

What does that mean?

Medical:

The first effect for gaming addiction would be medical based. Gaming addiction falls under the substance abuse/addictive behavior category. This would include drugs and gambling. More funding and research towards creating drugs/medicine to “reduce” the effects of playing video games similarly to anxiety or bi-polar disorder. Although Gaming addiction falls within the category for substance abuse, the body doesn’t need to detox from gaming sessions. Treatment would be similar to gambling addictions such as therapy groups.

Business:

If the change passes then there may be more warnings in games to suggest to players to stop playing after certain hours. The message comes often in MMOs (Massive Multiplayer Online) such as World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV. While parents and adults can find information regarding game addiction online, they have never been shown in game. Gaming stores may face new regulations. Selling a object that falls under substance abuse would have stores need licenses to sell similar to cannabis. There could also be a age restriction for buying video games similar to alcohol.

bird break
Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds (3DS)

Opinion:

Everything is negative when done in excess. Video games are no different. While I agree that playing video games too much can be negative, considering it a mental disorder sounds a bit extreme. There are obvious pros and cons to video games. The effect it could have on introducing video games to all people is negative. If games are considered a cause for mental illness, it would make it difficult to grow the medium and introduce it to new people.

Sources:

WHO

Mental Disorder Definition – WHO

Gambling Addiction Treatment

 

Nexus Mods plan for compensation for Content Creators

Nexus Mods has always been a popular site for mods for PC Games, specifically, Skyrim. Mod authors have created thousands of mods to improve the game and add unique features that were never available in the game. The mods were provided by the community members and didn’t cost a single dollar. Now Nexus Mods is going to provide a compensation plan for content creators who want to join the new program. It will be known as a Donation Point Program.

How it works:

Nexus Mods will contribute $5000-$10,000 to a monthly pot. Based on how many donation points (DP) are earned, it will create a larger fund that will be distributed through to mod authors based on downloads. $1 is worth 1,000 DP so mod creation will not be able to replace a full-time job. For example, if the total donation money pool is $10,000 (which is 10,000,000 DP) and the total unique download count is 5,000,000 then that means each unique download would be worth 2 DP. Ergo, a mod author who receives 25,000 unique downloads that month will receive 50,000 DP, which is the equivalent of $50 to redeem. The money value can be redeemed for PayPal donation or Amazon credit or unique items in the future directed towards modding.

What counts as unique downloads?

Unique downloads refer to a mod author’s page visit. So if the author has 14 mods on one page, any download from one user counts as one dp. Even if a user downloads all 14, the author would still only receive one point. All previous downloads will not count for the program. The unique download was considered the safest method by Nexus Mods.The start of the Donation Point program will begin in Q1 2018.

How to make the System safe and fair?

It would be extremely difficult to create unique views as somebody would need to create 20,000 accounts to receive at least $200 from downloads. Authors will only receive points after 3 months after the download. That way, downloads can be reviewed to see if there are any misconducts. Nexus Mods is pushing the program until Bethesda states otherwise.  Any Mod author can opt out of the system. You can even state which mods you would want to opt in or out. If your mod is being used in the point system for a packaged mod program and you’re uncomfortable with them earning points on it, you can ask to remove it. The author always has the rights to the mod they created.

What else?

You can also save your points to redeem at a future date. The points won’t disappear each month. They are also expected to add a point transfer system if you want to give it to another author.

Opinions:

The Nexus Mods community has been relatively split on whether it is a good system or not. I don’t know much about the modding community but you can check the comments to hear from many people’s perspectives: mod authors and consumers alike.

Sources:

Nexus Mod – Skyrim

 

Video Game Growth and The Need for Transparency

Recently, fans of video games have become less confident in video game companies on delivering complete content. As one of the fastest growing business industry, there is a larger focus on revenue due to more investment in sales. The global video game industry is valued at $100 billion. There is expected to be 2.2 billion gamers throughout the world by 2018 based on Newzoo‘s analytics. With a larger focus on mobile game revenue, triple-A games have to find alternative methods of continuous revenue to meet investor demands.

The biggest game companies, Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard have consistent in publishing huge games and the largest revenue generators. They are also infamous for the micro-transaction that they have added to their games such as Destiny 2 and Star Wars Battlefront 2. Their infamy has made many gamers view them as greedy companies. We want to believe that the industry is more focused on delivering good games rather than money because it is considered a unique medium and product. More gaming companies are trying to disguise their MTX methods in triple-A games but the trend has continued on for so long that it is very obvious.activision-blizzard2

Destiny 2 and Star Wars Battlefront 2 are both recent games by Activision and EA  that were known for influencing players to rely on micro-transactions to unlock more of the game’s content. The games received harsh reviews from players (mainly Star Wars Battlefront 2and the uncertainty of the companies response leave players angry. Whether its the drop rate of exotics in Destiny 2 or the difficulty of unlocking heroes in Star Wars Battlefront 2, gaming companies need to be more transparent with its audience. The concept of DLC content is still negatively viewed but when developers create quality downloadable content or are more upfront about what is on it, gamers would be more accepting.

 

Popular games such as Titanfall 2 and The Witcher 3 were upfront about their downloadable content to their fans. Respawn created payable cosmetics while CD Projekt spent time on creating immense side stories. While we shouldn’t expect all games or companies to create similar quality content, both companies announced their plans prior to the release of the game. As a company, you should treat your potential audience with the idea that they are aware of the current paterns of the industry. You can still cater to a casual audience while also maintaining a better image to a more “hardcore” audience.

 

Newzoo

Kotaku

Investors.com

The Game Awards: “Fuck the Oscars” explained

The Game Awards this year was a spectacular showcase of how an awards show should be for the video game industry. Great performances, focus on the actual industry, actual speakers from the video game industry and not a celebrity forced to speak from a cringe-worthy script. The best part of the show was the real passion from the speakers; especially from Indie developer, Josef Fares, who flipped off the cameras and shouted “Fuck the Oscars!” Fares is the co-founder of Swedish indie team Hazelight Studios and the writer and director of its first project, A Way Out.

His 3-minute rant went viral. Fares was suppose to announce the release date of March, the game-play and story of his cooperative game: A Way Out which gave fans interest based off earlier trailers this year.

Despite his rant, Fares added that he would probably say the same thing even if it wasn’t at the Game Awards. When asked why he was correlating it to the Academy Awards, Fares stated it was because so many people had compared The Game Awards to the Oscars. Fares has directed multiple feature length films and said his outburst was an instance of himself failing to explain. He wanted to say that The Game Awards always felt as though they were an inferior version of the Oscars or other art award shows for films and television shows.

Fares stated that “it’s time for people to understand that games are, like, a serious art.”  Often, video games are treated and shown as an inferior form of art and Fares and many other video game developers and fans (myself included) that games are a unique medium. Fares previous developed game, 2013’s Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, which was praised for its heartfelt story and unique gameplay. Brothers had two different brothers that were controlled with individual analog sticks. Hazelight Studios is attempting to create an even better version of this with A Way Out. The game revolves around two different personality characters: Leo and Vincent. It can only be played cooperatively and there’s split screen only so that players can see how the other is moving or interacting with the environment and characters. You can even play it with a friend who doesn’t even own the game. (As long as one person owns a copy and they have the same game system).

A Way Out is scheduled to be released March 23, 2018, on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.

Sources:

Polygon