Yesterday there was a bit of a stir over Dr. Tanya Byron’s new TV show Am I Normal? in which videogame “addiction” was compared to heroin abuse, and WoW was written off as “childish fantasy.” I didn’t want to comment too much, but I felt some of the quotes laid it on a bit thick for a woman who’d just become seen as a games industry ally.
Interestingly, it turns out that the show was actually recorded last year, before Byron published her report and before, one could assume, she had fully researched the issue. Indeed, the Byron report goes some way to dispelling the myth of game addiction — perhaps this show would have been different if Byron had worked on the report before it was made.
With the tone of the TV show and the Byron report being considered quite different, it might be a case, as some suggest, of Byron learning more about videogames over the past year and changing her attitudes, which is a good thing indeed. More people need to do that.
I am very glad that Dr. Brown’s attitudes haven’t changed from positive to negative so soon. Hopefully she will continue to help bring sense to the games debate.