The CEO of the UK games industry trade body Ukie has called on developers and reviewers to prevent a “cultural bias” in gaming, by rethinking the language used in game description.
Stating “semantics and language matters,” Jo Twist warned against perpetuating the negative connotations around gaming in the wake of the WHO’s gaming disorder classification, particularly in the industry’s use of the word ‘addictive.’
“I get really annoyed when I see game reviews and they say ‘this game is addictive,’ when actually what they mean is – this game is really well designed, this game is good, you should play this game.”
“Unfortunately, what happens is the public sphere, politicians, press, people who don’t understand games, listen to this, and they believe us when we say, instead of this is a really good game or a really well designed game – it’s addictive.”
Twist added that – as the global games audience reaches an estimated 2.2 billion, the onus falls on the industry itself to redefine how it is perceived.
“We are in charge of the most powerful communications system of the 21st century; games are really important to us, it’s our responsibility to shape how we talk about this.”
“It’s our responsibility not just to respond to some of these narratives, but to shape the narrative ourselves.”