Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Video Game Addiction (Full Segment) | HBO

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Video Game Addiction (Full Segment) | HBO

♪ (MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ I’m Bryant Gumbel
of HBO’sReal Sportswith a story
about what’s being called, “internet gaming disorder.” An addiction to video games. Some experts are saying
it’s a very real problem. And a dangerous one to boot. DAVID SCOTT:School is out
for the year in the small,
east Texas town of Winnsboro.And 16-year-old Nico Perez
is spending
this summer afternoon
in his favorite place,
in front of the screen.Immersed in a hobby he says
his parents
couldn’t possibly understand.(GUNFIRE) They definitely don’t get this. Because they never had this
when they were growing up. It’s just like so interesting. SCOTT:But for Nico,
video gaming isn’t just a hobby.
It is, his mother says,
“an obsession.”
One that really took root
last year.
He would play it all day long. What do you mean,
“all day long”? I’m talking from when he would
wake up in the morning, to when he went to bed,
finally passed out at night. So is this a whole video– SCOTT:Katie Perez
says she tried everything
to curb Nico’s gaming.From weekly limits
to prohibition.
But she says the more
she restricted him,
the more desperate he got.I would go in and tell him,
“Hey, it’s time for dinner,” or, “We’re gonna go
to the mall today,” or, “We’re going
to the movie theater.” He would throw a fit.
He didn’t want to leave. Because he didn’t want
to leave the game. And so,
it significantly changed, to me, who he was as a person. -Changed him?
-Yes. SCOTT:The changes in Nico
have convinced his mother
that there’s something to heed
in this powerful,
new gaming technology.KATIE PEREZ:
When you stop participating
in things in your life
that you once cared
so much about,
and you start changing habits
and behavior, and personality,
there’s only one obvious answer, it’s addictive. SCOTT:
It may sound like a stretch.
A clinical addiction
to, of all things, video games.
But this summer,
one of the medical communities’
foremost authorities,
the World Health Organization,
determined that video gamesactually do have the power
to addict.
And classified
a brand-new mental illness,
internet gaming disorder.Drugs, alcohol, gambling… video games? So, to the brain,
a drug is a drug. And sometimes that drug
is a substance, and sometimes that drug
is a behavior. SCOTT:
Psychiatrist David Greenfield
says in recent years,more and more young patients
have come through his office,
unable to resist
the addictive power of games.
Video games activate
the same pathways of the brain that all the other addictive,
abusable drugs do. It’s the same thing. It has the same potency. Obviously,
you’re not taking a pill, your pill is a digital drug. SCOTT:And like any drug,
Greenfield says
it’s especially addictive
for young people.
During adolescence,
they have a wide gap between their ability
to exercise control, self-control and judgment,
and their ability and desire for pleasure. It’s a perfect storm
for addiction for that age group. When I was nine,
in fourth grade, was the first time
I played 12 hours in a day. -In one day?
-In one day. SCOTT:Charlie Bracke
was once a wide-eyed kid
with a loving family,
a bright future,
and a seemingly innocent hobby,
playing video games.
But that hobby soon became
a compulsion,
and by the time he got
to college,
it dominated both his time
and attention.
I was gaming well into
the early hours of the morning. And then I’d sleep
entirely too late in the day, and miss classes. And that added up, I–
my grades slipped from A’s and B’s my first year,
to pretty much straight F’s. SCOTT:Bracke says he tried
to give up the games,
but every attempt
to quit failed.
And he says his relapses
only got more extreme.
Eventually, he says,
he saw only one solution.
I knew I couldn’t keep going,
playing video games. But I also couldn’t see
any life for myself without video games. I just ended up lost
and in total despair, and… I didn’t know
what else to do, so I decided
I was gonna kill myself. Because you couldn’t see
any other way out. No. This was how I was gonna
finally beat games. SCOTT:Bracke is one of
the roughly 3 percent of gamers
who, according to studies,
become clinically addicted.
That’s about the same rate seen
in another well-known form
of addictive behavior…(SLOT MACHINE RINGING)…casino gambling.Experts say
that’s no coincidence.
They say that the very same
psychological tactics
long used by casinos
to hook customers,
are now being used by those
who design video games.
they are brilliant developers.
But they’re also
using behavioral engineering to make an addictive game. -That’s their goal?
-That is their goal. Yeah, of course it is. SCOTT:
Just as casinos are designed
to be carnivals
of sights and sounds
to keep gambler’s mesmerized,today’s video games
bombard the senses.
Immersing players
in virtual worlds
that are lush and loud.NATHAN DRAKE:
Crap, crap! SCOTT: And just as casinos
are designed like a maze,
funneling players through
one gambling adventure
after another,
today’s video games
often take gamers
through an endless labyrinth,
brimming with new discoveries
to keep them playing
and playing.GREENFIELD:Once you’re
in the game, you’re in.
It’s very, very well designed. And very, very addictive. (SLOT MACHINES RINGING) SCOTT:
And Dr. Greenfield says,
the most addictive partof modern video games
is based on that classic staple
of the casino,
the slot machine.
Yes, many of today’s video games
encourage players to bet money,
real money,in the hopes of winning
a jackpot.
For a fee,you can see what treats
are hidden inside a pinata.
Or locked away
in a mysterious treasure box.
Maybe a gun…or a car…Or a powerful new characterto use in the game.GREENFIELD:
Same as the slot machine.
If you push that button,you don’t know
when you’re gonna win, you don’t know
what you’re gonna win, and how much you’re gonna win. But you know
you’re gonna win at some point. So the maybe factor. -Like I might get a reward.
-Yeah. -It compels me to engage.
-That’s correct. -And stay engaged?
-Yeah. That slot machine factor
is so powerful, it overrides the logic
and the reason. SCOTT:Take this gamer,who celebrated after winning
a star player to use
in his favorite soccer game.(SCREAMING) We got Ronaldo! SCOTT:Never mind the fact
that he’d spent 5,000 dollars
in order to land the big prize.I’ve treated many people
where kids have stolen their parents credit cards
to pay for stuff like this. Or they’ve hacked
into their bank accounts. I’ve seen kids spend
tens-of-thousands of dollars of their parents money. -Tens-of-thousands of dollars?
-Tens-of-thousands, yeah. SCOTT:And what’s happening
in America today
could get even worse.For a glimpse
into a possible future,
Americans can look
to the world capital
of video gaming,
South Korea,
where signs of a society
mired in game addiction,
are on every street corner.Here in South Korea,
the practice and the problem are on full public display, thanks to places like this, industrial scale internet cafes
known as PC bangs.There’s some 20,000 of them
across this country,
drawing in millions of gamerswho plug in and play for hours,
even days.
from parental supervision,
so it’s a perfect environmentfor children
to get sucked into games.
SCOTT:Yun Kyeong Kim
is a child welfare worker
in the capital city of Seoul.She says that the PC bangs
have shown just how powerful
and dangerous gaming addiction
can be.
TRANSLATOR:In 2005, ten people
in Korean suddenly died
after playing games
for a long time.
-Ten deaths in just one year?
-Yes. (SPEAKING KOREAN) SCOTT:Yes, death by video game.Many more have died since.Gamers who play for so many
uninterrupted hours,
their bodies grow exhausted
and dehydrated
before succumbing
to fatal blood clots
or sudden cardiac arrest.They die and nobody knows
they’re dead. SCOTT:Dr. Greenfield says
that the bodies sometimes
go unnoticed
for hours and hours
because in the PC bangs,the living look scarcely
different from the dead.
They are like zombies.
They’re digital zombies.
It looks like a shooting gallery
for meth or for heroin. SCOTT:And as with drug addicts,the worst cases often require
radical intervention.
My patients are extreme cases
that cannot be supported
by general treatment.
SCOTT:To treat some
of Korea’s most addicted,
Dr. Jae Won Lee is experimenting
with unusual methods.
He says some video game addicts
can only overcome the disease
by having their brains
effectively rewired.
(POPPING CLICKS)That click you hear
is an electromagnetic shock
to the patient’s brain,designed to help them
control their impulses
and resist the temptation
to play.
At least
from the lay perspective,
it seems rather extreme. TRANSLATOR:
When a disease is difficult
to treat like this one,
it requires
new medical solutions.
Shock therapy for game addiction
hasn’t yet made it
across the Pacific,
but here in the US,
doctors have begun trying
to find their own ways
to treat addicted gamers.
In a sign of the times,
a place has called Restart
has opened outside Seattle.It’s America’s first
residential rehab center,
not for drugs or alcohol,
but for video gaming.
Here, young game addicts
attend group therapy sessions.
And get exposure to new hobbies
from music…
(DRUMMING)…to exercise, to games
of a decidedly less modern bent.
It’s a last resort
for people like Charlie Bracke.
Me and my parents both hadn’t
really ever had the thought of let’s look for a video game
addiction clinic. But I knew that if I was gonna
give it another shot at sobriety, I needed to go… for the biggest shot
I could take. SCOTT:
Bracke’s parents mortgaged
their home to send him here,
spending 50,000 dollarson months
of intensive treatment.
He’s since moved on
and out of Restart,
but he’s been replaced
by a new batch of young gamers
with eerily similar stories.Whenever I would sit down
and start playing, it was– Nothing else mattered. How many hours a day
would you say? Oh, gosh. Basically from when I woke up
to when I went to sleep. Probably like 12 to 14 hours
a day. I wasn’t… just failing
in school. I was failing every part
of my life that wasn’t video gaming. SCOTT:
In a way, Noah, Ben, and Andrew
are fortunate to be here.
There’s now a long waiting list
to get into Restart.
The problem is starting to alarm
some lawmakers who are wondering
if the industry
should be regulated.
But those at the helm
of the video game empire,
eager to protect
their 100 billion dollars
in annual sales,
say they’re regulating
themselves just fine.
One of the things we’re proudest
of as an industry is taking responsibility
for providing parents with the ability to limit time,
limit money spent, limit internet access,
and limit the kinds of games that come into their households. After digging into this issue… SCOTT:Stanley Pierre-Louis
is the chief lobbyist
for the video game industry.He says that no matter
how obsessively
a gamer might play, the games
themselves are not the problem.
Are video games
clinically addictive? Absolutely not. There are underlying issues
that some users may have, but video games
aren’t the cause. Video games are actually
a positive influence on our health, our education
as well as entertaining. We spoke to many young people,
including teenagers who say they play six, eight,
ten hours a day. Would you allow your child
to play that much video games? I would like at this
in a larger context as opposed to simply the hours– Is there any number of hours
that would concern you in your own home
or in anyone else’s home? I think it’s a family decision
and a family context. SCOTT:We asked Pierre-Louis
about what we’ve been told
by numerous industry insiders,
that today’s games
are often being designed
like casinos
with the intent
of keeping gamers hooked.
Are video games designed
to keep young consumers playing as much as possible? Here’s what I’ll say to your–
to the question you’re asking. Um… clearly all products
and services want to engage their users, their audiences
in positive ways. But your products are actually
penetrating the brains of millions and millions
of young people. Don’t you have a responsibility
to exercise some restraint in the interest of kids
who can’t control it? One of the great things
about our industry is we’re leaders
in self-regulation. That’s true of… providing tools for parents
and consumers to limit time spent
and money spent on devices, and it’s one of the hallmarks
of our industry. But you’re telling these parents that video games
aren’t the problem. That they aren’t causing
a health problem. That’s what you’re telling
the world, right? I’m not providing the diagnosis.
What I’m saying is that the medical consensus doesn’t
support that as a conclusion. It doesn’t mean
that people shouldn’t get the help that they need. SCOTT:But for
the World Health Organization,
which recently declared
video games
to have the power to addict,the evidence is in.Charlie Bracke needs
no convincing either.
He says video game makers
are denying
an increasingly evident problem
to protect their bottom line.
The same way
another lucrative industry
once did 25 years ago.I believe that nicotine
is not addictive. The data does not convince me
that smoking causes death. I see their stance now
is identical to that of the cigarette industry
decades back. -Denial?
-Where they– Absolutely, categorically deny
that cigarettes caused cancer… while they actually had
the evidence in hand that… cigarettes cause cancer. Does the industry
have that knowledge. They do. I’m right here.
I’m the evidence that… people get addicted
to the video games. Thank you for watching. Remember, you can catch the rest
of the latest edition of Real Sports all month long

39 Replies to “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Video Game Addiction (Full Segment) | HBO”

  1. Know the change that happens when you're a teenager is called puberty when your kids get girls you start looking for other things to get involved in ie video games My Generation was the first generation to have games at home and they always said or tried to blame violence or this or that on video games people are going to do what they're going to do!

  2. This lady has no clue what addiction is I suffered and still suffer today with addiction reel addiction not fucking video games

  3. Turn off the t.v., pack a lunch and some water. Go on a 2 mile or two kilometre walk. Breath. Repeat. Video games are not the problem. PMA. Positive Mental Attitude.

  4. For anyone that doesn’t know, Chance the Rapper is funding a project for the after-math of mass shootings. Going towards therapy, hospital bills, comfort groups, awareness, etc.
    “Chance’s Project”
    Cash App: $massrecoveryproject

  5. 14:56 for everyone of you there are about 99 others who do not develop an addiction. It is known that some people are more prone to developing an addiction. Maybe you’re one of those people?

  6. Based on how the dislikes outnumber the likes, we can now conclude that at least 69% of those who pressed the dislike button are incels and prove why Millenials and Gen Z are the sexless generations. Video games make you stupid, ugly, uninteresting, fat, out of shape, violent, overly aggressive, and worthless to society. My mom never getting our family a video game set was the best thing she ever did!

  7. You knkw that when the guy from fucking EA doesn't have to manipulate the facts, that this whole thing is bullshit.

  8. I’ve been addicted to video games. Maybe it was the social aspect maybe it was the feeling of ranking up, probably a little of both. Why the fuck do people not think video games are a problem??? They waste young people’s time when they could be gaining lifelong, useful skills. Do you not feel some moral issue with video game companies engineering the games to be addictive??? They’re businesses they want to make money they’re not here to help you only take your money and make you waste time producing nothing. I’ve been their so I know from fucking experience. Stop lying to yourself saying that they aren’t a problem because you don’t want to face the idea that you might be wasting your time.

  9. Punk ass parents! Our son got ONE HOUR gaming, one hour computer (outside of school work) and 2 hours TV per day when he was growing up. The other time was spent doing chores, riding his bike with his friends, ( SOCIALIZING and learning PEOPLE SKILLS), reading, walking the dogs, cooking ( he’s now a chef, husband and father who is raising his kids the exact same way and thanks us constantly because so many of his friends are messed up) but he had balance, just as we (his parents) did. Pitiful punk ass parents of this kid.

  10. oh come on this addiction yeah it might be but I can buy it in adult people that don't have an authority such as parents to regulate this, the fault is on their parents and their weak ass rules and lack of authority, I have played videogames my entire life and never got addicted to videogames because my parents taught me that everything has a time and a place, their parents indulge their overprotected and ungrateful kids, they need to be taught that they can balance videogames with life's chores and duties.

  11. LOOOOL, Harry makes his own money guys. He may have spent 5 grand from his own money, but he earns more money back in like 1/2 the video. He’s pretty rich so stop portraying him as a kid who steal his parents money.

  12. Had a seizure before while trading in world 2 in old school runescape. Picked myself up, hopped worlds and carried on. South koreans are just soft

  13. The lobbyist is unfortunately a weasel, as they are, and the addiction threat is a bit exaggerated in this piece. Showing the wrong game style also, for the bit about "exploring a labyrinth" and comparing it to a casino. Open world RPGs with copious sidequests are much closer for that analogy. Video game addiction is real, and they tried for this piece, but it's not quite there.

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