Immersive and addictive technologies Contents



1 Introduction

What are ‘immersive’ and ‘addictive’ technologies?

Evidence and visits

Legislative context

Structure of this report

2 Psychosocial harms of immersive technologies

Gaming disorder

Support for those with gaming disorder

Control over healthy use of social media and other apps

Engagement metrics

Cyber-bullying, harassment and grooming

Social VR

Risks of grooming through in-game chat

Exposure to age-inappropriate or harmful content

Age-ratings in games

Removal of content

3 Financial harms of immersive technologies

Disordered levels of spending on games


Industry interventions

Gambling-like behaviours

Loot boxes

Skin betting

4 The role of data, design and business models

Collection and use of user data

Gaming telemetry

Data sharing and integration between games and social media

Effective age verification

Design mechanics

Random rewards

Other design features in games

The free-to-play games market

How games incentivise spending in free-to-play

Advertising-funded social media

Usage monitoring tools

Role of distribution platforms and app stores

5 Supporting responsible design and industry initiatives

Online Harms legislation

User-generated content and interaction

Excessive screen-time

Challenges for legislators and regulators


Virtual Reality

VR/AR and ‘fake news’

Diversity in workforce and output

Industry initiatives to promote a more diverse workforce

Conclusions and Recommendations

Appendix 1: Visits in support of the inquiry

Appendix 2: Data collected and shared between Facebook and other platforms

Formal minutes


Published written evidence

List of Reports from the Committee during the current Parliament

Published: 12 September 2019