Supporting parents to help kids navigate the gaming world in a positive way
Published:26 March 2019
CQUniversity researchers Dr Alex Russell (top) and Nancy Greer (mid) helped Victoria's Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Marlene Kairouz, launch a pilot program aimed at addressing the risks of online gaming and gambling to young people.
Parents should be as educated as possible about their children's online gaming, since many games now feature gambling-type experiences.
That's according to CQUniversity gambling researchers Dr Alex Russell and Nancy Greer, who this week helped launch a pilot program aimed at addressing the risks of online gaming and gambling to young people.
"Many online games including CS:GO, PUBG, Dota2 and others include aspects that now fit the definition of gambling: something of value goes in (through microtransactions), these buy the chance to win something and, crucially, some of these things have value outside of the game. They can be sold for money, and used for gambling," Dr Russell says.
Twelve Victorian schools will take part in the pilot program, which was launched at Keilor Downs Secondary College by Victoria's Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Marlene Kairouz.
“The evidence is clear that gaming and gambling can have a devastating impact on young people," Ms Kairouz said.
“This is about giving parents practical steps to help their kids have a positive gaming experience, and our kids need to be aware of the potential harms and risks associated with online gaming.”
Gaming: Keep calm and continue parenting is a workshop co-designed by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation and the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, and will be targeted at parents of children aged 12–17 years of age, to provide them with the knowledge and skills to help their kids navigate the online gaming world.
The program has been designed to help parents understand the new gaming environment and vocabulary, and the safeguards that can be put in place to minimise the risk of excessive gaming, in-game bullying and exposure to gambling content.
The pilot was created after a review commissioned by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation found:
- A 2018 review of 22 popular video games available in Australia of which six met the criteria for gambling and allowed players to cash out winnings for real money;
- Data that showed 81 per cent of kids in Australia aged 8–17 years had played an online game in the 12 months prior to June 2017;
- 2017 data that showed 34 per cent of Australian young people made in-game purchases in the past 12-month period while playing online games;
- A 2017 German study that found young people who made in-game purchases were at greater risk of problematic gambling; and
- Preliminary research that supports the notion that simulated gambling in adolescence increases the risk of monetary gambling in adulthood.