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Video gaming and gambling

Should I be concerned about my teenager’s gaming?

Like most technologies, there are positive and negative aspects to gaming.

The positive influence that gaming has on young people is often overlooked, but it’s important to understand that gaming can be an important part of development. It’s a way to socialise and foster identity, it encourages teamwork, and it helps hone critical thinking and decision-making skills.

But there are some potential negative consequences of the modern gaming world that parents should be aware of.

One area of concern is the increasingly blurry line between online gaming and gambling.

Both activities comprise elements of skill and chance, with some featuring similar graphics and visuals, and they are accessible from the same devices and online channels. Game design has also evolved to include gambling-like elements, and gambling advertisements can be seen within different gaming platforms.

It is too early to say how young people’s exposure to gambling advertising or gambling content within gaming may affect their future experiences. But we know that these activities can make gambling seem ‘normal’ to young people, who may not understand the risks or the potential for harm.

Resources for parents

The Foundation recognises the need to equip parents with the confidence, knowledge and skills to support their children to navigate the gaming world in a positive way.

That’s why we’ve partnered with the Alannah & Madeline Foundation to co-design a workshop for parents of children aged 12–17 years. This workshop is designed to increase parents’ awareness of the convergence of gaming and gambling and equip them to talk to their children about it.

As part of the program, the Foundation has created three fact sheets for parents:

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