Beware of Gambling in Video Games

Gambling in Video Games

There are many benefits when it comes to video games. They can be an excellent source for young children to develop early learning. Video games can help with memory, concentration, multi-tasking skills, and can even provide a sense of community and social connection. However, when it comes to gambling in video games, there are some risks to be aware of. Today we’re going to cover what those risks and pitfalls are.

Beware of Gambling in Video Games

The risks of video game gambling

Gambling is becoming more and more prevalent in young people. A study conducted in 2020, found that 30% of young children age 12 to 17 had gambled in the last year. The same study also revealed that they had gambled for the first time at the ripe ages of 11 or 12. Lastly, around 3-4% of these individuals had a problem or were at risk for a gambling problem.

It is believed that parents may play a large role in how this addiction transpires. If a child had gambled with their parent figure growing up, it is much more likely that the children will partake. As the old saying goes– “monkey see, monkey do.” Many children even gain access to online gambling by using their own parent’s accounts. The best way to avoid it becoming a problem with a child is to not allow children access in the first place.

Ways that gambling shows up in online games

The line between video games and gambling continues to get blurred and skewed. Some of the main traps to be aware of include social casino games, virtual goods, esports betting, and loot boxes. Social casino games act just like real casino games but instead use coins and jewels instead of real money. In order to unlock certain features, you often need to spend more. In short, if you spend more, you earn more.

When it comes to virtual goods, these typically show up as weapons or character upgrades. These upgrades can be bought, earned, or traded within a game. Esports betting is another popular practice where wagers are placed on multiplayer competition outcomes. Esports, in general, has transformed into a culture that continues to grow at a rapid pace. Finally, video game loot boxes are rewards you can either win or buy. They are pure luck, making them entirely similar to real-life gambling. They can also be bought with real money that can add up exponentially over time.

Precautions you can take

Do you fear that your child or someone you know may be struggling with online gambling? Lucky for you, there are precautions that can be implemented. One of the first things to do is open up the conversation. Ask them if they’re making wise decisions surrounding their actions in an indirect manner. Ask them questions when you see gambling in the news or in advertising. Questions like: “Do you know the odds of winning on the pokies?” or “Do you know how much money is spent on sports betting advertising?” can be a tactful way to start a conversation. It also gives you an opportunity to share facts about the real chances of winning.

If it’s your child who seems to have developed a problem, there are other tactful ways to interject. These may include having them play while you’re in the room. This will allow you to see what they’re doing, and activate settings or controls that limit their spending. You can also get a feel for the game yourself by playing it and talking to them about the risks associated with the game. You can also implement time limits and encourage them to take breaks. If you want to take it a step further, you can set up an email account that will flag purchases when they’re made. This may motivate them to not make the purchases at all or limit them.

Blurred lines

The line between gambling, video games, and online gaming continues to get blurred as time goes on. Being aware of the “traps” for either yourself, your loved ones, or your children may keep you from falling into them. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take if you feel that it’s been taken too far. It’s never too late to turn things around.

Study: Gambling in Video Games Goes Way Beyond Loot Boxes

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I, Carly Spring, M.S., LIMHP, LADC, CPC, offer my specialized expertise to assist in the healing process to anyone who may be experiencing and suffering from a vast spectrum of mental health issues. Such mental health issues include behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, grief, loss, trauma, addiction issues, and life transitions. I believe strongly in applying a holistic perspective addressing your whole person not just the bits and pieces of you. Contact us with any questions or to discuss gambling addiction services in Omaha today.