By Melissa Meehan
The fixation of teens on popular video games like Fortnite, FIFA, Star Trek Online and many others can be overwhelming for parents.
Many are concerned about the impact the gaming could have on their kids’ well-being.
Video games are more enticing to young people than ever before.
There are thousands of games vying for their attention, and they can play them anywhere, anytime.
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.
A program developed by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation in partnership with the Alannah and Madeline Foundation “Keep calm and continue parenting” explores these issues.
Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Marlene Kairouz, said development of the program was informed by research showing that gambling is becoming ‘normalised’ in cyber places.
The content of the pilot program is broad ranging and includes gaming vocabulary, common gaming features, such as loot boxes and skins, and tips for talking to kids about gaming and gambling.
VRGF chief executive Shane Lucas said the normalisation of gambling, through gambling, was a concern because it made gambling activities seem safe, fun and without risk.
“Attitudes to gambling begin to form long before adulthood, which is why it’s so important that parents are equipped to talk to young people about their online activities, including the risks and potential harms associated with gambling,” Mr Lucas.