Video Games: Things Parents Should Know
Video gaming in Canada is more popular than ever before. The video gaming market is going to get bigger with every passing year. Video game developers in recent times have added the component of gambling to their video games which have caused quite a bit of controversy.
Guest author Daniel Bennet discusses gambling in video games and what parents should be aware of to better protect their children. To find out more about Daniel Bennet, click here.
Video Games Have Wide Appeal
To get a sense of how massive the gaming industry currently is, statistics compiled in December 2020 showed that global video game revenue dwarfs the revenue of the global movie industry and the North American sports scene combined.
The gaming boom was helped in no small part by the introduction of gambling elements in video games. Companies charge small amounts of money for “loot boxes”, which offer the chance to win previous in-game commodities – such as a special costume or an exclusive weapon.
Players buy loot boxes for a chance to win these commodities. Because these commodities are rewarded randomly, unlucky players purchase loot boxes again and again until they get what they want or they run out of cash, in a cycle familiar to many gamblers.
Loot boxes remain contentious, with the UK enacting child gambling laws to bar them, with a recent California judgment reaching the same verdict, to the protests of game companies.
Canadians love to play video games and online casino games. If you are looking for a safe and secure online gaming experience, we suggest you check out these new online casinos that have a variety of games to suit your preferences. All of these casinos only allow individuals over the age of 18 to access these games.
The question of whether video game companies are using gambling mechanics to hook children to their products is a difficult one to answer for parents. Many parents in Canada take extreme approaches to handle their children’s gaming. Some try to prohibit all games, while others take a hands-off approach. While both approaches each have their merits, these extremes are bound to fail.
Given the wide scope of modern gaming, it would be pointless to try hiding your child from something so ubiquitous in their schools, among their friends, and on the media. Taking a more hands-off approach also has its pitfalls, because, without adult guidance, children may be especially susceptible to unscrupulous marketing tactics.
The best way to help your child to learn more about gambling in video games in Canada, so you can make a sound judgment for your own family. Our gamer parents guide to gambling in video games offers four main things you need to know to help your child game in safety.
Loot Boxes are Gambling
Despite the ongoing controversy on this issue, the overwhelming consensus among legal experts and gambling regulators is that loot boxes must be categorized as gambling.
Loot boxes train children to handle luck. First, they simply withstand the variance to get the prize they desire; later, luck becomes part of the fun. Unlike conventional video game rewards, which are handed out in return for the player’s skills or efforts, loot boxes give out rewards randomly. The feeling of receiving something desirable without exerting any effort is a key aspect of the gambling experience.
By conditioning children to luck, Canadian video game companies may reduce the barriers these children have for gambling later on. While gambling is a fun, harmless activity when done moderately, children who grow up comfortable with the idea of luck may have a higher tolerance for risks, which could make them more susceptible to problem gambling.
Although most gamblers will not become problem gamblers, the few who do can have a hard time in life once they begin gambling.
Gaming Should be Fun
“Why do people gamble?” That seems like a very obvious question for someone who does not gamble but a very silly one for those who do.
Gambling is fun. But just because something is fun, it doesn’t mean we can, or should, do it all day. When a person keeps gambling despite the activity no longer being fun, that’s when problem gambling starts to creep in.
Playing Canadian video games are similar. No matter how competitive your child might be with his or her games, the absence of fun or joy during gaming is a clear sign of an issue. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have a problem, but it would prudent to speak to your child once you notice that they play video games like it’s their job.
Step In Once Things Get Too Far
Once you notice that your child is playing Canadian video games in an unhealthy manner or is playing to the detriment of their other goals in life, talking to them can help hash out the issues. Listen to your child, find out what drives you to keep playing, and try to work on a solution together.
If dialogue does not yield results, the best online gaming advice for parents we can give is to get a parental control filter. Use filters such as FamiSafe to set screen times for your children, and control their access to games you feel are becoming unhealthy for them to play.
If your children are playing video games, it is essential for you to know what video games they are playing and whether those games have a gambling component to them.