Parents Guide to Gaming - Warranwood Primary School

Parents Guide to Gaming - Warranwood Primary School
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
[email protected]
Manningham YMCA presents
Keep gaming fun and safe
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Manningham YMCA presents:
PARENT’S GUIDE TO GAMING
Keep gaming fun and safe
By Steven Dupon
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Michael Palamara for helping me write, edit and proofread this guide.
Josh Tiu for the cover design, illustrations and layout.
Adam Hawken and the Manningham YMCA Board and Leadership Team for their
trust and guidance.
Giselle, Sol and Lucia for their love and patience.
This guide was made possible by a generous donation from
Manningham City Council
TABLE OF CONTENTS
01
INTRODUCTION
7. The Good and Bad of Gaming
02
UNDERSTANDING VIDEO GAMES
11. A bit of history
12. Profile of a gamer
13. Some more stats
03
BENEFITS OF GAMING
17. Cognitive Development
20. Emotional Development
23. Skills Development
26. Social Development
04
RISKS AND CONCERNS
31. Gaming Disorders/Addiction
35. Gambling in Games
40. Cyber-Safety
43. Violence and other Inappropriate Content
05
CONNECTING WITH YOUR GAMER
47. Gaming genres
49. Gamer language
06
MANAGING YOUR DEVICE
57. Understanding the classification
59. TOOL: Parental controls
07
TAKING CONTROL
71. Choosing the right game
73. Setting the appropriate limits
75. Controlling the environment where games are played
77. Get ready to brace yourself for the impact
78. Make sure your kids have other toys/activities/things to do
79. Make games a social activity
81. Teach your child about video game development
82. Be wary of free mobile games
83. No gambling simulation games for children and young people under 18
84. Stay safe online
85. Know the parental controls and classification
86. Get help!
08
WHEN THINGS GET OUT OF HAND
90. How to identify gaming disorders
91. The Nine Criteria
94. TOOL: Gaming Disorder Questionnaire
95. Where and how to get help
96. What if your child doesn’t want any help?
97. Links and Referrals
98. References
101. Key Words
102. About the Author
01
Parent’s Guide to GAMING
INTRODUCTION
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The good and bad of gaming
It’s no secret that video games are one of today’s most popular forms of
entertainment. According to the latest statistics, 96% of children, between the
ages of 6 - 15 engage in some form of gaming screen time on a regular basis.
Gaming devices are becoming more and more portable and children are much
more computer savvy than ever before.
So what can we do to make sure that gaming remains a positive influence on a
child’s development?
INTRODUCTION
In this manual we will look at:
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The positives and negatives of gaming.
Some practical tips on how to better manage your child’s gaming devices.
Tips on how to better manage the gaming environment within your home.
Resources to help you to connect with your child in relation to gaming.
How to identify when it is time to seek professional help.
Parents, this manual is for you! Whether you’re children are 2 or 22!
All parents have a responsibility to their children to ensure that they are safe and
well equipped to deal with life’s challenges. Gaming can be one of those challenges
for many parents.
Before we begin it is important for us to recognise that gaming, like everything,
has its fair share of its pros and cons. This book will focus primarily on how to
avoid getting caught in the negatives. Because, when used well, gaming can be
educational, empowering and frankly, essential to a child’s development.
Warning! This manual contains an abundance of information about video games;
it can also be used as a practical resource so that you can better manage gaming
in your home.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
UNDERSTANDING
VIDEO GAMES
P11 | A BIT OF HISTORY
P12 | PROFILE OF A GAMER
P13 | SOME MORE STATS
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Sorry Pacman, we’ve moved on...
Strictly speaking, a video game is an electronic game that involves human
interaction, with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a visual device.
Visual devices include:
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Consoles (Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii)
Handheld devices (Nintendo 3DS and Game Boy)
PCs
Mobile phones
Tablets
UNDERSTANDING
So, in short any game played on a screen can be referred to as a video game.
Today, the term ‘gaming’ is being used more and more in place of the more
longwinded ‘playing video games’. ‘Gaming’, however, can also be used to describe
the practice of ‘gambling’. (Particularly betting and casino style gambling).
In Chapter 3, we will take an in-depth look at the similarities between gaming and
gambling.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
A BIT OF HISTORY
The first video game was developed in the1970s. It was a text-based strategy game
similar to the popular real life role-playing games such as ‘Dungeons and Dragons’.
Soon after the game ‘Pong’ was introduced. This is the first video game to involve
graphics. This lead to the development of the famous title ‘Pacman’ in the 1980s
involving one person playing against a machine.
UNDERSTANDING
As technology improved, video games have become more advanced and complex,
with realistic imagery and interactive software. A further step in complexity
occurred in the 1990s, with the introduction of titles such as ‘Doom’ involving
players customizing their character’s appearance, creating interactive rooms and
first person shooting experiences.
By the late 1990s, more genres were appearing and players were given the ability
to create their own parts of the game. This feature has come to be known as
‘Modding’ or ‘Modifying the game’.
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PROFILE OF A GAMER
According to the Digital Australia 14 Report, which is produced each year by IGEA,
the profile of a typical gamer mirrors the profile of a typical Australian.
CC The average age of a gamer is 32 years old
CC 76% of all gamers are over 18 years of age
CC Gamers in their 40s and 50s make up the largest group of new gamers in the
last two years
UNDERSTANDING
Gone are the days when gaming was predominantly a teenage boys’ pursuit! The
gender split for gamers these days is 47% female to 53% male.
There is, however, a difference in how boys and girls are playing. Boys are more
likely to play action/shooting games whereas girls are more into puzzles and social
games.
SOME OF THE MOST POPULAR GAMES ARE:
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Minecraft
Call of Duty
World of Warcraft
Grand Theft Auto
Candy Crush
Super Smash Brothers
FIFA
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Lego Games
Mario Kart
Battlefield
League of Legends
Sims
Skyrim
DOTA
Parent’s Guide to GAMING
SOME MORE STATS FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT
According to the Digital Australia 14 Report produced each year by IGEA the profile
of a typical gamer mirrors the profile of a typical Australian.
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26% of gamers play on tablets
47% of gamers play on smartphones
63% of households use a console
90% of gaming households own three or more screens
The Video Game industry is exploding! Experiencing a surge in popularity never
seen before, with more and more people playing. Children can be found interacting
with games on their parent’s mobile devices from as early as one year old.
UNDERSTANDING
There has been a lot of research on the positive and negative impact of video
games. And you’ll read more about this in the next few chapters. But we will have
to wait at least another two decades until we find out what the impact of video
games will be on those who started playing from the age of one.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
BENEFITS OF
GAMING
P17 | COGNITIVE SKILL & DEVELOPMENT
P20 | EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
P23 | MANUAL SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
P26 | SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
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Newsflash!!
Video games can be good for you
RISKS AND CONCERNS
Video Games are an incredible form of entertainment! They are extremely
engaging and if used well, they can be of real benefit to the education and the
overall development of our children.
We all use digital technology on a daily basis. Technology has made our workplace
more efficient; changed the way we connect with each other, how we keep up with
current events and how we entertain ourselves. Technology has a real place in
everyone’s lives and increasingly, in the lives of our children.
Video games teach us:
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Cognitive skills like problem solving, strategy development, decision making
Emotional skills and can be a vehicle for self-expression
Manual skills like reading and hand-eye coordination skills
Social skills by connecting and playing with friends
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
COGNITIVE SKILL DEVELOPMENT
One of the main benefits of video games is cognitive development. Games offer
a deep learning experience and can help children develop many of the skills that
today’s employers are looking for. Although video games are often seen as a waste
of time, they can actually promote a wide range of cognitive skills. By being able to
identify which games are the best at developing these skills, we will be able to use
them in the overall cognitive development and education of our children.
Problem solving/decision making skills
OPPORTUNITY:
VIDEOGAMES IN THE CLASSROOM
Video games combine instruction with
demonstration, making them an effective tool
for educators. As such video games can be highly
beneficial in a classroom environment as they
engage children and make learning fun. Many
video games have been specifically developed
with the classroom in mind. Some examples are:
reading eggs, mathletics and spelling games.
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BENEFITS OF GAMING
By being asked to solve increasingly complicated problems within a specified time
limit, gamers can develop speed in their decision-making. Studies have also shown
that playing video games can help increase creativity in young people.
Strategic development
Gaming is like exercise for the brain. In most cases they will involve working with
some sort of strategy to stay alive or defeat a boss; build a structure or blow one
up. This makes it a very active pastime, at least on a cognitive level. Video game
principles continue to be implemented in training situations, rehabilitation and
other cognitive development exercises. First Person Shooting games are often
regarded as games that feature great cognitive development.
RISKS AND CONCERNS
OPPORTUNITY:
VIDEO GAMES IN REHABILITATION
Video games are now being used as rehabilitation
for patients with acquired brain injury. They
have been found to help stimulate neurogenesis
(growth of new neurons) and connectivity in the
brain regions responsible for spatial orientation,
memory formation and strategic planning. In
fact, some studies have even demonstrated
the direct casual link between video gaming
and volumetric brain increase. This proves that
specific brain regions can be trained by means
of video games.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
Attention Allocation skills
Gamers are able to develop faster, more accurate attention allocation skills. Giving
them the ability to prioritise decisions and weigh up where their attention needs
to be and for how long.
Spatial Skills
Spatial ability is the ability to think about objects in three dimensions and to draw
conclusions about those objects from limited information. These skills are valuable
in many real-world situations and can be improved with practice. Spatial skills are
essential for maths, science, engineering and technology.
BENEFITS OF GAMING
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EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Video games are fun!
RISKS AND CONCERNS
It’s no secret that fun has an extremely positive effect on our mental wellbeing. The
reason why games, such as Angry Birds or Temple Run, have become so popular
is because that they give us instant gratification and plenty of positive emotional
development. Games like these can be used as a form of relaxation and even
help reduce stress. For children and young adults in particular, this can be an
important part in their maintaining a balanced mental outlook. Some people have
even credited video games for saving their lives as they battle to overcome family
problems, substance abuse, chemotherapy, and other health problems.
OPPORTUNITY:
IDENTIFYING MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES THROUGH
VIDEO GAMES
Excessive video game playing can suggest the presence of an
underlying mental health issue. It is widely accepted that early
intervention still holds the best chance of recovery. In some cases,
we can even use someone’s gaming behaviour as an indication of
his or her mental wellbeing.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
Stress reduction / relaxation
Playing a quick game after a hard day’s work or a tough day at school can do
wonders for your mind. Video games can help take your mind off the daily
pressures we all live with. Games relax us, placing us in a comfort zone, where for
that brief moment in time we don’t have to think about real life.
Self-expression
OPPORTUNITY:
TREATMENT OPTIONS USING VIDEO GAMES
Gamers often feel more comfortable in the game
than they do in real life. Many feel that it is the only
place they can feel totally accepted and free from
judgment – unlike the ‘real world’.
In therapy, video games are already being designed
and used as an alternative therapy for depression
in young people. This therapy has proven to be just
as effective as traditional face-to-face counselling
and may even be more appropriate for some young
people.
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BENEFITS OF GAMING
Many young people use video games as a way to express their view on life, their
opinions, or even, their emotions. This is made possible through video game
development. By being able to create a video game that tells their story or helps
express their emotions; aspiring developers have been able to express themselves
through art or game-related culture.
Feeling of achievement
RISKS AND CONCERNS
Developers use the technique of instantly rewarding players as a way to keep
them hooked on a game. When you receive positive rewards, even through an
impersonal machine, like a computer or tablet, it makes you feel good. After you
have completed multiple levels within a game or ultimately the game itself there
is an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, which is, again beneficial to your
mental wellbeing.
OPPORTUNITY:
REBUILDING SOCIAL CONFIDENCE BY
INTERACTING IN VIDEO GAMES FIRST
Gamers often credit video games for their being able to reconnect with
the community. Many feel that a game can be a safe place to express
themselves and socially interact at their own pace. Online interactions
are often quite basic. There is no body language, no eye contact and one
can leave the conversation with one press of the button. It can be argued
that only real social interactions are valuable. But for someone with social
anxiety, this controlled way of interacting can be a good way of rebuilding
confidence and skills in socialising.
FACT - Video games can really benefit a player’s emotional development
providing that they are playing the right kind of games in moderation.
“It’s thanks to video games that I’ve been able to deal with my depression and
integrate back into real life” Gamer – 22 years old
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
MANUAL SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
Aside from developing cognitive skills, video games can also help people develop
a wide range of manual skills. This is especially of interest to education or training
providers, in particular, those who are teaching difficult to engage groups of
people.
Playing video games can help develop:
Hand-eye coordination skills, as well as vision and speed skills
Reading skills
Children playing any type of video game show increased creativity
Video games can teach time management, as the timing of a move is crucial
in video games
CC A player’s fitness
Resource management is another key skill found in video games. Many games
give players a limited amount of resources that need to be rationed to complete
the game.
OPPORTUNITY:
VIDEO GAMES IN TRAINING
The military uses video games as a training technique,
which is known as (EST) Engagement Skills Trainer. Video
games are created to simulate the environment and
situations soldiers will face, allowing soldiers to practice
their shooting in a safe environment; and to teach
judgement skills in combat situations. Flight simulators
are commonly used by pilots in training before they
make the transition to controlling a real plane.
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BENEFITS OF GAMING
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Reading skills
Video games actively engage the player in a range of cognitive tasks. Most will
feature text as a way to explain the rules of the game or introduce new features.
Some video games are more ‘wordy’ than others and if you find the right game for
your child, their reading can really improve.
Hand-Eye Coordination skills
RISKS AND CONCERNS
Video games require the player to use fine and gross motor skills with visual
perception to execute a desired task. Games that require precision timing, a
sensitive touch and detail will benefit hand-eye coordination. Video games have
even been used to help surgeons perfect their skill in the operating room.
OPPORTUNITY:
VIDEO GAMES AS THERAPY
Video games are fast becoming recognised
as an important tool in rehabilitation settings,
particularly in the rehabilitation of children. Video
game consoles such as Wii involve whole body
movement and the potential is there for their use
in a therapeutic setting. Video game therapy or
‘Wii-habilitation’ has been particularly successful
for children with cerebral palsy.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
Fitness
The Wii and Xbox Kinect are consoles that utilise motion
controllers to detect the movements of players. Games
are played by actively moving your body in a particular
way. This unique style of gameplay really suits the
many sports games that are compatible with this
system. Playing this type of game can be a
successful way to introduce activity and sports
to people who would otherwise not be inclined to do so. Video games usually get a bad rap for creating couch potatoes, but games,
such as these, can actually be really good for you.
BENEFITS OF GAMING
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SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Contrary to public opinion, video games are actually a very social form of
entertainment; with teams and players cooperating to reach a common goal. Video
games are increasingly being played on social network sites such as Facebook
promoting online gaming achievements and interactions.
Over 70% of gamers play with a friend, by playing against each other or working
cooperatively in a team. Games such as, World of Warcraft, open up virtual worlds
and communities that extend far beyond the computer screen.
RISKS AND CONCERNS
Connect online
Gamers have the ability to connect with players locally or team up online with
people from countries around the world. A large proportion of young people,
playing multiplayer games, have developed good friendships with people they met
online.
Video games have created a fun and engaging way of connecting with people and
can act as an important teaching tool in developing social skills. In many games,
players have the option to work together to form alliances and create teams. They
can also provide the players with the opportunity to take on a leadership role,
which requires even greater social networking skills and teamwork to keep the
other players happy.
These skills are important in the outside world for creating and maintaining
friendships, especially in school and work environments. Studies have shown that
playing video games, including violent games, can create and improve friendships
amongst players. Even players fighting against each other in a game can still be
developing their friendship as they work together and share the experience.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
HOW TO IDENTIFY A GAME THAT HAS THESE BENEFITS?
Ask the following questions:
Are there emotional benefits?
CC Is it a fun game? Bad games don’t give us positive feelings!
CC Is there a good balance between relaxation and excitement?
CC Does play get interrupted sometimes?
CC Are there clear achievements made?
CC Does the game utilise motion controllers to get players more active?
Is there creativity required to play the game?
CC Do you build stuff?
CC Do you develop characters?
CC Can you direct your own story?
CC Can you modify the game?
Is it a social game?
CC Do you connect with other players?
CC Is this connection a safe one?
CC Does anyone monitor the conversations?
CC Can you easily report anti – social behaviour?
CC Do the developers act on the reports?
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BENEFITS OF GAMING
Are there cognitive benefits?
CC Do you need to solve problems in the game? Puzzles, riddles?
CC Do you need to develop a strategy to successfully finish the game?
CC Do you need to make decisions? How stressful is this? Do you get enough time
to make these decisions?
CC Does the game feature a rich graphic environment?
CC Does the game require your undivided attention for periods of time?
CC Is there lots of text that needs to be read? Instructions that need following?
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RISKS AND CONCERNS
04
Parent’s Guide to GAMING
RISKS AND
CONCERNS
P31 | GAMING DISORDERS/ADDICTION
P35 | GAMBLING IN GAMES
P40 | CYBER SAFETY
P43 | VIOLENCE & OTHER
INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT
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Risky Business!
So, as you can see, there are plenty of benefits to video gaming. But there are
also some areas of concern that must be looked at. These include: Video game
addiction, gambling, and violence, etc.
The following section will help raise awareness to these concerns and can be used
as a reference to educate both children and their parents on how to address
these issues.
RISKS AND CONCERNS
The risks and concerns of gaming include:
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Excessive gaming/Gaming Disorder/Gaming Addiction
Gambling
Violence and other inappropriate content
Cyber-safety issues
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
GAMING DISORDERS/ADDICTION
When does gaming become addiction?
Unlike substance abuse or gambling, video game addiction is not a formally
recognised addiction. We do, however, see a number of young people play games
so frequently that it clearly has a negative impact on their lives. With symptoms
and impact comparable to addiction, it is important to be aware of the risk of video
gaming.
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RISKS AND CONCERNS
Several studies have been undertaken to define the percentage of gamers that
end up playing excessively. Results ranging from 5 to 15% of gamers play at a
frequency that leads to a negative impact on their life.
What is excessive video gaming?
When is video game playing excessive? Is it 10 hours per week, 20 hours, or more?
It is impossible to put a figure on this. Excessive gaming has similar symptoms to
addiction: it becomes completely absorbing for players, often used as a coping
strategy. Players’ tolerance to the game increases therefore more time is spent
playing to get the same effect on their mood. Players often experience withdrawal
symptoms when trying to quit gaming and can relapse.
RISKS AND CONCERNS
We define excessive video gaming as playing so often that it has a negative
impact on the person’s life.
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF NEGATIVE IMPACT
EXCESSIVE VIDEO GAMING CAN HAVE:
CC Missing school, work or other important
commitments
CC Losing or neglecting significant relationships
CC Physical health impacts (like back pain or strain)
CC Sleeplessness
CC Reduced mental wellbeing
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
What are the signs of video game addiction?
A gaming addiction is rarely a standalone issue. We see a range of signs, which
often appear to be linked to excessive gaming.
Below are some signs you may notice when your child struggles with excessive
gaming:
Psychological signs
CC Becoming depressed or anxious
CC Becoming angry or violent when prevented from playing
CC Decreased interest in school, work, and/or other hobbies
RISKS AND CONCERNS
Physical signs
CC Difficulty sleeping
CC Poor eating habits
CC Decrease in overall physical health
Behavioural signs
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Inability to quit playing
Increased amount of time playing video games
Lying
Decrease in social connection or time spent with friend
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Excessive Gaming – How much is too much?
Research has linked excessive television viewing and computer use in children and
adolescents to a variety of health and social problems. Current recommendations
are that screen time in children and adolescents should be limited to no more
than two hours per day.
RISKS AND CONCERNS
On the other hand, the University of Oxford recommends that a moderate amount
of gaming is better for young people than no gaming at all. This is especially true
for boys!
1 hour of gaming per day is a moderate amount of
gaming and is beneficial for young people in general.
This doesn’t mean that if you play for more than one hour per day that you’re
automatically addicted. If gaming is nicely balanced with other parts of life, then
there is usually no concern. There are many gamers who are perfectly able to game
a lot AND study at University. Hold down a job, have great social relationships and
feel happy.
Chapter 7 and 8 give more information on how to manage gaming in the home
and on how to identify gaming disorders.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
GAMBLING IN GAMES
The video game industry has clearly converged with the gambling industry and
both have learnt a lot from each other in regard to making money.
The gambling industry learned how to better engage players through game design
and graphics.
The video game industry learned how to ‘hook’ players to their game.
CC Simulated gambling games
CC In-game practice gambling
CC Advertising within games
Video game addiction and gambling addiction are both behaviour based addictions.
We see many similarities in the techniques used to hook the player. Players also
display similar behaviour patterns and symptoms.
These gamblified games are introduced to two year olds.
What the impact of this will be, we will only know in
another decade or so.
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RISKS AND CONCERNS
Video games also provide the gambling industry with an opportunity to connect
with a whole new player demographic: children and young people.
This happens through:
Simulated gambling games
Simulated gambling games are those games that look, feel and play exactly the
same as the popular casino games. Poker, Slots or Pokies, Blackjack, and so on are
very popular gambling games offered on mobile gaming platforms. Some popular
simulated gambling games are: Slotomania, Zynga Poker, Doubledown Casino.
RISKS AND CONCERNS
20% of the top grossing mobile games are
simulated gambling games.
This type of game offers the opportunity to practice gambling. No money is
wagered or won because the player plays with points or virtual coins. Because no
money is involved, simulated gambling is not classified as real gambling and as
such escape the strict regulations that are placed on real money gambling.
Simulated gambling apps are readily available to children via social media sites or
the app stores. This gives children and young people unprecedented access to
practice gambling.
We know that the younger one gambles, the more likely
it is that they may end up with a gambling issue.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
Practising gambling through these gambling apps makes gambling look fun,
harmless, and a normal part of everyday life. Because the odds are set by the
developers (in contrast with physical poker machines) you’re very likely to win
and have a great experience playing these games. As such, kids get exposed
to gambling at a very early age and are led to believe that gambling is fun and
harmless.
Currently, these apps are not rated by an independent ratings board (unlike films
and big video games) making it very difficult for parents to identify which apps
feature gambling or not.
In-Game Gambling
Having unmoderated in-game gambling in video games
introduces gambling to children and young people
at a very young age. This will result in desensitising
your children to gambling and make them believe it is
harmless and fun!
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RISKS AND CONCERNS
It is quite common for video games to include gambling. This means that a player
can engage in games like poker or blackjack. (e.g. The Sims, Grand Theft Auto,…)
In other games, gambling may take the form of a poker machine giving the player
the ability to win extra items or coins. Sometimes poker machines are built into
the actual game so that the player needs to play the pokies to progress further
into the game.
Advertising in video games
RISKS AND CONCERNS
Free games on mobile devices need to make revenue somehow. One of the ways
developers can monetise their work is through advertising. Because video games
are largely unsupervised and unregulated the gambling industry has seen it as an
opportunity to advertise in games. Many free games that are not generating big
profits will feature advertising. The only way to know what the game is advertising
to your child is to actually supervise your child whilst playing.
Gambling techniques used in games
Another method of raising revenue in mobile games is the in-app purchase.
By purchasing extra credits a player can progress further in the game or gain an
advantage over another player. Video game developers design their games using
well-known techniques to get the player hooked.
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Random Reward Schedules
Illusion of skill
Audio and visual tricks
Immediate and easy to play with no complicated rules or strategy
Very limited storylines making the game quite mindless
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
These techniques keep the player in ‘the zone’, making it harder for them to stop
playing. Then, suddenly, the game introduces a new level that seems unachievable
or sets a time limit. The easiest option to continue playing is to make an in app
purchase.
These gambling techniques are used predominantly in
games and it is not surprising that this is the fastest
growing segment of the gaming industry.
These games are connected with social media (we’ve all received requests on
Facebook to join a particular game). They don’t have to stick to the odds like real
money gambling and of course, they can offer the experience to children as young
as one!
Due to the similarities between gaming and gambling, some big name gambling
industry players have begun to buy up game development companies and actively
develop games designed to hook players and make maximum amounts of money.
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RISKS AND CONCERNS
One could argue that games are even more addictive than gambling. As stated
before, there are no rigid regulations to deal with and games offer added
functionality to hook players.
CYBER-SAFETY
RISKS AND CONCERNS
Video game players are often able to create avatars to represent them in a game.
An avatar is an online character that is created by the player. Through these
avatars, the player is able to interact with other people who are playing the game
at the same time. Because of this, video games are often referred to as being a
social pastime. But beware! They can also expose players to anti-social behaviour.
Staying safe within a video game requires basically the same strategy to staying
safe online. We must always be mindful of the fact that just because there is an
element of social play in a game, it doesn’t mean that we know who the other
players really are. As such video games can be a used as a potential place for
grooming children or cyber bullying.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
Cyberbullying
Cyber-bullying is bullying that occurs when using technology. It can be an incredibly
powerful, quick, and ultimately, very public way for users to experience humiliation.
Cyber-bullying doesn’t just occur in the schoolyard. As most young people these
days have easy access to the Internet on the go, as well as at home, in the form
of phones, tablets, or computers. This means that bullies can access their victims
anywhere.
Common examples of cyber-bullying include:
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RISKS AND CONCERNS
CC Having people share embarrassing photos of you online.
CC Receiving harassing or abusive calls, texts or emails from people they may or
may not know.
CC People posting upsetting or embarrassing things about you online.
CC Having people post humiliating things about you on Facebook and Twitter
either publicly or through private messages.
CC People setting up fake profiles pretending to be others, or posting messages
or status updates from their accounts.
CC Having your profile information changed by people using a stolen password
to get into your account.
CC People trying to stop a person from communicating with others.
RISKS AND CONCERNS
Cyber-bullying can have an extremely negative impact on a victim’s mental
wellbeing so it’s important to stay safe. The effects of cyber-bullying gradually take
their toll over time and can lead to some serious mental health issues.
Bullying in Games
Video games provide a social connection between players. By using headsets
and chat-services gamers connect, talk to each other, and make new friends. The
game is the playground. Rules are set for the game but not for the interactions
that players have with each other.
VIDEO GAMES PUT CHILDREN IN A VIRTUAL
COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT WITHOUT ANY
REFEREES. THIS CAN LEAD TO:
CC
CC
CC
CC
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Bad language
Threats of violence
Ganging up against a player
Verbal abuse
Parent’s Guide to GAMING
VIOLENCE AND OTHER INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT
Video games can be violent, racist, sexist, and more. We wouldn’t let our kids
watch a film or TV show that we felt was inappropriate. The same rules apply for
websites and games.
But how do you find out if a game contains potential inappropriate content without
playing it yourself? Well, the bad news is - you can’t. The fact is that although we
know that some video games can contain questionable content; we are not so
sure of the impact this has on young people.
But I don’t agree with exposing young children to material that is unsuitable or even
harmful to them. Parents can use their own discretion to decide what material
is suitable for their kids. It is however a crime to expose underage children to
material that is rated R (adults only).
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RISKS AND CONCERNS
Many people ask me whether or not I’m ‘against’ violence in games. I’m not!
I believe that gaming is just like any other form of entertainment or form of art.
I like it when boundaries are pushed in art and I believe that a video game should
have the same liberties as books, film, music, or other visual arts.
Violence
There are certain video games that depict graphic violence, however, there are
two schools of thought on the implications that this violence has on young people.
The truth is that most popular video games do contain some form of violence. This
is often portrayed as being insignificant and with no consequence to the victim or
perpetrator. As we know this is not the case in real life.
RISKS AND CONCERNS
The inclusion of violence in video games can send players, particularly younger
players, the message that violence is harmless, funny, or even, an acceptable way
to get what they want. Violence as an acceptable solution surely cannot be seen
as a positive message.
On the other hand, we find that there is no evidence to suggest any real connection
between violence in video games and violent behaviour in real life. Although we do
often see tragedies, such as school shootings, blamed on the influence of video
games. No causal link has been found between the two.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
Gender Stereotypes
Gender stereotypes are often used in video games, as well. For young people
that are still developing their perception of the adult world, commonly used
stereotypes can be harmful and create a distorted representation of player’s roles
and abilities.
Female characters, in particular, suffer the most from stereotyping. Male characters
appear more frequently in video games compared to their female counterparts
and talk significantly more. They typically are able to achieve more; demonstrate
greater leadership skills and have more opportunities in games compared to
female characters.
RISKS AND CONCERNS
Women are often represented as passive and subordinate characters that depend
on men, while often sexual relationships are key to their role in the game. Female
characters are often categorized into four groups of characters:
CC
CC
CC
CC
sex objects or prizes
victims
feminists
heroes
PAGE 45
In a recent study of popular video games, 41% had no
female characters; 21% represented women as victims;
28% portrayed them as sex objects; and only
15% portrayed women as heroes.
RISKS AND CONCERNS
Female characters are significantly more likely to be pictured in a hypersexual way,
such as being half-naked, wearing inappropriate clothing, having an unrealistic
body image. This could potentially be damaging to both male and female players’
perception of gender, the development of their own identity and their attitude
towards the opposite sex.
Also of concern is the fact that these female stereotypes can appear in any game,
regardless of the rating, potentially exposing children to inappropriate content.
Racism
Characters that show some ethnicity, Black, Asian, or Hispanic for example,
seem to appear far less frequently in video games, with main characters being
predominately white males.
Often, ethnic characters are portrayed as stereotypes, which can be damaging
to the development of a young person’s perception of race and ethnicity. Young
gamers with ethnic backgrounds can often feel degraded or left out, and Caucasian
youths form a generalised view of an entire race or ethnicity. Video games often
follow the typical racial stereotypes; black criminals, white heroes, and Asians
being good at martial arts.
Studies have shown that racial stereotypes depicted in video games often shape
players perceptions of that race in the real world. Characters of different races
are very rarely heroes, rescuers or champions. These characters are widely
stereotyped as overly muscular athletes with unnatural abilities or exotic fighters.
Stereotyping characters leaves young people with an unrealistic view of different
races.
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05
Parent’s Guide to GAMING
CONNECTING
WITH THE GAMER
P49 | GAMING GENRES
P53 | GAMER LANGUAGE
PAGE 47
Talk the Talk
In the previous chapter, we outlined the benefits and the potential risks of gaming.
By being able to identify and understand these risks, you will be able to make an
informed decision as to whether your child’s video game playing is beneficial or
detrimental to their overall wellbeing.
But let’s take it one step further.
CONNECTING
To keep your children safe from any potential threat you need to begin
communicating with them about gaming, even if you have never played a video
game before in your life.
So how do you communicate with someone who prefers to look at a screen than
talk to you?
To connect with a gamer, you not only have to understand gaming, you also
need to know how to talk about it. In this chapter, we dive headfirst into gaming
vocabulary and try to give you some pointers on how to talk the talk.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
GAMING GENRES
The gaming industry today is big business! Annually turning over more revenue
than both the movie and music industries. Constant innovation has brought us
to the verge of a golden age of gaming. Triple A software titles have budgets that
would put some Hollywood movies to shame, along with the best writers, voice
actors and designers.
However, as the industry has grown, it has also been reduced to a smaller number
of ‘core’ genres. There is, of course, the emerging field of casual gaming; however
the core of the gaming market remains the super-genres: MMORPG (massively
multiplayer online role-playing game), FPS (First Person Shooter), sports games,
action games, and somewhat declining but resilient real-time strategy games.
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CONNECTING
MMORPG - massively multiplayer online role playing game
MMORPG is a genre played online with a large number of players, where a player
creates a personalized character and assumes their role in a vast interactive world.
MMORPGs are seductive not as mere games, but as world’s and communities.
When we were kids, we improvised swords, went on epic quests with our friends,
and defeated monsters. MMORPGs enable this all to be relived on screen. The
ability to personalize a character, discover picturesque places, quest and dive into
dangerous adventures are what these games are about. However, at the core of
the MMORPG game is the social aspect. Communities in and around MMORPGs
attract not only hard-core players, but casual ones, too. The most successful
MMORPGs have unique characteristics to sit alongside the commonalities between
them. From World of Warcraft, peaking at 12 million players in 2010, to Guild Wars,
Eve Online, Star Wars, The Old Republic, Lord of The Rings Online, and the upcoming
Elder Scrolls Online – MMORPG’s are even breaking the 4th wall, with augmented
reality titles like Ingress and Map of The Dead, which enable people to play in the
real world.
CONNECTING
First Person Shooter
Nothing gets a gamer’s adrenaline pumping like a first person shooter. First
person shooters are a weapon-based combat game played from a first-person
perspective, with a camera focusing on the weapon. Increasingly these games are
played online, but have retained a strong single player component. Play centres
around skill and speed with teams trying to dominate each other. This dynamism
is why FPS receives huge investment. Unreal Tournament, Quake, Half-Life, Counter
Strike, and nowadays Call of Duty, Battlefield and Halo are all household names
in the gaming community. The social aspect of these games is being enhanced,
with FPS social features focused on team coordination, tactics and lots of yelling.
The ongoing trend in most popular FPSs is that single-player is secondary to the
dominant multiplayer. Leading in graphic standards and being infamous among
parents and wider audience for its violence and bloodshed, FPS genre remains the
cool and dangerous name in the gaming world.
Sports Games
Sports games speak for themselves, typically simulations or arcades of various
sports. These games are a lot of fun, and now, have never been bigger. They are
also often closely tied to real world events and players, adding an authenticity
that other genres struggle to offer. The real world element means that with
yearly updates sports titles provide publishers with a steady income for relatively
little input, and provide players with an engaging way to simulate the real world.
Competition is at the core of these games, which also provide a different type of
socialization than other genres making them unique. Popular games are FIFA and
NBA, etc.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
Action Games
Action games were one of the first popular genres. These games include lots of
challenges; they are a mix of combat, jumping, solving puzzles, etc., which, above
all, require quick reflexes. Some of them have a greater focus on storytelling or
multiplayer options, but the focus is on the various spectrums of activities, like
jumping, chasing, combating, solving interesting trials, and trying to figure out what
to do next. Maybe the greatest appeal of action games is that they are intuitive
to get into, but tend to have a rising curve of difficulty over time. The best action
games feature a perfect mix of everything this genre has to offer and channel it
into a unique experience.
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CONNECTING
Real Time Strategy Games
RTS was the backbone of the industry when at its prime. These games are based
around players collecting resources, building units and commanding in-game
units into combat. However, one can’t just grab a keyboard and a mouse and be
a good RTS player. RTS games require tactical thinking, planning, careful building
of assets/troops and deployment. The best RTS gamers in the world are reputed
to be able to undertake 300 actions every minute. Games like StarCraft, WarCraft,
Dawn of War, Red Alert, gained immense popularity especially in Asia (StarCraft is
a cultural phenomenon in Korea, and is considered a career, spawning national
leagues and TV series similar to sporting events). Variety of resources and fighting
units give players the option to build their own specific style of play, and, in a way,
assume the role of a General. Although RTS has suffered a slow decline in recent
years, tablet devices offer a strong platform for this gaming type, and may start to
help the genre turn a corner. The rise of sporting style “leagues” also offers real
hope for the RTS.
Platform Games
A Platform Game is a video game in which the game-play revolves heavily around
players running and jumping onto platforms, floors, ledges, stairs or other objects
depicted on a single or scrolling game screen. First developed back in the early
1980s, platformers are one of the earliest genres of video game. While the debate
as to which game actually started the platformer genre rages on, it's clear that early
classics such as Donkey Kong, Space Panic, and Mario Bros were very influential and
all had a hand, in shaping the genre.
CONNECTING
Casual games
Casual gaming is a term used for the form of video game where the gamer does
not have a long-term commitment to the game and can approach playing on an
infrequent and spontaneous basis.
Casual video games have several distinguishing features. They are often webbased and are usually found on either mobile phones or personal computers.
They usually don’t have a very big learning curve. To achieve this, most casual
games have few controls normally, a single button or two that will predominantly
control the majority of the game. Casual games usually do not require a significant
amount of time to play. Because, unlike some of the more “hardcore” games,
casual games usually do not take participants that long to reach their final stage.
Therefore, a casual game often does not contain a save feature.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
GAMER LANGUAGE
Gaming language is unique. Below we have compiled a list of some of the most
commonly used terms for your reference.
With gaming getting bigger and bigger; attracting more and more players of all ages,
some of these “Modern Internet Colloquialisms” are fast becoming mainstream.
Some of these gaming words originated as typos when people were typing fast
during a game. Some examples of this are: “pwn” which means ‘to own’ and “teh”
which means ‘the’. Speed is more important than correct spelling when you battle
a “mob”.
Gaming terms worth knowing!
Noob or Newb - A term used to describe an inexperienced gamer/person/etc.
Unlike Noob, a Newb is often someone who wants to get better.
DLC - (Downloadable Content) This term applies to all additional content that can
be purchased online and downloaded onto your system. This includes new levels,
characters, and costumes, etc.
Nerfing - When a game developer decreases the performance of a gaming
element (e.g., Gun/jetpack/Sword). Developers will usually do this in an attempt to
balance the game.
PWN - When a player gets a kill with great style.
Grinding - repetitive actions completed in order to gain further experience in the
game.
PVP - (Player vs. Player). This term refers to games (or portions of games) that see
one or more human players face off against one or more other human players.
PAGE 53
CONNECTING
Frag - To kill an enemy in a first person shooter game.
NPC - (Non-Player Character). This gaming term refers to all characters in a game
not controlled by the player or a human opponent. The behaviour of NPCs is
controlled by AI (artificial intelligence).
Easter Eggs - hidden elements in the game.
Guild/Clan - Term for a clan or group of players who play online games together.
FTW - (For The Win) Used as a general expression of enthusiasm – example: Make
Use Of FTW! – on the Internet as well as in video games.
CONNECTING
Kill Ratio - Most online shooters rank players according to their kill ratio. You’d
be ranked higher for ending a game with 6 kills and 0 deaths than you would for
10 kills and 6 deaths.
XP - (Experience Points), which are racked up as you progress through a game.
Hitting certain levels of XP usually sees your character level up and gain new
abilities or weapons.
Lag - If your internet ping (or latency) is too high then you may
experience lag. This is when your real-life actions take too long
to translate to the actions on screen, making a game virtually
unplayable.
Beta - a nearly complete prototype of a game. Users often test beta versions to
alert developers of bugs or problems.
Sandbox - A game in which the player ignores the game’s objectives so as to
explore the game’s environment. Sandbox games are also referred to as nonlinear
or open-ended. The Grand Theft Auto series allows for open-ended play.
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06
Parent’s Guide to GAMING
MANAGING YOUR
DEVICE
P57 | HOW TO READ THE AUSTRALIAN
CLASSIFICATION
P59 | PARENTAL CONTROLS
P60 | PARENTAL CONTROLS (WINDOWS)
P61 | PARENTAL CONTROLS (IOS/APPLE)
P63 | PARENTAL CONTROLS (ANDROID)
P65 | PARENTAL CONTROLS (XBOX 360)
P68 | PARENTAL CONTROLS (PS4)
PAGE 55
Management is Key!
So, what steps can we take to ensure that your child’s gaming experience remains
a positive one? Well, we can start by trying to manage the actual game and the
device it is played on.
MANAGING DEVICES
The government provides a classification to provide guidance and information to
parents on the content of the games. Understanding and using the classification
will give you peace of mind about the content your child is exposed to.
Every game developer and all gaming platforms want your gaming experience
to be a positive one. To reduce potential harmful impacts a number of parental
controls are introduced in most popular games. In this manual, we give you a
guide for the most popular platforms.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
HOW TO READ THE AUSTRALIAN CLASSIFICATION
Some films and computer games that are exempt under section 5B of the
Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 may be suitable
for children to see and play at home. These include films of an educational,
sporting, live performance or musical presentation type and computer games of
an educational type.
G rating
The General classification is suitable for everyone. However, some G-classified
films or computer games may contain content that is of no interest to children.
M rating
Films and computer games classified M (Mature) contain content of a moderate
impact and are recommended for teenagers aged 15 years and over. Children
under 15 may legally access this material because it is an advisory category.
However, M classified films and computer games may include content such as
depictions of violence, supernatural or horror elements that may be unsuitable for
children under 15. Parents and guardians may need to find out more about the
film or computer game’s specific content, for example by making further inquiries
with the retailer, before deciding whether the material is suitable for their child.
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MANAGING DEVICES
PG rating
The impact of PG classified (parental guidance) films and computer games should
be no higher than mild, but they may contain content that children find confusing
or upsetting. Some younger children may prefer to watch PG classified films with
parents or an adult guardian.
MANAGING DEVICES
MA 15+ rating
MA 15+ classified material contains strong content and is legally restricted to
persons 15 years and over. A person may be asked to show proof of their age
before hiring or purchasing an MA 15+ film or computer game. Cinema staff may
also request that the person show proof of their age before allowing them to
watch an MA 15+ film. Children under the age of 15 may not legally watch, buy or
hire MA 15+ classified material unless they are in the company of a parent or adult
guardian. Children under 15 who go to the cinema to see an MA 15+ film must be
accompanied by a parent or adult guardian for the duration of the film. The parent
or adult guardian must also purchase the movie ticket for the child.
R 18+ rating
R 18+ films are restricted to adults. A person may also be asked for proof of their
age before purchasing, hiring, or viewing an R18+ film at the video store or cinema.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
PARENTAL CONTROLS
All gaming platforms and devices feature parental controls and they’re usually
quite easy to set. They can be used as an extra safeguard against children viewing
or downloading inappropriate material.
In the following pages we outline how to set the parental controls for:
CC
CC
CC
CC
CC
Windows
IOS/Apple
Android
XBOX
PlayStation
PAGE 59
MANAGING DEVICES
Please note that due to system updates these instructions may fall out of date.
In that case, you can find updated instructions by performing a quick search on
your internet search engine.
PARENTAL CONTROLS FOR WINDOWS
MANAGING DEVICES
Set parental controls for Windows 7
1.
Click on Start.
2.Select Control Panel.
3.Select User Accounts and Family Safety.
4.Click Set up Parental Controls for any User.
5.Under Users, click the user account you wish to manage or click Create a new User Account to set up a new account.
6.
Activate Parental Controls by clicking on, Enforce Current Settings.
7.
You can adjust the settings to suit your personal situation.
Set parental controls for Windows Vista
1.
Click on Start.
2.
Click on Instant Search field.
3.
Type par to search for parental controls.
4.
Click on Parental Controls.
5.
In the settings menu click on Create a new user account.
6.
Click on the text field and enter a username.
7.
Click Create Account.
8.
Set your personal settings according to your situation.
Set parental controls for Windows 8
1.
Move your cursor all the way to the right until the ‘Charm Bar’ appears.
2.
Click on Settings.
3.
Click on Control Panel.
4.
Click on Family Safety.
5.
Click on Manage settings on the Family Safety Website.
6.
Login to the family safety account using the same user password as is on your computer.
7.
Click view activity report on the user you want to set up parental controls for.
8.
Click on Web Filtering.
9.Select Turn on web filtering.
10.
Select the designed for children option and click save.
11.
Set other settings according to your situation.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
PARENTAL CONTROLS FOR IOS/APPLE
The iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch all provide some parental controls to help keep
your children safe online. The controls include Restrictions, In App Purchases
Blocking, Blacklisting, and Whitelisting.
In-App Purchases Block
1.
Launch the Settings app on the iPhone or iPad you want to block in-app
purchases on.
2.
Tap on General.
3.
Tap on Restrictions.
4.
Tap on Enable Restrictions if you don’t already have them on. If you do,
skip to step 6.
5.
Choose a passcode that only you will know — it should not be the same as the Lock screen passcode and be sure you never give it to your child.
6.
Under the Allow section, disable the option for In-App Purchases.
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MANAGING DEVICES
Restrictions
1.
Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
2.
Tap on General.
3.
Tap on Restrictions.
4.
Tap on Enable Restrictions.
5.
Type in a password you’ll remember for when you need to disable restrictions again. (This can and should be completely different from the Lock screen passcode, otherwise the kids will know it!)
6.
Under the Allow section, turn Off any apps that you don’t want someone
accessing without your permission. (This section is for built-in apps and not third party apps.)
Blacklisting Specific Content or Sites In iOS 7 Safari
If want to prevent your kids from running into specific sites, you can use the
automatic settings, and the blacklist feature.
MANAGING DEVICES
1.
Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
2.
Tap on General.
3.Enable Restrictions and set a passcode if Restrictions aren’t already enabled.
4.Under Allowed Content, tap on Websites.
5.
Now tap on Limit Adult Content under the Allowed Websites section.
That will automatically block many (but not all - they change too quickly - adult websites.
To block specific websites:
a.
Tap on Add a Website... under the Never Allow section.
b.
Type in the full URL of the website you’d like to block and tap Done on the
keyboard.
Whitelisting specific content or sites in iOS 7 Safari
If you simply want to make sure nothing is accessible except what you specifically
allow, you can disable everything and then only turn back on the sites you consider
permissible.
1.
Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
2.
Tap on General.
3.
Enable Restrictions and set a passcode if Restrictions aren’t already enabled.
4.Under Allowed Content, tap on Websites.
5.Under Allowed Websites, tap on Specific Websites Only.
Apple pre-populates the allowed website list with their own defaults.
To add more:
a.
Tap on Add a Website... at the very bottom of the list.
b.
Type in the full URL of the website you’d like to block and tap Done on the keyboard.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
PARENTAL CONTROLS FOR ANDROID
Android has no general built-in parental control features, but does include
rudimentary controls in the Google Play store. Google Play is Android’s market
place or shopfront for apps, music, books, magazines, movies, and TV. Google Play
features App Filtering and Block Purchasing as:
Google Play App Filtering
Built-in content filtering is only available for apps. It does not affect content in
music, books, magazines, or movies and TV. To enable app content filtering, follow
the steps below.
Open the Google Play app from the home screen.
Press the menu button. This is the button with three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner, adjacent to the search icon.
Select the Settings option.
Scroll down to User controls.
Choose the Set or change PIN option to set a PIN in order to restrict access to the settings.
Select the Content filtering option.
Select the highest maturity level you wish to allow, without using the PIN to override.
Please note that in the Google Play store, this only filters apps.
PAGE 63
MANAGING DEVICES
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Google Play Block Purchases
You can set a PIN to prevent accidental or unapproved purchases. Once you set
up this PIN, any purchase in the Google Play Store (app, book, movie, or any in-app
purchases) will require you to enter this PIN. Note: this will not restrict any free
apps.
MANAGING DEVICES
To set a PIN follow the steps below:
1.
Open the Google Play Store app.
2.Press Menu and touch Settings.
3.Press Set or change PIN.
4.
Enter a PIN, and press OK.
5.
Re-enter your PIN.
6.
Check the box Use PIN for purchases.
Another way to restrict use of the Google Play Store is to use an app blocker. This
will then require the user to input a pin or passcode to be able to open the Google
Play Store. This should prevent any unplanned purchases or downloads. You can
use an app blocker like Perfect App Protector, APP Lock, or App Locker II to do this.
MobileMinder tablet edition also has this function.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
PARENTAL CONTROLS XBOX 360
Set parental controls on your Xbox 360 console
1.
On your console, go to Settings.
2.Select Family.
3.
Select the gamer-tag of the child whose settings you want to adjust.
4.Under Privacy & Online Settings, select Change Settings.
5.
Update the settings and then exit the screen to save.
You can control the following on your Xbox 360 console:
CC Ratings and Content: These settings let you restrict games and video
content based on the content’s rating. You are also able to set up
whether or not unrated or explicit content can be played on this console.
Tip - You are able to set exceptions for individual games that are outside the
rating restrictions you’ve set.
CC Family Timer: This setting allows you to limit the time your console can be
used on a daily or weekly basis.
CC Xbox Live Access: This setting allows you to decide if your family can connect
to Xbox Live from this console.
CC Xbox Live Membership Creation: This setting allows you to control whether
or not new Xbox Live memberships can be created from your console.
CC Change Pass Code: This setting allows you to change your pass code.
CC Reset to Default Settings: This setting allows you to reset the settings to
their original factory settings.
PAGE 65
MANAGING DEVICES
Set parental controls through your computer
1.
Sign in to your Xbox account.
2.
Tap or click My account.
3.
Tap or click Security, family & forums.
4.
Tap or click Xbox 360 Online Safety, and then select the account you want to adjust. (Your child’s avatar will be shown here next to your own.)
5.Select Allowed or Blocked next to the areas you want to limit or allow access to, and then tap or click Save.
To change your pass code:
1.
On your console, go to Settings, and then select Family.
2.
Enter your 4-button pass code.
3.Select Change Pass Code.
4.Select Change Pass Code again.
5.
Enter a new 4-button pass code twice.
6.Select Done.
7.
Select Save and Exit.
MANAGING DEVICES
If you’ve forgotten your pass code, you can reset it by answering the pass code
question you set up previously using parental controls. Here’s how:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
On your console, go to Settings, and then select Family.
Select a content control setting to change.
When you’re prompted, enter any pass code (even though it’s incorrect).
When you’re notified that your pass code is incorrect, select
Reset Pass Code.
When your pass code question appears, use your controller or chat pad to enter the answer, then select Done.
If you can’t remember the answer to your pass code question, you’ll have to
contact Xbox Support for further help.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
Set the Family Timer
Use the Family Timer to limit the amount of time your family can use your
console on a daily or weekly basis. Family members can see how much time
remains by pressing the Guide button on the Xbox controller. When the time
expires, the console shuts down and can’t be used again until the Family Timer
automatically resets the next day or week.
When the Family Timer is on, notifications will appear 1 hour, 30 minutes, 15
minutes, and 5 minutes before the time runs out. These give players sufficient
warning so that they can save their games. However, when one of these
notifications appears, you can add time or disable the timer altogether by
entering your pass code.
To add time or suspend the Family Timer
1.
When a Family Timer notification appears, press the Guide button to see the Family Timer options.
2.
Enter your pass code using your controller.
3.
Choose to add more time, suspend the timer, or turn the console off.
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MANAGING DEVICES
1.
On your console, go to Settings, and then select Family.
2.Select On to turn on Console Safety.
3.
Enter a 4-button pass code using your controller.
4.Select Family Timer.
5.
Select whether you want to set a Daily or Weekly timer.
6.
Move down to the time period and use the left stick to increase or decrease the time period, then select Continue.
7.
Select Save and Exit.
PARENTAL CONTROLS PLAYSTATION 4
MANAGING DEVICES
PlayStation has easy to use Parental Controls. You can Restrict Use of PlayStation
or Create a Sub Account.
Restrict Use of PS4 Features
1.
Go to Settings in the Dynamic Menu.
2.Select Parental Controls by pressing the X button.
3.
Select the “Restrict Use of PS4 Features”.
4.
Select “Application”.
5.
Select “Change Passcode”.
6.
Enter the current password and then you’ll be prompted to enter a new Passcode.
7.
Select a number ranging from Level 1 through Level 11.
The numbers correspond with an ESRB rating Category.
2: EC (Early Childhood)
3: E (Everyone)
4: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
5: T (Teen)
9: M (Mature)
10: AO (Adults Only)
Create a Subaccount
1.
Go to Settings in the Dynamic Menu.
2.Select Parental Controls by pressing the X button.
3.
Select the “Create New Sub-Account” option.
4.
Enter the new user’s Language and Date of Birth.
5.
Verify your Billing Information.
6.
Follow the steps in the email that was sent to you.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
TAKING
CONTROL
P71 | CHOOSING THE RIGHT GAME
P73 | SETTING THE APPROPRIATE LIMITS
P75 | CONTROLLING ENVIRONMENT
WHERE GAMES ARE PLAYED
P77 | BRACE YOURSELF
P78 | HAVING OTHER ACTIVITIES TO DO
P79 | MAKING GAMES A SOCIAL ACTIVITY
P81 | TEACHING YOUR CHILD ABOUT
VIDEO GAME DEVELOPMENT
P82 | BE WARY OF FREE MOBILE GAMES
P83 | NO GAMBLING SIMS FOR U18
P84 | STAY SAFE ONLINE
P85 | KNOW THE PARENTAL CONTROLS
AND CLASSIFICATION
P86 | GET HELP!
PAGE 69
Manage gaming in your home
As a parent, it is essential that you are able to maintain control of your child’s media
and technology consumption. You should be the one setting the boundaries. You
wouldn’t let your child watch an R rated movie, for example, for very good reasons.
With gaming, this can be a bit more challenging. Games are so accessible these
days and you may be one of those people who find the workings of them quite
daunting. There is no shame in this but it can make controlling gaming in the
house a real challenge.
TAKING CONTROL
This chapter is about taking control. We’ll give you a series of tips and things you
can do to help you better manage gaming in your home, for your family.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
CHOOSING THE RIGHT GAME
If you let your child play video games you need to be able to decide which games
are appropriate and suitable. The same way you would assess the safety and
suitability of any other toy.
So how do you do this?
Well, the first step is to check the Classification for a neutral rating of the content
in the game. If you are unsure about how the Classification system works, please
read the previous chapter.
If you like what you see, then the next step would be to purchase the game and
play it yourself or at least watch as your child starts playing the game. Explain that
this is the review phase and that you still have not made a decision on whether
they get to play the game or not.
Check your child’s reaction to the content and assess whether they are ready for
this style of game.
This is even easier on the mobile platform. You can first download the game in
your own time to check it out. Then you either re-download it so your child can
start from the beginning or simply hand it to your child.
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TAKING CONTROL
To get a feel for the game you can preview some of its gameplay on YouTube. This
is the best way to quickly find out what the game is all about.
Make sure the game is beneficial for your child.
By using the checklist we provided at the end of the BENEFITS
chapter you should be able to determine whether this game
will have a positive influence on your child’s life.
If the game passes all of the checklists and you’re
happy with it, you can then pass it on to your child.
TAKING CONTROL
By doing this, you will find that you now have a good
understanding of what the game entails and your child
will recognise that you’ve actually chosen the game for them. Not the other way
around. This is really important.
Also, because of the prep work you’ve put in, you will know the game and its
gameplay. This will make it a lot easier to have a conversation about the game
later on down the track.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
SETTING THE APPROPRIATE LIMITS
So, what is the answer to the million dollar question: How long can I let my child
play video games? Research into this was undertaken recently by Dr Pryzbylski
of Oxford University fame. It was an attempt to give parents a guide; an actual
measurable and practical answer to what is a difficult question.
But the results were inconclusive: it depends on your child, their age, their
understanding of technology, the game itself, its content, and so on… There were
just too many variables involved to provide a general answer that would suit every
child in the world.
However, the research did have an interesting outcome:
So, one hour of gaming per day, as a guide, seems to be a good piece of advice. Of
course you need to take other things into account as well such as violent content,
gambling content, and so on…
Time limits are especially good when you are unfamiliar with or are unable to
monitor the game. However, if you do have a good understanding of the game you
can set limits that make more sense. For example:
3 races of 3 laps in a racing game.
3 matches in a football game
Recreate your room in Minecraft
2 levels in a platform game
This shows your child that you understand the game and that you’ve defined
exactly what you’re allowing them to do.
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TAKING CONTROL
‘A moderate amount of gaming (one hour per day) is better for your child than no
gaming at all. And this is particularly true for boys.’
You’ve chosen the game and now you’ve shown
them what they can do within this game.
You have control!
As a parent you should be the one who sets the limits or rules within your
household.
TAKING CONTROL
For example: It may be time to stop handing over the iPad blindly without knowing
what your kids are playing and without setting any limits. If you do this you’ve
already given away control of the device and it will be very difficult to get it back!
A final word about limits.
If you are the one who sets the limits, then, you can change the limits and you
can change them at random. This really depends on your child and how they deal
with rules. Some families work best with set limits for schooldays and set limits
for holidays. Others are comfortable with deciding on the day what the limits are
going to be.
Setting limits makes it very clear and predictable for your child. Write them out on
the fridge if you like so that you can refer to it any time they come and ask to play.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
CONTROLLING THE ENVIRONMENT WHERE
GAMES ARE PLAYED
Now that you’ve chosen which game they can play and how long they can play it
for, it is time to set up an area where they can play and that should be in an area
where, once again, you have control.
This can be the kitchen, the living room or
wherever you feel like you are in control. Not
the bedroom, or the kids’ playroom or any
other room where the kids feel like they
have ownership.
Another trick is to put away the consoles or devices when not in use. Out of sight
is out of mind. Again this may not work depending on your situation. But seeing
the device will definitely trigger the desire to play it.
If your kids play in the common areas you should try and be a part of it as much
as you can.
You don’t have to like the games, but you do need to know what your kids are
doing!
Seeing the game in action will give you a better understanding of what your child
is doing and it will also help create a dialogue about the game.
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TAKING CONTROL
There are many parents however that will let their
kids play wherever they want. And if you feel that
you are in control of the gaming, then that’s
fine. But if it’s hard for you to manage the
gaming behaviour of your child, it would be
advisable to keep gaming in common areas
where you can monitor what’s happening.
TAKING CONTROL
Again, one of the worst things that can happen
is that your child feels complete ownership and
control over the video game. In this scenario, you
are unable to choose if you’re involved in this
gaming or not. If you have a young child playing
video games, it is your responsibility to know
what happens in this space.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
GET READY AND BRACE YOURSELF FOR IMPACT
You’ve just allowed you child to play a video game; now it’s time to take responsibility
for the impact it’s having on them.
Your child has just been exposed to a barrage of stimuli causing increased
dopamine levels in the brain. Video games are exciting, engaging, and can be one
of the most captivating things that you can expose children to. So, when you take
this away from them, you will definitely see a reaction!
Don’t be surprised if your child is grumpy and annoyed after gaming. They are just
settling back into normal life.
This is where you need to be strong and stick to the limits you’ve set. Be consistent
so that your child knows what to expect when they get off the game.
Now that you know that you can expect this type of behaviour, you can brace
yourself and prepare for how to deal with it. Don’t panic, your child’s desire to play
more does not necessarily mean that they are ‘addicted’!
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TAKING CONTROL
Real life is nowhere near as stimulating as gaming and your child will feel that it is
‘boring’ in comparison. Which, in turn, will make them act up and demand more
gaming time.
MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS HAVE OTHER
TOYS/ACTIVITIES/THINGS TO DO
As stated before, when you take away the game, your child will be bored because,
in their eyes, there is simply nothing that offers the same level of excitement/
stimuli. However, your child has to return to the ‘real world’ and will want to feel
rewarded and entertained here as well.
If a child only gains their sense of achievement and reward from a video game they
will be at risk of mental health concerns.
TAKING CONTROL
So, as a parent, we need to cultivate their perception of the real world and help
your child find the rewarding things within it.
Your child may be perfectly fine entertaining themselves on their own whilst
gaming but in the real world that may not be as easy.
By engaging in activities with your child you will help them develop other interests.
For instance, kicking a ball around with them may help instil a love of soccer or
reading a book together may lead to a passion for literature, etc.
Give your child some input in deciding what they do. A lack of power/control in real
life is often the number one reason why children retreat into online worlds. Games
give them a feeling of control, particularly online role playing games. Loosening
the rules in real life may make real life seem a lot more interesting.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
MAKE GAMES A SOCIAL ACTIVITY
Video games can be used as an escape from the real world. Young people who
immerse themselves in this ‘fantasy’ world will feel for a moment that the real
world doesn’t exist.
Video games are becoming more and more realistic and their incredible graphics
and immersive capability are definitely part of the attraction.
As parents, however, we want to make sure that the video game remains an
integral part of the real world and not seen as an alternative.
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TAKING CONTROL
We need to make them aware that it is not possible for them to live their entire life
in this fantasy world.
One of the best ways to get your kids to understand that video games are a part
of the real world is to introduce real life into video games. Inviting friends over to
play video games together is a great, fun way of doing this.
Playing socially, together in the same room with others not only promotes real life
social connections but also shows that there is a real person behind the avatar or
online character.
TAKING CONTROL
Make sure that your children play in the common areas and that you’re around
to monitor them and perhaps even play along. Again, make sure you have control
over what is played, when and how. You do this by making clear agreements
beforehand!
If you organise these sorts of activities and manage them well, it will show your
child that you’re in charge. That you accept their hobbies but just want to make
sure that they’re safe in this space.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
TEACH YOUR CHILD ABOUT
VIDEO GAME DEVELOPMENT
So they love gaming and want to play all the time. No surprises there…
Why not use their love of gaming to teach them some essential skills. Skills that
many of the top companies of today are looking for.
Video game development can be a great introduction into coding, programing,
graphic design, engineering, and so on.
Also, even more than the obvious gain in skill development that can be achieved.
Children will also begin to develop an understanding for what makes games work.
Understanding how a game works and is developed will help make your child
understand that gaming isn’t just some fantasy world or place to escape to. It
really is just a bunch of code on a computer.
This again introduces a ‘real life’ aspect to video games and that’s a good thing.
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TAKING CONTROL
Children can start to develop games as soon as they can read and there are
many age-appropriate software programs available to introduce children to the
principles of game development.
BE WARY OF FREE MOBILE GAMES
Because there is no such thing as a free lunch
However, in this day and age, we expect everything to be free. So the industry has
found some creative ways to monetise their work without having to charge a fee
upfront.
TAKING CONTROL
Games developers often work for months, even years to create their game. It
would be unreasonable for us to expect there to be no charge. Therefore mobile
games feature certain monetisation techniques that can be tricky to navigate for
your child.
Look out for in-app purchases. Check whether you can unlock the complete game
without having to spend money.
Free games are also likely to feature advertising that may not be suitable for your
child. This advertising is usually managed by Apple or Google; not by the actual
developers. The developers just assign different parts of the game to advertising.
Apple/Google assigns the advertising to the game.
Again, check if you can unlock the game and its full content. It’s likely to be only a
few dollars and it is worth it for the peace of mind.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
NO GAMBLING SIMULATION GAMES FOR
CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE UNDER 18
Research clearly tells us that the younger one starts gambling the more likely it is
they’ll develop a gambling issue later on in life. What we don’t know is whether this
is true when engaging in practice gambling like on the casino style games that you
find in the app stores.
Teaching kids how to gamble at an early age, even if it is for points or coins, is
unhealthy. There is no evidence yet to suggest that it is leading to any real-money
gambling, but it’s a risk you shouldn’t take.
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TAKING CONTROL
Gambling apps make gambling look harmless. It makes it look as if it is merely a
game and it’s not! Gambling can be risky and should always be done responsibly!
STAY SAFE ONLINE
TAKING CONTROL
Here are a few simple tips to help protect yourself online.
CC Don’t share private information like passwords, name and address or phone
numbers with people or websites you don’t know.
CC Don’t use your real name online, use a nickname or made up a name.
CC Don’t respond to messages when you are upset. You may regret what you
have said. It can be used against you or even encourage bullies because they
know how to make you angry.
CC Log out and stop messaging others if you feel you are being harassed.
CC Block, delete, and report anyone who is harassing you online and on your
mobile to stay safe.
CC Know how to report harassment on social media and online video games.
CC Set up privacy options on social networking sites like Facebook to be safe and
to protect yourself.
CC Be careful about what pictures you are posting online, these can be copied
by anyone and spread without your knowledge. Don’t put pictures online you
don’t feel comfortable with everyone seeing.
CC Don’t open emails from an unknown person, delete them, these could be
scams and contain viruses that effect your computer, phone or tablet.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
KNOW THE PARENTAL CONTROLS
AND CLASSIFICATION
As discussed earlier in this guide, most consoles and devices have excellent
parental controls. They give you the power to choose what your kids are playing;
what they are exposed to and what not.
Use them! They are very user-friendly.
TAKING CONTROL
PAGE 85
GET HELP!
If any of these tips are difficult to put into practice you should consider seeking
help. The next chapter is all about what to do when you feel that the gaming has
gotten out of hand and you’ve lost control.
TAKING CONTROL
Help is available and there is no shame in having a conversation with a professional
about what you can do; or which measures they can suggest you put in place to
regain control.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
WHEN THINGS
GET OUT OF HAND
P90 | IDENTIFYING GAMING DISORDERS
P91 | THE NINE CRITERIA
P94 | GAMING DISORDER QUESTIONNAIRE
P95 | WHERE AND HOW TO GET HELP
P96 | WHAT IF YOUR CHILD DOESN’T WANT
ANY HELP?
P97 | LINKS AND REFERRALS
PAGE 87
Houston, we have a problem
What if every attempt to negotiate or manage your child’s behaviour ends up in
conflict? Your child is playing video games obsessively and is becoming severely
impacted by them?
Where do you go when you’ve tried everything? Good News!
Professional help is available
GETTING OUT OF HAND
In short you’ll need help from a professional if you’re
CC Dealing with an emotional issue that you don’t seem to have a handle on
CC Dealing with violence or aggression in the home
CC Dealing with a partner who is undermining you
These are serious issues that can have a significant impact on your wellbeing and
the wellbeing of your family. These issues won’t go away by themselves. You will
need to take action as doing nothing may lead to mental health issues, family
breakdowns and even police involvement…
But even if your child’s behaviour hasn’t yet evolved to the high impact stage
mentioned above. You still have the right to be concerned and may want to avoid
it developing into a serious mental health issue down the track.
In order for us to identify whether your child needs extra help we’ll need to
measure the impact that video games are having on their life.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
So, as a guide, we can use the same criteria as the one suggested by the international
working group on Internet Gaming Disorders. This group has identified and made
a consensus on how to identify Internet Gaming Disorder.
It’s important to note that this is only a guide. The
information in this page is designed to help you identify if
you or your family needs further assistance.
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GETTING OUT OF HAND
It is NOT designed to self-diagnose! If you are concerned
about your or your child’s gaming, you should contact a
professional to help you diagnose the situation and put
an appropriate treatment plan in place.
HOW TO IDENTIFY GAMING DISORDERS
A group of international experts from Europe, North and South America, Asia, and
Australasia collaborated to discuss and achieve consensus about how to assess
internet gaming disorder as defined within DSM-5. A set of criteria was set to
detect whether someone has a gaming disorder or problem gaming issue.
GETTING OUT OF HAND
The nine criteria are outlined on the following pages. If 4 or more of these criteria
are met within a one year period, you can conclude that gaming is having a
considerable negative impact on your life.
PLEASE NOTE!
This list and questionnaire is only to be used as a guide. If you
are concerned and recognise some of these criteria in your child’s
behaviour, we strongly recommend you seek professional help.
Please read ‘where to get help’ and ‘links and referrals’ sections of
this chapter to find out more.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
THE NINE CRITERIA
Preoccupation or obsession with Internet games.
Pre-occupation relates to spending substantial amounts of time thinking about an
activity. For this criterion to be met, your child must be thinking about games not
only while playing but also during times of non-play, with excessive thoughts about
gaming occurring throughout the day.
A build-up of tolerance - more time needs to be spent playing the games.
Tolerance is characterised by an increasing amount of time spent in an activity to
feel its desired effects. For gaming, desired effects usually relate to excitement.
Tolerance refers to feeling the need to play games for longer periods of time to
experience excitement; it may also involve the need for more exciting games or
more powerful media equipment.
The person has tried to stop or curb playing Internet games, but has failed
to do so.
Inquiries about this criterion should focus not only on attempts to stop but also
attempts to cut down or reduce gaming. Similarly, desiring to cease or cut back on
a behaviour, but being unable to do so, would reflect the criterion, because such
desires presume that play has risen to a problematic level.
The person has had a loss of interest in other life activities, such as hobbies.
This usually looks like the gamer expressing less interest in the hobbies or activities
they were involved in. This may end up with the person quitting their other hobbies
or activities or, at least, attempting to reduce their involvement.
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GETTING OUT OF HAND
Withdrawal symptoms when not playing Internet games.
Withdrawal refers to symptoms that emerge when one is unable to engage in a
behaviour or is attempting to reduce or stop it. Withdrawal symptoms associated
with gaming must be distinguished from emotions that arise in response to an
external force preventing or stopping a gaming episode. If a parent abruptly
disconnects the internet during a game, a child is likely to express extreme
emotions. These abrupt emotional responses, however, are not withdrawal.
Withdrawal refers to symptoms that arise when one is unable to initiate gaming
and/or when one is purposefully trying to stop gaming.
GETTING OUT OF HAND
A person has had continued overuse of Internet games even with the knowledge of how much they impact a person’s life.
The individual continues to play even though he is aware of significant negative
consequences of this behaviour, which are more likely to be psychosocial than
physical in nature. Some negative consequences are: being late to school/work,
spending too much money, having arguments, or neglecting important duties due
to gaming.
Gaming may adversely influence health (e.g., losing too much sleep), although
implicit in the criterion is that the problems are persistent and significant. To fulfil
the criterion, negative consequences must involve central areas of functioning,
and effects of little clinical relevance should not be considered (e.g. neglecting
household chores that do not cause difficulties). Social and developmental aspects
should be considered because dysfunction will manifest differentially based on
age (e.g. school, work, parents, and partners).
The person lied to others about his or her Internet game usage.
Typically, deceit is directed towards family members, friends, or other important
people. The social environment should be considered in assessing this criterion.
Adults living on their own may be less likely to lie about or hide gaming than a child
living with parents. Nevertheless, gaming that has risen to a level such that the
individual is hiding it from others implies that it has become problematic.
The person uses Internet games to relieve anxiety or guilt
– it’s a way to escape.
Problem gaming becomes a method to modify moods or cope with difficulties.
This criterion can relate to playing games to escape from or forget about real-life
problems or relieve negative emotional states.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
The person has lost or put at risk and opportunity or relationship because of
internet games.
This criterion is intended to reflect more substantial issues than neglecting a
homework assignment or being late for school or work due to gaming, behaviour
more consistent with criterion 6. Arguments with parents about gaming usually
do not rise to a level in which relationships are severed, but if a relationship is
jeopardised due to gaming (e.g., arguments involving physical force or leaving
home) then, this criterion would be met. Similarly, if neglecting studies in order to
game occurs to the extent that a much worse than usual overall course grade is
achieved, courses are failed or the person drops out of school, then this criterion
would be met.
If you’re not sure about these criteria or how to identify
these criteria but feel your child is showing signs of an
ongoing gaming issue, please seek professional help.
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GETTING OUT OF HAND
If four or more of these criteria are met within a one
year period, you can conclude that gaming is having a
considerable negative impact on your life. We strongly
recommend you seek professional help immediately.
GAMING DISORDER QUESTIONNAIRE
This questionnaire was developed by the DSM-5 international working group on
gaming disorder. The questions relate directly to the nine proposed criteria of
Gaming Disorder in the DSM-5.
GETTING OUT OF HAND
To identify a Gaming Disorder one needs a minimum of four symptoms over a one
year period.
Questions
1.
Do you spend a lot of time thinking about games even when you are not playing or planning when you can play next?
2.
Do you feel restless, irritable, moody, angry, anxious or sad when
attempting to cut down or stop gaming or when you are unable to play?
3.
Do you feel the need to play for increasing amounts of time, play more
exciting games, or use more powerful equipment to get the same amount
of excitement you used to get?
4.
Do you feel that you should play less, but are unable to cut back on the
amount of time you spend playing games?
5.
Do you lose interest in or reduce participation in other recreational
activities (hobbies, meetings with friends) due to gaming?
6.
Do you continue to play games even though you are aware of negative
consequences, such as not getting enough sleep, being late to school/
work, spending too much money, having arguments with others, or
neglecting important duties?
7.
Do you lie to family, friends or others about how much you game, or try to
keep your family or friends from knowing how much you game?
8.
Do you game to escape from or forget about personal problems, or to
relieve uncomfortable feelings such as guilt, anxiety, helplessness or
depression?
9.
Do you risk or lose significant relationships, or job, educational or career
opportunities because of gaming?
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
WHERE TO GET HELP?
So, you’ve looked at the criteria and now feel that there may be some cause for
concern. What can you do?
We recommend contacting a professional early. It never hurts to have your situation
looked at by someone whose seen these issues before and is experienced on how
to deal with them.
Parenting isn’t easy. Neither is asking for help.
So, how do you find a counsellor that can deal with your issues?
Ideally you find a counsellor who:
CC
CC
CC
CC
CC
Understands addiction
Understands and is comfortable with technology
Specialises in working with children and young people
Understands the positives and negatives about video game playing
Takes a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach
PAGE 95
GETTING OUT OF HAND
Getting some advice or ideas/tips on how to deal with these kinds of behavioural
issues can really help. The professional will definitely be able to advise if there is
any cause for concern. Even if there is no cause for concern, the professional will
be able to discuss with you many different ways that you can continue monitoring
your family’s gaming behaviour.
WHAT IF YOUR CHILD DOESN’T WANT ANY HELP?
Young people, who game compulsively, are often shy and introverted. This is why
the virtual world, with its limited and basic human interaction, works for them in
the first place. So seeing a counsellor is often a scary thing for them.
Telling your child to go see a counsellor is a big step in any case. You want to avoid
your child feeling as if they’re ‘not good enough’ or crazy. This means you will have
to approach it very carefully. A few tips:
CC Avoid conflicts about gaming
CC Develop a supportive and positive relationship with your child around the
gaming
CC Make sure that 9 out 10 conversations about gaming are positive. The 10th
one can then be about the negative impacts on your child and your concerns
This will obviously be a challenge. You want your child to stop playing games all
the time, so being positive about gaming is not going to come easy. However if you
have gaming causes conflicts between you and your child, s/he may not accept
any advice or guidance from you about gaming related issues.
If you’re dealing with a child that wants to play games excessively, you may want to
consider downloading the Parents’ Manual for Dealing with Excessive Gaming. It’s
written by the same author and includes tips, worksheets, charts, and information
to help you deal with excessive gaming at home.
The parents’ manual for dealing with Excessive Gaming is for parents who:
CC
CC
CC
CC
Have conflicts about gaming with their kids
Have kids who play more than they should
Have kids who play compulsively
Want more information about why kids game and how this can become
obsessive.
The Parents’ Manual is available at www.gamers.help
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
LINKS & REFERRALS (AUSTRALIA)
Emergency Assistance
If you need emergency assistance, please phone 000 now.
Crisis Support Lines
Lifeline: 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au – A crisis support and suicide prevention
line for all Australians
Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800 or www.kidshelpline.com – A counselling service
specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.
Headspace: 1800 650 890 or www.headspace.org.au – Visit the website to find
your closest Headspace Centre. Headspace provides mental and health wellbeing
support information and services to young people aged 12 to 25 years and their
families. A range of youth friendly health professionals can help you with general
health; mental health and counselling; education, employment, and other services.
Reachout.com: au.reachout.com is the leading online youth mental health service,
providing help, information and support.
BeyondBlue: 1300 22 4636 or www.beyondblue.org.au – Beyondblue works to
address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related substance misuse
disorders in Australia. Support is available 24/7.
Your local government youth service: Contact your local government to receive
information about local services that provide support and counselling to young
people.
The Institute of Games – www.InstituteOfGames.com – The Institute of Games
provides programs and counselling specifically for gamers and their families.
Gamers Help – www.gamers.help – Gamers Help develops resources for parents
and gamers to help them manage excessive gaming.
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GETTING OUT OF HAND
Counselling and Support
Your Local GP: Please visit your regular GP as a first point of contact. Discuss your
personal situation and your GP should be able to give you a referral to the most
suitable, local support service.
REFERENCES
Richard Ryan, Scott Rigby, Andrew Przybylski (2006). The motivational pull of video
games: a self-determination theory approach, Springer Science + Business Media
Andrew Przybylski, Richard Ryan, Scott Rigby (2010). A motivational model of video
game engagement, Review of General Psychology, Vol. 10, No. 2, 154 – 166
Andrew Przybylski, Netta Weinstein, Richard Ryan, Scott Rigby (2009). Having to
versus wanting to play: background and consequences of harmonious versus
obsessive engagement in video games, CyberPsychology & Behaviour, Vol. 12, No. 5
AE Mark, WF Boyce, I Janssen (2006). Television viewing, computer use and total
screen time in Canadian youth. Paediatric Child Health 2006;11(9):595-599.
Isabela Granic, Adam Lobel, Rutger C.M.E.Engels (2014). The benefits of playing
video games, American Psychologist, Vol. 69, No. 1, 66 – 78. DOI: 10.1037/a0034857
Daniel Johnson, Christian Jones, Laura Scholes, Michelle Carras (2013). Videogames
and wellbeing, Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne
Scott Rigby, Andrew Przybylski (2009). Virtual worlds and the learner hero; How
today’s video games dcan inform tomorrow’s digital learning environments, Theory
and research in education, Vol. 7, 214 – 223
Marius Drugas (2014). Educational video games in the middle: Parents,
psychologists, gamers. A pilot study. Romanian Journal of School Psychology, Vol. 7,
No. 13, 25 - 41
Daniel King, Paul Delfabbro (2009). Understanding and assisting excessive players
of video games: a community psychology perspective, The Australian Community
Psychologist, Vol.21, No.1.
Daniel King, Paul Delfabbro (2014). The cognitive psychology of Internet Gaming
Disorder, Clinical Psychology Review 34, 298 – 308
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
Andrew Przybylski, Netta Weinstein, Kou Murayama, Martin Lynch, Richard Ryan
(2012). The ideal self at play: The appeal of video games that let you be all you can
be, Psychological Science Vol. 23
Antonius Van Rooij, Daria Kuss, Mark Griffiths, Gillian Shorter, Tim Schoenmakers,
Dike Van De Mheen (2014). The (co-)occurrence of problematic video gaming,
substance use, and psychosocial problems in adolescents, Journal of Behavioural
Addictions
Na Ri Kim, Samuel Suk-Hyun Hwang, Jung-Seok Choi, Dai-Jin Kim, Demetrovics
Zsolt, Orsolya Kiraly, Katalin Nagygyorgy, Matk D. Griffiths, So Yeon Hyun, Hyun
Chul Youn, Sam-Wook Choi (2014). Characteristics and Psychiatric symptoms of
Internet Gaming Disorder among adults using self reported DSM-5 criteria
Wendy Li, Samson Tse, Mark David Chong (2013). Why Chinese International
students gamble: Behavioural Decision Making and its Impact on Identity
Construction. Springer Schience + Business Media New York
Mark D Griffiths (2014) Problematic technology use during adolescence: Why don’t
teenagers seek treatment?
Canale, N., et al., (2015) Trait urgency and gambling problems in young people by
age: The mediating role of decision-making processes, Addictive Behaviours.
Kiraly et al. (2015) The mediating effect of gaming motivation between psychiatric
symptoms and problematic online gaming: an online survey. J Med Internet Res, vol.
17, iss. 4
Ortiz de Gortari, A.B., Griffiths, M.D. (2015). Game transfer phenomena and its
associated factors: an exploratory empirical online survey study. Computers in
human behaviours, 51, 195 – 202.
Yi Mou, Wei Peng (2009). Gender and racial stereotypes in popular video games,
IGI Global
Yvette Whon Donghee (2011). Gender and race representation in casual games,
Springer Science + Business media
PAGE 99
Judith Levine (2013). Only a game: Why censoring new media won’t stop gun
violence
Behm – Morawitz, E, Ta, D (2014). Cultivating virtual stereotypes?: The impact of
video games on racial/ethnic stereotypes.
Lavinia McLean, Mark Griffiths (2013). The Psychological Effects of Videogames on
Young people: A review. International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Division,
Nottingham University
Douglas Gentile (2009). Video games affect the brain – for better and worse, The
Dana Foundation
Christopher M. Olsen (2011). Natural Rewards, Neuroplasticity, and Non-Drug
Addictions. Neuropharmacology 61 (7): 1109 – 1122.
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
KEY WORDS
Addiction
Benefits
Problem solving
Strategic development
Emotional development
Stress
Expression
Manual skills
Hand- eye coordination
Fitness
Social development
Risks
Gaming disorder
Gambling
Advertising
Cyber-safety
Cyber bullying
Bullying
Violence
Gender
Racism
Gaming genres
MMORPG
First Person Shooter
Sports Games
Action games
Real Time Strategy Games
Platform Games
Casual Games
Language
Classification
Parental Controls
Windows
Xbox
Playstation
IOS/Apple
Android
Limits
Game Development
Mobile games
Symptoms
Questionnaire
Help
Links
Referrals
PAGE 101
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Parent’s Guide to GAMING
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steven Dupon is the Founding Director of The Institute of Games, Manager of
Manningham YMCA Youth Services and Author of the Video Games Report,
Parent’s Guide to Gaming and Manual for Dealing with Excessive Gaming.
Steven specialises in the wellbeing of gamers and their families. He provides
resources for parents and professionals on how to better manage gaming at
home but also looks at how we can use games as an agent for positive change.
Steven has initiated a range of video game related events, workshops and
programs. These include:
CC
CC
CC
CC
The READYS award winning Video Game Project,
The XP program: improving mental wellbeing through gaming
Pixel Arcade: positive, safe, and social video game events
Game development workshops and courses in schools, libraries and learning
centres
CC Counselling for gamers and their parents
As an expert on the impact of video games on children and young people, Steven
regularly presents on the risks and concerns associated with gaming.
To contact Steven Dupon, please visit:
www.instituteofgames.com
www.manninghamymcayouthservices.org.au
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