News

From gaming to gambling

By Morgan Dyer

Parents from the Greater Shepparton region concerned about the impact gaming has on children took part in a gaming information seminar on Wednesday and Thursday night.

Primary Care Connect's Gamblers Help team partnered with the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation to bring the seminar to Shepparton.

Primary Care Connect community engagement manager Jenny Trotter said the Gamblers Help team decided to host the event after they were consistently asked by community members about the impact gaming had on children.

“We organised a two-day intensive program to tackle the topic of gaming, for both the concerned parents and for professionals working in the community,” Ms Trotter said.

Psychologist and founding director of the Institute of Games Steven Dupon led the sessions, which focused on giving parents practical strategies that could be used to keep video games fun, safe and healthy.

The first session taught parents about the impact video games had on their child and how to manage gaming.

During the second session Mr Dupon gave parents an overview of how games and gambling products are converging, the current state of regulation and the latest research about the similarities between ‘gaming disorder’ and ‘gambling addiction’.

Ms Trotter said the program was a great success and left parents with a better understanding of how gaming impacts children and what strategies they can implement to promote a healthy gaming environment for their children.

“Steven created many positive parenting strategies using the benefits of gaming while dealing with the risks of gaming,” she said.

"Some of the topics for discussion were why video games are so captivating, whether playing violent video games leads to increased aggression in real life and how video games fit in today’s youth culture." 

For more information about children’s gaming go to www.primarycareconnect.com.au