In response to parental concerns about the ‘blurring lines between gaming and gambling’ within digital environments, GamCare has released new guidelines on ‘Gaming Safety’.
Having consulted studies conducted by the Universities of Newcastle and Loughborough, the charity gave its advice to parents with regard to evolving gaming experiences,’ specifically around the purchase of loot box incentives.’
GamCare recognised that the loot box topic has become a prominent topic for parents, regulators and their researchers, particularly in terms of protecting young audiences from compulsive gaming behaviours.
In a detailed statement GamCare said: “The young people who spoke to researchers as part of this project described disappointment, frustration, anger and regret at their loot box purchases, yet they were still driven to purchase again.”
Safety measures recommended by GamCare to parents and guardians include:
- Disabling pop-ups within games
- Enabling in-app and on-device parental controls
- Setting passwords for in-game purchases
- Restricting and /or disabling in-app purchases
- Setting boundaries – for example a monthly spending limit, as well as a time limit per day for gaming
GamCare referred to YGAM (Young Gamblers and Gamers Education Trust), which recently launched the ‘Parent Hub’ website, for parents seeking additional support and knowledge about preserving healthy gaming environments for their children.
GamCare and YGAM continue to work together to create a new “gambling education and harm prevention programme” to be introduced in collaboration with other GambleAware-funded organizations across UK schools.
GamCare concluded its declaration by recommending all under-18s who are either worried or suffering gambling or gaming damage to contact the National Gambling Helpline for advice (Freephone 0808 80 20 133)