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Children Can Be Exposed to Gambling via Video Games – Learn Gaming Slang and Help Them Avoid It

Published: June 24, 2024

Video games are a popular form of entertainment for people of all ages. They’re a fun leisure activity, and online games can be a great way to socialize and make new friends. But there is an increasing number of gamers who experience an addiction to video games, especially in younger populations. 

According to an article published by The Campanile, the total number of people classified as being addicted to video games is up to two percent. The author of the article spoke with Dr. Bradley Zicherman from Stanford Medical’s Child and Adolescent Recovery Clinic, who has seen an increase in the number of patients who experience screen and video game addiction in his clinic over the years.

“Games are designed to create a rush of dopamine, and most games, to an extent, are developed based on what I call a variable reward system, which is the same way slot machines are developed,” Zicherman explained to the reporter.

Many games feature mechanics that encourage players to exchange real-life money for a random chance at digital items, known as loot or mystery boxes. By knowing common gaming terminology, you can learn what to watch for and help your kids avoid exposure to gambling through their video games. Here are some commonly used slang terms and their definitions: 

1-up: An object that gives players an extra life (or try) in games where the player has a limited number of chances to complete a game, task, or level.

100%: A Game is 100% complete once a player unlocks all available content and completes the game. Many players are so determined to achieve this goal that they’ll make multiple in-game purchases to make it happen.

Battle Pass: A form of in-game monetization that provides additional content for a game through a tiered reward system. Players receive in-game items as they complete specific challenges, and the rewards are often greater if the player spends real-life money on the battle pass. 

Loot Box or Mystery Box: A form of in-game gambling that players can open for a random chance to win a prize, gain an experience level, or reach another in-game achievement.

Mod: Short for “modifying” a game, mods may take the form of new character skins, altered game mechanics, or the creation of new game stories.

Make sure to have an open discussion with your kids about video games and gambling. Knowing the terminology will help you in your efforts to help them avoid accidentally participating in gambling on their favorite games. Visit the Change the Game Ohio website to find the resources you need to gain a better understanding of the risks associated with gaming and start the conversation with your children. Want to gauge your child’s risk level? Take the quiz.

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