GamCare has published new guidance on ‘Gaming Safety’ in response to parental concerns over the ‘blurring lines between gaming and gambling’ within digital environments.
The charity has provided its recommendation to parents, having consulted research undertaken by the Universities of Newcastle and Loughborough, with regards to changing gaming experiences ‘specifically around the purchase of loot box incentives’.
GamCare acknowledged that the topic of loot boxes has become a prominent subject matter for parents, regulators and its researchers in particular with regards to protecting young audiences from compulsive gaming habits.
“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,” GamCare detailed in its statement.
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
For parents seeking further resources and information on maintaining safe gaming environments for their children, GamCare pointed to YGAM (Young Gamblers and Gamers Education Trust) which recently launched the ‘Parent Hub’ website.
GamCare and YGAM continue to work together on developing a new ‘gambling education and harm prevention programme’ to be delivered across UK schools in partnership with other organisations funded by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC)
GamCare ended its statement by advising all under-18s who are experiencing either worried or experiencing gambling or gaming harms to contact the National Gambling Helpline for advice (Freephone 0808 80 20 133).