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Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest

The Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest brings together addiction and mental health service providers, researchers and subject matter experts in the fields of gambling, technology/Internet use and video gaming to collaborate and share knowledge on emerging trends and clinical best practices.

Our colleagues at EENet have just released a research snapshot on their website based on research of Shi and colleagues published in the International Journal of Mental health and Addiction.  The study found higher levels of problem video gaming in teens living in urban areas than in teens living in rural areas. Interestingly, they also found that teens in urban regions with a gambling problem were more likely to have a problem with video gaming when compared to teens who did not gamble.

This adds to the growing literature on the overlap and co-occurrence of problem gambling and video  gaming. Maybe this also highlights the need to add education about safe video gaming practices into problem gambling prevention programs, and vice versa. What do others think would be most effective in tackling both problem gambling and gaming in teens?

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I like your idea Tiffany of adding safer gaming practices into curriculum with safer gambling information.  I also think that there is a need for a paired curriculum for parents/guardians on both of these topics, especially as technology use is so ubiquitious.  

I wonder how influential overall wellness and mental health education would be at addressing some of those underlying issues and how students would respond if the curriculum not only taught safer gambling and gaming practices, but talked about the pitfalls, as well as the lure of both.  Addressing the interplay between both aspects, not keeping them silo'd and separate?


Thanks for sharing your thoughts, @Registered Member. This is based on the results of one article, so it may be possible that other studies looking at the differences in problem video gaming between teens in urban and rurals regions could yield different results depending on the region, access to technology and offline activities available, among many factors. 

And thanks @Registered Member, I agree that it would be vital to educate students (and parents/guardians) about gambling, video gaming and the interplay between the two, and that this could be part of a larger conversation about health and wellness. The health education curriculum for high school students includes suggested discussion topics on gambling and video gaming/technology use, however it is often up to the educator to select these topics over other risky behaviours such as substance use or school violence. A study by Derevensky and colleagues (2014) showed that Ontario and Quebec teachers perceive gambling and video gaming to be less serious than other risky behaviours: . It is a definitely multifactorial, complex issue but how can we raise awareness around the urgency and need to educate about safer gambling and gaming practices?

Last edited by Registered Member

Great question @Registered Member.  I wonder as gaming and smart phone use get more recognition, there will be more references in pop culture, which will in turn bring more awareness to the issues.

Just this month in GQ magazine, there was an article on cutting back on smart phone use that included several practical strategies including turning your phone to grey scale.  Apparently seeing apps/pictures/games etc in grey scale is less appealing and people were found to reduce their phone screen time.

And that brings my thought back to how to get more awareness around urgency is that when the big people recognize that there are problems with their use, then they will become more invested in education and awareness about these issues for the small people.

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