Gaming Leads to Gambling, Says Australian Campaign

Gaming Leads to Gambling
Img Source - The Conversation

The South Australian government’s ‘gambling starts with games’ advertisements have prompted a response from the Australian Interactive Games & Entertainment Association asking the government to remove the signs.

Signs like the one below have been criticised by the industry for being, well, false, and in breach of the South Australian guidelines for advertising, which states that all advertising must remain accurate and objective when representing statistics. It comes as no surprise to me that the South Australian government is trying to appropriate gambling with gaming, since Michael Atkinson, the Attorney-General of SA still refuses the recently minted R rating for games, according to ufagame.

Even on their own site, there’s this little gem of a quote:

‘It should be recognized that any sort of gambling during adolescence does not necessarily lead to gambling during adulthood. Although early exposure may familiarize young people with gambling, it does not always follow that involvement or interest in gambling at a younger age will be associated with subsequent gambling.’

the iGEA has also requested acknowledgement from the government declaring that there is no evidence to suggest even a casual connection with gaming and gambling. In their letter to the government, the iGEA stated the following:

‘In a time where the culture of playing video games has reached critical mass, with 93% of Australian households having a device for playing computer games, such a broad and unsubstantiated attack on ‘games’ is likely to trigger unwarranted concerns amongst millions of game playing Australian families. This type of communication is also highly damaging to Australia’s interactive entertainment industry – an industry that continues to work cooperatively, respectfully, responsibly and proactively on matters of public concern including classification.’

I can hear it now; The cries of the elderly and ill informed. We have enough trouble down here in Australia with game classification, the last thing we need is people thinking it’s going to turn their children into problem gamblers. While looking on the campaign’s website, I found the ‘what to look out for’ section which had some nice little definitions:

‘The risks posed by simulated gambling games include:

  • the opportunity to ‘practise’ gambling behaviours, potentially normalising gambling as a part of everyday life
  • the higher odds of winning, leading children to believe it is easy to win in real-life gambling or that they are skilled at gambling
  • the blurring of the lines between gambling (outcome determined by chance) and gaming (outcome determined by player strategy/skill).

You heard it hear first guys, any game with any amount of random chance or generation, WILL turn your children into problem gamblers spending their pension every week at the pokies. I knew it, RNG is the devil!