Gamers Speak to Adult Allies

“Gamers Speak to Adult Allies” joins the two resource sheets released in the recent March Problem Gambling Awareness Month, “Gambling Guide for Youth and Families” and the infographic “Problem Gambling Not Only Affects Your Wallet, It Can Effect Your Health, Too”. You can access these resources on the home page of our state website,

Gamers Speak to Adult Allies

  • “Games have no pause button, or end. There’s always something else to do.”
  • “Gaming is omnipresent. There aren’t barriers like the cost of alcohol, hoops to jump through for drugs, or limited locations for gambling.”
  • “Gaming addicts are great BSers like any other addicts. Parents will think ‘at least my kids aren’t out there drinking or doing drugs without knowing how deep the spiral goes.”
  • “Online games provide a sense of accomplishment, conquest and belonging in a group. It then numbs and diminishes the drive to achieve those things in the real world, which in turn contributes to cravings, because you want to return to the online world as soon as possible to experience those sensations again.”
  • “Games change one’s understanding of value, work, and effort in the real world. Games are extremely explicit in their expectations and consistent in their rewards. Real life is murkier; actions and outcomes often have no linear relationship. To a gamer this inconsistency can be extremely demotivating — getting your life on track doesn’t have an XP bar.”
  • “You are up against an industry that made $30.4b in the United States in 2016. They are terrifyingly good at what they do. A solid grounding in abusive game mechanics (e.g. Skinner boxes, free-to-play, micro transactions) is important, and the best practices to combat them.”
  • “I love the competitive aspect, but I’m not great at sports due to physical problems. However with gaming if I play lots and try hard I get better and therefore a higher skill rank. It’s rewarding and I use it as a competitive outlet, but it simply takes too much time.”
  • “My freshman class was the first to have more dropouts due to World of Warcraft than to drugs, and it wasn’t because drug use was down.”
  • “Failing college pretty hard right now. I kept this to myself, but everyone knew I was taking too much time playing instead of doing real work, they just see this more as a failure than a real problem.”
  • “I didn’t request or receive any help from the school. I remember going to the in-house psychiatrist once, and I was diagnosed with having trouble adapting to a new environment. They didn’t ask me if I was gaming excessively, and I didn’t tell them either.”
  • “It affected my academic performances heavily in university. I didn’t show up to classes, procrastinated immensely to skip tests and homework, and used gaming as an escape. My teachers and professors weren’t aware of it, and didn’t even care. No one asked any questions.”

Practical Strategies to Improve Gamer Well-Being

  • Remove gaming devices from bedroom (centralize).
  • Block access to games, apps, and problematic websites.
  • Stay firm and consistent in your boundaries.
  • Mix it up: less than two hours at a time, not every day.
  • Require exercise and homework to be complete first.
  • Find an alternative to YouTube/gaming after school before homework.

On line Resources for Parents and Gamers:

Contact the Bettor Choice Program near you for gambling treatment:

 Note: If you are certain there is no gambling involved, a recommended referral is

Dr. David Greenfield’s Center for Internet and Technology Addiction in East Hartford, Ct

Connect with your Regional Gambling Awareness Team:

  • Meets Quarterly
  • Provides Education, Materials, Gambling Awareness Infusion, Data Collection
  • Congregation Assistance/Community Awareness Programs
  • Youth Peer Leadership/Media Awareness

and… Nurture Resilience, and Recognize and Promote Protective Factors!

 Produced by DMHAS Problem Gambling Services, November 2018

“Where Gaming and Gambling Intersect: Current Trends”

Special thanks to Cam Adare | @camerondare | + 1 720 903 5032 |