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Module 1 - Introduction to GameAware


MODULES

Module 1 - Introduction to GameAware

Last activity on April 9, 2024


The Gaming Landscape

Welcome Parents

Why are we here?

  • If gaming was all positive we wouldn’t have parents and professionals worried about the potential harm and behavioral outcomes that can come with overplaying, as well as the complexity that comes with diverse gamer motivations, personal backgrounds and individual brains.
  • If gaming was all negative, we wouldn’t see the range of joy it can bring, the community and belonging that gamers can feel or the competitive pathways that we now see emerging in the esports space.
  • It’s just not that simple, and rather than blindly accept or reject gaming, we need to look closer to reach the truth.
  • The simplest way to put it is that gaming has the potential to offer a host of different benefits when structured.  
  • It’s becoming a problem if:
    • If it gets in the way of fully engaging in life and finding fulfilment off -screen
    • if it becomes excessive enough to lower the baseline dopamine levels of our gamer, which leads to a variety of issues.  

So to simplify, gaming is great… until it’s not

NOTE: If you are already dealing with a very problematic situation with gaming at home, it may be difficult to do this on your own. This resource is very important but our mentoring or programs are our way of tackling this issue with a family to try and find the sweet spot because of our authentic approach as gamers ourselves. The strategies at the end of the resource will still be important, but with some help from us.

If you are a family where you still have a lot of influence with your child because they are young, or because you’ve maintained a good relationship, this resource should empower you to get in control of the narrative and build a healthy relationships with gaming for your family.

Statistics

  • 34 years old is the average age for gamers
  • 78% of gamers are 18+
  • 67% of Australians play video games
  • 97% of homes with children have video games
  • 130-155 minutes is the average daily gaming time of 15-24 year old boys. 
  • 12% of this group plays over 3 hours a day 
  • 12% play over 4 hours a day 
  • 60 minutes of daily gaming is better for wellbeing than no gaming at all and over 180 minutes is detrimental as an Oxford study suggests

What parents worry about

  • The generally irritable behaviour
  • The rage/aggression when you take it away
  • The deceit about how much time it is actually taking up
  • The apathy toward school’
  • The burning desire to play
  • The late nights and affected sleep patterns
  • The declining physical health
  • The inappropriate content and online safety

Opportunity Cost

“The loss of other alternatives when a choice is made.”

Playing too much means that you’ve lost time that you might have needed to spend on something else that would actually lead to more fulfilment in real life.

We need to bridge the gap

  • Gamers need to deeply understand what parents and professionals are worried about and WHY they play video games.
  • Parents and professionals need to deeply understand the games being played and the complex mix of motivations that exist to play them.
  • The balance that we seek can only come with perspective

The Resistance Pyramid and Stages of Change

When the goal is to change a behaviour, these are the types of resistance we see in relation to the stages of change model.

Gamers helping gamers – why it’s important

The importance of using video games in the process of re-framing gaming

  • It takes one to know one. Authenticity is very important to gamers because they are often told that their passion is a waste of time, leading them to put their defences up. Being an experienced gamer is incredibly helpful for getting our gamer’s buy-in. The more we understand about gaming the more productive each session can be.
  • If you are standing in the way of their passion without understanding it, you’ll see a lot of “the backfire effect”

The Solution

  • Educating and inspiring gamers to play intelligently, speaking from their perspective
  • Educating parents about what motivates gamers to engage in a healthy or unhealthy way
  • Treating excessive gaming like a symptom of a problem, rather than a cause of the problem.
  • Helping professionals reduce the barriers to addressing the underlying issues if they exist.

The Shift

  • You have to become part of their world to be able to communicate authentically about gaming.
  • “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
  • “When changing behaviours, humans don’t take direction well. It needs to be a decision. That’s why taking a gamer’s perspective is essential to healthy gaming education outcomes.”

Let’s get started!

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