Nearly half of young people say they would lose a part of themselves if they were to stop gaming, according to a new report released to mark Safer Internet Day. The report’s findings were discussed on Good Morning Britain, where a professional gambler and addiction expert debated the pros and cons of gambling with hosts Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid. The good-natured debate concluded with Reid sharing her frustrations as a mother of children who spend their free time playing.
“For me, the problem is that there is no stopping point,” Reid told his co-host Richard Madeley. “With a game of chess, there is a point where you have won or lost. The problem with video games is that there is always another level, there is always something else to get.”
Unsurprisingly, Reid said the only game she plays is Wordle (join the club), which is limited to one puzzle per day. Reid added that Wordle only takes 10 to 15 minutes out of his day, which makes it difficult to get addicted.
“Whereas with all these video games, it’s impossible to get the kids out of it,” Reid continues. “Or adults, you know, are drawn to them because there’s always something else to achieve.”
While Reid no doubt speaks for many parents, it’s worth noting that there are ways to limit the time kids spend playing games on consoles such as PS4, PS5, Xbox One , Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch.
All major game consoles have their own set of parental controls, which can be programmed online or using an app. The links below explain exactly how to set screen and spending limits on your child’s consoles.
As for the debate itself, the GMB hosts were joined by professional Fortnite player Jaden Ashman, as well as Game Quitters founder Cam Adair.
Ashman made headlines for winning £1.8m at the 2019 Fortnite World Cup, where he finished second.
The professional gamer told GMB that he gambled with an end goal in view and used the game to learn valuable life skills and earn a lot of money.
Adair, meanwhile, identifies as a recovering gambling addict. He said that while playing video games can be beneficial, there are times when the hobby becomes a problem.
Parents are encouraged to approach the issue of gambling addiction without preconceptions and stereotypes, and to talk to their children to find out their motivations for gambling, what they are learning and how they will manage their time.