What are virtual goods in video games?
Virtual goods can be purchased or won within a video game.
They either improve the gameplay (e.g. a more powerful gun) or change the aesthetic of the game (e.g. the look of a gun)
Some virtual goods can be bought and sold on online marketplaces for real money.
Aside from their in-game use, virtual goods can be used to gamble or bet.
How to use video games safely in schools.
Get these resources to introduce video games in your practice:
- Whole of School approach to being a ‘Safe Gaming School’
- Game development in the classroom resources
- All 16 worksheets/tools/factsheets to support teachers and wellbeing staff
- The Parent’s Workbook for Dealing with Gaming Issues
- All 14 tools/factsheets to give as resources to the families in your school.
- All 14 information factsheets in the Info Pack
- A license to use all the above resources with all families in your school
Why you should be concerned
VIRTUAL GOODS CAN BE USED TO GAMBLE OR BET.
Virtual goods can be used to bet on the outcome of Esports matches (organised video game competitions). This is very similar to sports betting.
The can also be used to gamble with on casino style, unregulated websites. Think of the virtual goods like casino chips.
THEY CAN INTRODUCE CHILDREN TO GAMBLING
Gambling with virtual goods are promoted within the video games themselves, their forums and on streaming sites like YouTube and Twitch. It is not promoted on traditional media like TV or newspapers.
According to a 2017 UK Gambling Commission report 20% of boys aged 11 to 16 have bet with their virtual goods; 59% are aware of the activity. Are you?
THEY ARE NOT REGULATED.
Gambling with virtual goods is not recognised as gambling and therefore not covered by the Victorian Gambling Act 2003.
THEY ARE BIG BUSINESS.
Of the total Esports gambling market of USD 8 billion in 2016, around USD 7.4 billion was through gambling with virtual goods.
Get our gambling in games factsheets
Our factsheets are easy to use and are very informative
What can parents do to keep their kids safe from gambling with virtual goods in video games?
- Discuss the risks of gaming with your child and encourage your child to reach out for help when needed.
- Don’t give your children access to your passwords. Know which games are downloaded and played.
- Have a play of the game yourself. You’ll quickly work out if the game offers lootboxes or not.
- Monitor your credit cards and look for unaccounted expenses
- Ask your child how they can best balance screen-time and real life activities. It empowers them to do the right thing.
- Let game developers and government know that you expect games to be designed safely by going to www.videogames.org.au