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Teens and Online Gaming

In September 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined Gaming Disorder in their 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Just like alcohol and other chemicals, behavioral addictions, like gaming and gambling, release dopamine in the brain and can do damage to people’s lives. Adolescents are significantly more susceptible to dopamine flooding because their brains are still growing and developing. Gaming and social media provide immediate rewards that require very little effort to attain. Social media delivers rewards in the form of “likes” or “shares,” while online and app games provide “loot boxes” and “level ups” that stimulate the brain to believe something magical has occurred.

The gaming industry employs countless psychologists, statisticians, behaviorists, and expert marketers to create the most engaging content possible. In an effort to maximize profits, most in the industry have ignored ethical responsibilities to their consumers.

COCA Prevention Specialists offer a Teens & Tech presentation that delves into some “tricks of the trade” used by big gaming, the internet, and social media to keep us coming back for more. Participants will receive a crash course in some of the manipulative techniques employed by “Big Gaming” and “Big Data” to collect your information, your time, and your money. Learn more about our Teens & Technology presentations.

Photo: 2019 1st place winner for the poster contest on “Gaming: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.”

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