GAME BRAiN Teaches Valuable Lessons To Kids

By Ben Hamill - December 02 2019

Learning about the dangers inherent to problem gambling is important and in order for this to be truly effective, it should commence at a very young age. By adopting this approach, conversations about problem gambling and addictive behaviour in general become “normalised”, which in turn opens the field to meaningful engagement and a more effective learning curve overall.

This is essentially the basic concept that drives the GAME BRAiN initiative, which is essentially a travelling show that goes around teaching children about gambling and the various problems associated with compulsive behaviour. The show recently travelled to Guelph and there educated some 190 of Ontario’s fine young minds about the problem in the most creative of ways. The show and children convened at the Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School in Guelph.

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Early-Age Teaching Is Best

The idea is to teach children already from an early age about how easy it is for players to careen down a very dark and slippery slope once in the grip of a gambling addiction. This obviously applies to gambling at local casinos as well as players who prefer to get their gambling fix online. Many people start playing without paying any heed to the possible dangers and soon find themselves spending everything from their savings to their retirement funds on their new addiction.

The key is to figure out whether one does in fact display traits typical of an addictive personality. And this applies not only to gambling, but also to a wide variety of issues, including a propensity towards substance abuse. A conversation about what it is that triggers addictive behaviour; an addictive personality even; is one that must be started at an early age for it to be truly effective into adulthood.

Learning Made Fun

The show, which typically lasts around 45 minutes, teaches children about the various aspects of gambling in fun and engaging ways; presenting information that is easy to understand right at their own age-level.

At least five fun activities are employed by the show in order to bring its important message across to the pliable young minds. Not only are the children taught how to identify signs of problem gambling behaviour in themselves as well as in other, but the information sessions and games also equip them with the resources and skills required to wage a war on the problem. Information regarding government programmes available as a means of completely free help to those in need of assistance is also made available to the young participants.

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