Connect With Young People As They Connect With Their Games



Built upon years of research and personal experiences, as well as guidance from  world leading experts in healthy gaming and delivered by therapeutic support specialists, our ‘Cyber Awareness: Online Gaming” presentation provides carers and youth support services with the most up-to-date information and relationship building tools required to connect with young people through gaming, while keeping them largely free from its negative effects through awareness, support, empathy and empowerment.

The four-hour workshop promotes a healthy balance between real and digital world activities and educates how gaming can be used as stable foundation for relationship and skill building. Presentation attendees gain first-hand insights from gaming experts, mental health professionals and young people who are at risk of gaming disorder or have experienced the ill-effects of the big 3 risks of gaming.  Moreover, attendees gain a clearer understanding of how and why their young people game.

How and why young people love to game varies from individual to individual, likewise, the risks involved with gaming are increased or decreased dependant on how and why an individual games. This is why we explore not only the most common reasons why young people game, but also give practical and measurable ways to communicate with young people to determine why they game, how they game and what the associated risks and benefits with that style of gaming engagement are.

The workshop ends in a Q and A session, where some of the biggest questions relating to young people and gaming are answered. These include:

  • How much is too much?
  • What age is appropriate for a young person to start playing games?
  • Can violent, sexualised or discriminative content in games impact young    people?  
  • How to help and where to receive support

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Some of the stats

The dawn of the digital age has brought with it fast and reliable internet, smartphones and online gaming. This has provided young people with new ways of relaxing, bonding and forming an identity, while at the same time, presented them with risks not experienced by previous generations, including gaming disorder, cyber bullying and pre-exposure to adult content.

A report released in 2020 by the eSafety Commissioner stated that 81% of young Australians had played video games online and, in the past year, 34% of those young people have made in-game purchases, which has helped the Australian video game industry rise to be worth around $3 Billion, while making young people prime marketing targets. A further 17% of young people have experienced in game bullying in the past year, which is shown to increase their chances of suicide and self-harm by up to 50%.

Additionally, research suggests that up to 3% of all gamers will go onto to suffer from internet gaming disorder. Meanwhile, all young people who game are at risk of being exposed to gambling, violence, sexualised content and inappropriate language.

To put those numbers into perspective, according to the 2016 Census, South Australia has 501,671 young people, aged 5-24 living in it. Of that number, 406,353 have played video games. This means:


Moreover, 97% of all young people who play video games online are at risk of Internet Gaming Disorder. The other three percent have Internet Gaming Disorder. 100% of young people who game are at risk of experiencing or re-experiencing cyber bullying and 100% are at risk of pre-exposure. These are the big three risks of online gaming, and all three can have detrimental impacts.

This is made even more significant when taking into consideration over 80% of young people play games online. Guardians are actively seeking help for online gaming issues from support services and are becoming frustrated with the increasing gap in their understanding of how to keep their young people safe online while ensuring they aren’t spending excessive amounts of time in front of a screen.



According to the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) Australian Video Game Industry Snapshot (2018), in Australia the video game industry experienced a total growth of 25% in 2018, largely due to the rapid increase in digital sales, which went up by 39%, to $2.851 Billion.

This growth is expected to grow at an estimated compound rate of 37% annually for the next three years and is largely accredited to the success of mobile apps and in game purchases (IGEA 2018). These digital sales are driven by Fortnite, a game made for young people (IGEA 2018).  

Moreover, a further proposed risk of online gaming is that in-game purchases and micro transactions could potentially be exposing young people to gambling and, therefore, increasing the risk of the development of a gambling problem (King 2018).

Despite the substantial risks that can be associated with online gaming, the restriction of the act has not been advised by any bodies, including the World Health Organization. This is based, in part, to the large amount of benefits that young people gain through online gaming.

Online gaming has been proven to support young people with improved cognitive benefits and social outcomes.  Moreover, young people enjoy learning and engaging online and are enjoying significant benefits, from increased cultural understanding to improved career pathways.

With gaming here to stay, it is crucial that young people at risk from its ill-effects are supported and educated to safely navigate the online gaming world while enjoying all of the benefits.

EMP Pathways supports families to safely navigate the online gaming world.

It just takes the right knowledge and know-how And that’s where the E.M.P. Pathways: Cyber Awareness Presentation can help.

features of the presentation include: 

A wholistic overview of the risks and benefits of online gaming with onsite on establishing healthy gaming habits.

The Benefits (and how to utilize them):

o   Emotional 

o   Social

o   Cognitive

o   Strategic

o   Creative

o   Career pathways

the risks (aND HOW TO AVOID THEM):

o   Cyber Bullying

o   Excessive gaming (gaming disorder)

o   Gambling Pre-exposure 

o   Effects of violent video games

o   Depression

o   Physical conditions


Get up to date on all the latest stats, technology and lingo, learn about all the major risks and benefits of online gaming. Find out what services are available if you think you or your young person is at risk of gaming disorder. Discover how the cyber world can be used to enhance social outcomes and career pathways.