Opinion: Games and gambling – Xenophon’s ill-judged counter strike

August 5, 2016

Associate Professor Ingrid Richardson has called for a rethink of proposed new legislation of video game gambling.

Associate Professor Ingrid Richardson has called for a rethink of proposed new legislation of video game gambling.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon’s has recently called for the introduction of legislation that will define certain transactions in video games as gambling.

He plans to introduce a bill to Parliament that could stipulate a minimum age for playing first-person shooter games which include payment for mystery items.

In a collaboratively written piece for The Conversation, Murdoch’s Associate Professor Ingrid Richardson has called for a rethink for this legislation of video gaming.

The piece argues that society falsely tends to demonise every new medium, to blame them for our problems, and turn them into scapegoats for our bad habits and antisocial behaviour.

“While games and gambling sometimes do converge, they more often diverge. They are different practices. Many gamers don’t gamble, just as many gamblers don’t play video games,” Professor Richardson and her colleagues Professor Larissa Hjorth and William James Balmford from RMIT University explain.

“From the perspective of many gamers, Xenophon clearly hasn’t played these games. He misrepresents and oversimplifies the actual practice of in-game purchasing.”

The full piece can be read here.

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