Are we gambling with young people's lives? Vivo Project highlights the dangers of online gaming for children

Are we gambling with young people's lives? Vivo Project highlights the dangers of online gaming for children

As children and young people are increasingly immersed in interactive worlds, especially in the online gaming universe, global studies indicate that a child can spend even more time and money, and experience more anxiety than a professional gambler.

Faced with this scenario, Vivo and the Africa Creative agency, with the technical support of the Regional Psychology Council of São Paulo (CRP-SP), have created a platform aimed at creating more conscious consumption of online games by younger audiences.

The platform, named Vegas Generation, was created to help parents, guardians, caregivers, and educators promote a healthier, more responsible approach to children’s online gaming activity. Vegas Generation serves as a clear guide that can help detect problematic usage of online games by children, something that has concerned parents, caregivers, educators, and young people’s advocates around the world. Additionally, Vegas Generation’s platform provides caregivers with access to relevant information on the subject.

"Vivo is a brand that seeks to create constructive dialogues about contemporary cultural themes, particularly those that are linked to the challenges of digital life. As part of that mission, we also want to provide tools to make children’s relationship with games more balanced and healthy," says Marina Daineze, brand and communication director of Vivo.

Vegas Generation provides suggestions and guidance on taking the first steps to deal with a child’s toxic online gaming.

To definitively identify signs children are engaging in potentially harmful online gaming activity, the platform, gives parents, guardians, and caregivers a test in which their answers indicate if their child is playing games beyond what experts consider a normal amount.  

All content production of the platform and support were done in partnership with Luiza Brandão, a psychologist specializing in children and adolescent behaviour, who has been assisting families facing this problem for seven years. As part of her investigation into the problems of kids and gaming, Brandão wrote an article for her postgraduate degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of São Paulo (USP) on factors associated with the misuse of video games among Brazilian teenagers.

"Ideating this project alongside Vivo has been a tremendous source of pride for me and for Africa Creative. As a father, I couldn't help but worry about children and teenagers who are increasingly absorbed within the gaming universe. It is crucial to use all of Africa Creative’s and Vivo's influence to help families improve in this situation in the best possible way: with accurate and actionable information. New times call for new discussions: we need to use creativity to support social good and keep up with digital trends," comments Sergio Gordilho, co-president and CCO of Africa Creative.

The rollout of Vegas Generation promoted on Vivo’s social media channels, along with impactful images produced by artificial intelligence that depict the reality of the gaming issue along with illustrating the solutions. Finally, a Google search strategy will be implemented to answer the most frequently searched questions by parents and relatives on the search engine.

"It is important for us to understand that video games can be incredible tools for entertainment and learning; however, their use without care by children and adolescents can lead to catastrophic outcomes. To provide the utmost care, it is essential to educate parents on how they can prevent problematic outcomes by managing their children's access to this form of media, taking into account the developmental stages of children and adolescents. This is the vital role that the platform plays, centralizing scientifically based information for parents, in a language accessible to them, allowing them to make conscious and healthy choices for the development of their children," explains Luiza Brandão.

"We are emphasizing actions promoting comprehensive protection and assistance as fundamental for children’s health These kinds of initiatives are a core part of the social responsibility of public psychology," reinforces Talita Fabiano de Carvalho, president of the Regional Psychology Council of São Paulo (CRP SP), which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2024.

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