Australia’s teenagers spend more than five hours a day on digital media activities, according to the Australian Communication and Media Authority.
Unlike previous generations, today’s youth have online lives that blend seamlessly with their offline lives. They invite the world into their daily activities through use of computers, smart phones and tablet devices to view content, socialise, communicate, play games, learn and do homework.
And while teenagers are very technology savvy, it is increasingly common to see very young children – sometimes under three – easily navigating their way around a tablet or smartphone to play a game or watch a video.
Alongside the rapid growth in smartphones, tablets and video games that link to the internet, there has been an explosion in downloadable games. There is no doubt these new technologies bring benefits, but as parents, carers and educators we are all aware of the need to protect children and teenagers from the risks that come with it.
An emerging area of serious concern is games that simulate gambling. Increasingly, these games can be played on social media sites, video games that link to the internet and mobile applications. It’s a growing business in a largely unregulated market.