EPIC and INTENTA unveil new safer gaming educational campaign

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EPIC Risk Management is delighted to support INTENTA’s new #MindYourGame campaign which uses esports as a conduit to engage young people in building a safe and healthy relationship with gaming.

As part of the campaign, video-based educational content is being rolled out to more than 450+ schools and esports clubs in 40 US states. This is the first joint initiative since the two organizations announced a 12-month partnership to collaborate on global strategies around the education and prevention of gambling- and gaming-related harm.

The video-based content series, called Gaming World, aims to help young players understand the benefits and potential harms of gaming and esports, how gaming affects the brain, the risks of in-game overspending, the importance of balance in gaming and esports, common gaming issues, and how to make a career from gaming and esports. It will share strategies with parents, teachers and school counsellors on how to play safely to protect and improve students’ mental health and provide support pathways for anyone struggling with problematic gaming.

The #MindYourGame campaign also includes worksheets, mindfulness exercises, a free 15-minute mental wellness consultation, as well as access to community forums and peer support resources. The longer-term goal is to roll out the campaign to schools and esports clubs across an increased number of US states as well as other global markets.

EPIC has used the lived experience of staff to help enhance the Gaming World content. Gaming and esports consultant, Jonathan Peniket, warns of the increasingly blurred line between gaming and gambling during a video module about in-game overspending. He gambled thousands of pounds of his parents’ money on loot boxes while his mother was being treated for cancer. Jonathan shares his experience to act as a deterrent to others from following the same path.

The timing of the #MindYourGame campaign launch is pertinent, as it coincides with increased loot box activity among young people during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The globally-reaching FIFA console series has recently released exclusive World Cup-themed content within its FIFA Ultimate Team player packs - the game's loot box aspect. This has led to a spike in engagement among a considerable number of players who are under the legal gambling age in their country of residence.

Despite soccer having to battle for attention with the major leagues in the US, FIFA regularly competes with the likes of Madden and NBA 2K for the crown of being the country's most popular sports console game. And, with the USMNT involved in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the game and the tournament will be heightening one another's profile within the country for the next month.

Paul Findlay, EPIC’s director of CSR, said:

“It is great news that EPIC’s lived experience of gambling harm through loot boxes is being put to perfect use via the Gaming World content series within the #MindYourGame campaign. It provides vital awareness on the potential gambling harm that is hidden in esports and gaming.

“The wider program offers some crucial mental health and well-being advice to young people, and is proof of the exponential benefits of market leaders in their area of expertise collaborating for the greater good.”

Cam Adair, co-founder of INTENTA, said:

“EPIC’s industry-leading expertise in gambling is a great addition to the #MindYourGame campaign. With the convergence of gaming and gambling through loot boxes and skins betting, it’s more important than ever that young players are aware of the potential risks involved.

“Jonathan’s story will resonate with the target audience who are a similar age to him when he lost thousands of pounds through in-game overspending. As a result, they will be better equipped to make safer and informed decisions when gaming.”

In August 2022, EPIC became a ‘Safer gambling education partner’ of INTENTA, providing expertise relating to education delivery, and INTENTA was named as a ‘Gaming and esports partner’ of EPIC. Both organizations are looking to educate and empower players, families, educators and the wider esports audience about the risks and dangers of problem gambling in gaming and esports. The #MindYourGame campaign is an ideal opportunity to collaborate towards achieving that goal.