Gaming Behaviour Ladder

Adferiad Funded by GamCare

This activity considers the scale of risky gaming behaviour when purchasing in-game items in video/mobile games. It provides the opportunity todiscuss the differences in behaviours among gamers and illustrates how spending money on in-game items can be harmful but should be considered on a continuum, not simply placed into categories.



10-15 Minutes

Materials to print

Gaming Behaviour Ladder Cards



Provide the group with a set of
Gaming Behaviour Ladder cards


Ask the group to put the character
cards in order from what they
consider the least risky behaviour to
the most. Emphasise that there is no
right or wrong answer.


Then discuss the possible
consequences of youth gambling,
writing them Go through the order
they have chosen, starting from the
least risky, asking participants to
justify their answers. Discuss what
factors they considered and why they
think some behaviours are riskier
than others.the branches of the tree.


Encourage discussion about the
motivations behind why people
gamble, the frequency, the amount
spent. Discuss at what point each of
these behaviours would become
problematic if they do not think the
character already had a problem.
Mention that although not all of
these examples are examples of
harmful gambling, they are all
realistic and illustrate how
normalised gambling is in our

Alternative options:

If it’s a big group, you could divide it into teams and
use multiple sets of cards.
You could give 1 card to each person and then ask the
group to stand up forming a line to visualise where
they would place each example.

Possible Follow-Up Activity

1. Place each card around the room.

2. In pairs or small groups, as the participants to write a
relevant harm reduction tip on a post-it note and stick
it to the card it relates to.

3. Ask the group to share and discuss the tips they
came up with and suggest any tips they may not have

Gaming Behaviour Ladder


Danielle stayed up the night before an exam playing her favourite mobile game, eventually she ran out of lives and
made an in-app purchase on her account so she could keep playing.

Alex saw a limited edition item that was only available to purchase for 1 hour. They’d already spent their weekly limit but decided to buy it anyway as it wouldn’t be available again.

Eric borrowed money from his friend to purchase several loot boxes, in the hope that he would get a rare item that he could sell for more money.

Theo spent the money his grandparents gave him on loot boxes, hoping to get a special item in his favourite game. He didn’t get the item he wanted so decided to spend some of his savings thinking he was bound to get the special item eventually.

Beth saved up her pocket money to pay for a new downloadable map in her favourite strategy game.