YGAM is excited to announce that it has updated its legal name. We wanted to reflect the growing emphasis on gaming and digital resilience in our work with young people. So, we are changing our name to the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust. We’ll still be known and trade as YGAM, reflecting our role in getting young people, and those working with young people, to think about why they might game or gamble, how to stay safe, and where to get help if they need it.
The change in our legal name has come about as the work of the charity has developed in its first four years. The impact and risks of gaming have emerged as an important theme in their own right. In 2018, Gaming addiction was listed as a mental health condition for the first time by the World Health Organization and with over £5.7bn in sales of gaming products annually the world of gaming is here to stay. Research shows the majority of 9-16 year olds go online at least once a week, and a high proportion daily. That around half find online interactions more straightforward than those taking place face-to-face has to be of concern to our society, it is certainly a concern for YGAM. We believe gambling and gaming do overlap as do the risks and behaviours, but they are also unique areas in themselves. Our accredited workshops for teachers and all practitioners working with young people are being expanded to include more information on gaming and digital resilience and we will be launching these in the coming couple of months.
As a charity we want to have the same links, connections and respect with the gaming industry as we have successfully established with the gambling sector who do engage with importance of education and safeguarding for young and vulnerable people. Lee Willows, YGAM chief executive, said “The work of YGAM has consistently evolved over the years. Taking teacher and practitioner feedback onboard, supporting them to implement our programme with young people and understanding its impact has been humbling. Adding to this the consistent scrutiny and feedback from our quality-assurance partners such as Pearson, PSHE Association and academic evaluations, it was becoming clearer that gaming is as much of a potential risk to young people as gambling is. Indeed, YGAM have been talking about Loot Boxes, Skins and Mystery Boxes found in games for over two-years now and to fully-embrace this space we believe a change to our legal name demonstrates more clearly the breadth of our social purpose.”
Why do we trade as YGAM?
Our logotype says “Why Gamble!”
It is not a question, but a warning.
The use of the explanation mark signifies a ‘warning sign’. The use of red (danger) and yellow (caution) asks the audience to consider the consequences of gambling or gaming. YGAM is not an anti-gambling or anti-gaming organisation. For today’s generation of young people there has never been more awareness and temptation to try gambling or gaming. We believe that young people need to be educated around the potential dangers of problem gambling or social gaming, just as the way safe sex or responsible drinking is taught. Preventative education has shown to be effective and promote responsible participation with other ‘risky’ activities of which gambling is no different.