Gaming Industry Tricks

This activity uses a mock gaming menu to start a discussion about the designs used in video games that encourage players to spend more time and money.


10-15 min


Projector to share image with the group (optional)

Materials to print:

Print out of mock gaming menu (optional)

Activity illustrations (4)


  1. Share the mock gaming menu with the group using a print-out or projector.

    Explain that this is a mock game featuring strategies, tricks and inducements to encourage us to spend more time and money playing, that can often be found in real video games.

  2. In teams or as a whole group, ask the participants if they can identify any features in this game that encourage spending more time and money. Participants can also share if they have experienced any of these features in games they play, and how they feel about them. Here are some additional questions you could ask:

    • How do you feel about loot boxes in your games?
    • Do any of these paid-for features make it easier to win? How do you feel about this?
    • Would you find it easy to work out how much you spent on a certain item, and to stay in control of your spending?
  3. Ask the group to share any thoughts or advice on how a player can stay in control of how much time and money they spend gaming. This could include setting a weekly or monthly budget, using gift cards for purchases rather than credit/debit cards, and sticking to time limits to ensure a healthy balance.