Debbie Keller, a mom of a 3 and a 5 year old from San Diego is suing Chuck E. Cheese for influencing a potential gambling addiction in children… actually her own children.The arcade style games at the restaurant can apparently be dangerous to her childrens’ health and promoting gambling addiction or a gambling problem in the future as stated in the case.
She is suing for 5 million dollars, which is quite a lot of money, and I am not quite sure what to think of this. Any type of video gaming can be addictive because of the chemical effects it has on the brain. Are Chuck E. Cheese arcade style machines going to have an effect on a childs’ brain that can promote addictive behavior in the future?
I remember growing up and going to the boardwalk and spinning the wheel to win candy or stuffed animals. There were also other arcade games such as skee ball, and even simulated “slot machines” where you could win tickets and redeem for prizes. I no doubt enjoyed those games very much, and it may have contributed to my own struggles with gambling as an adult. It is truly hard to say, as there are a multitude of factors that contribute to a gambling addiction, including both heredity and environment.
I am not sure I agree with what Debbie Keller is doing. I think she has a point in that arcade style games at Chuck E. Cheese can have an influence on a childs’ potential for future gambling addiction. Any type of gaming activity, however, such as boardwalk arcades, and even video games can also have an influence as well. Suing Chuck E. Cheese for 5 million dollars,however, seems to be taking this a little bit too far. We have a responsibility to protect our children, and if a parent believes that arcade games are dangerous, parents do not have to allow their kids to play them.