Online Gaming and Gambling Addiction
What is addiction? One might consider addiction as a disease or mental illness, but typically addiction is often assumed that someone is addicted to substance such as; alcohol, cocaine, nicotine etc., in another words, they are physically dependent, but addiction isn’t limited to someone who is addicted to a substance. Addiction can also be associated with certain behavioral characteristics. Technological addictions can be viewed as a subset of behavioral addictions and feature all the core components of addiction stated Griffiths et al. (2005). Internet addiction is a very broad term and can vary from individual to individual. The excessive use of the Internet can lead to compulsive disorders and addiction that can range from overusing media sites and chat rooms; online shopping, gaming, and gambling. Allegedly Internet addiction can cause social disorganization and psychosocial factors and such social impacts are being assessed around the world. Early studies of Internet gambling in the UK, Canada and the US are shedding light on some interesting factors that may lure an individual into the world of online gaming or gambling.
Internet and technology has radically changed how the world uses and communicates through computers. In 1962, J.C.R Licklider of MIT started discussing his ‘Galactic Network’ concept, a concept that set the platform of what the Internet is today. In the last two decades the Internet has dramatically curved society from a technology perspective to a networking outlet. Now days computers are found equally in portable form and the cost of computers continues to go down and with finance options, and the increased accessibility to the Internet is available almost everywhere, the evolution of the Internet has swept society by storm. Enhanced technologies created from the Internet have provided many benefits to the economy and society, but not all things created from the Internet are beneficial. The Internet becomes a substitute for real-life social interaction, giving the user an escape from reality (Ng, B. and Weimer-Hastings, P. 2005). Researchers began to express their concerns about Internet gaming and gambling and the potential consequences. The resulting excessive amounts of time spent on playing video games can be severely disruptive to school, work and ‘real life’ social contacts (Chappell et al. 2006; Wan and Chiou 2006; Grusser et al. 2007).
Research studies have been done to help show the trends in Internet addiction and even more recent research proves that both male and female are equally susceptible to overuse the Internet and having the potential to become addicted. This finding that is drastically different than a few years ago when they found that males outweighed women when it comes to internet addiction. The Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Gamer (MMORPG) online survey was posted on well-known gaming sites. The MMORPG survey collected demographic information such as, education level, male or female, professional level and roughly how many hours per week was spend gaming. The online survey would also ask questions to help gage if users were spending too much time gaming opposed to handling daily responsibilities. Lastly, was a series of social behavior questions that gathered specific information about companionship, dependence, self-image, and attitude.
With a total of 91 responses the results of the survey were as follows: 88% of those were male, 44% had a high school degree, and 29% had a bachelor’s degree; 37% were students while 53% worked as full-time employees.