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Distinguishing between gaming and gambling activities in addiction research

journal contribution
posted on 22.12.2017, 00:00 authored by DL King, SM Gainsbury, PH Delfabbro, Nerilee HingNerilee Hing, B Abarbanel
© 2015 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest.Background and aims: Gambling and gaming activities have become increasingly recognised as sharing many common features at a structural and aesthetic level. Both have also been implicated as contributing to harm through excessive involvement. Despite this, relatively little attention has been given to the fundamental characteristics that differentiate these two classes of activity, especially in situations where the boundaries between them may be particularly hard to distinguish. This is evident, for example, in digital games that incorporate free and paid virtual currencies or items, as well as the capacity for wagering. Such overlaps create problems for regulatory classifications, screening, diagnosis and treatment. Is the problem related to the gambling or gaming content? Methods: In this paper, we review the principal sources of overlap between the activity classes in terms of several dimensions: interactivity, monetisation, betting and wagering, types of outcomes, structural fidelity, context and centrality of content, and advertising. Results: We argue that gaming is principally defined by its interactivity, skill-based play, and contextual indicators of progression and success. In contrast, gambling is defined by betting and wagering mechanics, predominantly chance-determined outcomes, and monetisation features that involve risk and payout to the player. A checklist measure is provided, with practical examples, to examine activities according to features of design and function, which may inform guidelines for policy makers, researchers and treatment providers. Discussion and conclusions: We suggest that, in some instances, using category-based nomenclature (e.g., "gambling-like game") may be too vague or cumbersome to adequately organise our understanding of new gaming/gambling hybrid activities.

Funding

Category 2 - Other Public Sector Grants Category

History

Volume

4

Issue

4

Start Page

215

End Page

220

Number of Pages

6

eISSN

2063-5303

ISSN

2062-5871

Publisher

Akademiai Kiado Rt

Additional Rights

Akadémiai Kiadó makes the Open Access content available for all internet users without any limitations and registration requirements. Open Access content is marked by the open access logo. When publishing with Open Access the final published version can be archived and made publicly accessible by the author immediately after first publishing of the article. Copyright and publishing rights (other than the right of first publishing) are retained by the author, without any restrictions.

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

Yes

External Author Affiliations

University of Adelaide

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Journal of Behavioral Addictions