BBC Article: ‘How my son went from gamer to compulsive gambler’

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  • The_Goon 8 Oct 2019 10:49:23 1,452 posts
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    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-49941610

    Quite an interesting read. References a certain popular football game with gambling-esque mechanics...
  • hedben2013 8 Oct 2019 11:04:33 1,617 posts
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    I read that this morning- although I don't disagree with any particular statement in the article, the transition from "he played a lot of videogames" to "and now he's into online roulette" was a bit jarring.

    Edit: ...and I'm now realising I accidentally skipped half of the article below the fold. Oops :redface:

    Edited by hedben2013 at 11:08:00 08-10-2019
  • Derblington 8 Oct 2019 11:16:41 33,438 posts
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    I actually thought it was going to be about FUT going from the OP, but it;s actually about gambling in online roulette.
    It's an understandably emotional perspective that's making a very specific and unproven claim, that is then clarified by the licensed professional. But we all know how this will be taken.
    Games train mass murders too, don't you know?

    The best part is at the bottom when parental controls are called out. So many people are unaware of these existing but the fact that it's an article that is focusing entirely on gaming when it's actually about online gambling is weird.

    Edited by Derblington at 11:17:40 08-10-2019
  • Mola_Ram 8 Oct 2019 11:20:48 24,022 posts
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    I think the games -> compulsive gambling connection is a bit stronger than the games -> violence one though. Games (a good proportion of them at least) and gambling push pretty similar neurological buttons, and I can definitely see transitioning from one to the other.
  • neilka 8 Oct 2019 11:27:04 23,415 posts
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    /silently rolls sausage through thread
  • The_Goon 8 Oct 2019 11:29:03 1,452 posts
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    Mola_Ram wrote:
    I think the games -> compulsive gambling connection is a bit stronger than the games -> violence one though. Games (a good proportion of them at least) and gambling push pretty similar neurological buttons, and I can definitely see transitioning from one to the other.
    Agreed. I think there have been (perhaps spurious) allegations against EPIC for making Fortnite as addictive as possible with the help of psychologists. If true, it is heinous behaviour, particularly when money is at stake and young children are playing the game. Start this kind of behaviour/culture young enough, and who knows what the long term repercussions are?
  • Rogueywon Most Generous Forumite, 2016 8 Oct 2019 11:33:50 9,030 posts
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    I'd treat this one with caution. The article points at a lot of correlation but shows no causation. My read of it is basically that the kid in question had - as some people do - a personality type prone to addiction. In his early teens, this focussed on gaming. Later, gambling took over. Much as I dislike FIFA (chav game) and its monetisation model (scummy), there just doesn't seem to be the evidence to point at it as the bridge between gaming and gambling. Not to say such evidence won't emerge, but it isn't there yet and sensationalist reporting helps nobody.

    But it's not the worst gaming article out there today. The prize for that has to go to this piece over at the Guardian. The odd thing here is that while I strongly disagree with the Guardian's politics, its journalistic standards are usually higher than this. But the piece really is a bingo card of "how not to talk about games". From the sweeping assertions, to the outright approval of Chinese totalitarianism, to the bloody caption under the headline image:

    Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is popular with young gamers.
    Soooo... a PEGI 18 game, several years old and considered a flop by franchise standards when it released. Way to demonstrate you have your finger on the pulse...
  • Mola_Ram 8 Oct 2019 12:04:42 24,022 posts
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    The_Goon wrote:
    Mola_Ram wrote:
    I think the games -> compulsive gambling connection is a bit stronger than the games -> violence one though. Games (a good proportion of them at least) and gambling push pretty similar neurological buttons, and I can definitely see transitioning from one to the other.
    Agreed. I think there have been (perhaps spurious) allegations against EPIC for making Fortnite as addictive as possible with the help of psychologists. If true, it is heinous behaviour, particularly when money is at stake and young children are playing the game. Start this kind of behaviour/culture young enough, and who knows what the long term repercussions are?
    Well yeah, I think I would have found modern games pretty addictive if I'd played them when I was young. Like, pathologically addictive.

    Even now I too-easily get sucked into the "oh, just one more rift run and I KNOW I can get this weapon to drop" cycle of something like Diablo 3, and that's a really similar impulse to gambling imo. If I hadn't told myself a long time ago "start gambling and it will be hard to stop, so just don't start", I might have developed a real problem with it.
  • Derblington 8 Oct 2019 12:32:14 33,438 posts
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    Without knowing how Epic operate, I find the whole 'addictive with psychologist assistance' thing hard to believe, mostly because of how Fortnite flopped pretty hard, but the very late (post-launch) addition BR to be the thing that caught on.
  • disusedgenius 8 Oct 2019 12:54:19 10,546 posts
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    You can take it as read that when people talk about Fortnite, they mean the BR mode that's currently raking in the cash.

    Personally I wouldn't be surprised if they were taking note of gambling mechanics because, ultimately, gambling is generally pretty fun and often satisfying. There's a reason we've been doing it as long as we've been human.
  • brainbird 8 Oct 2019 13:27:02 2,653 posts
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    There can be a connection between certain types of games and (online) gambling for persons with a certain predisposition but to link the two in a direct line is plain wrong. Same with violence.

    I've played and loved videogames for the last 35 years. And I find gambling utterly uninteresting.
  • nickthegun 8 Oct 2019 13:44:56 82,376 posts
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    brainbird wrote:
    There can be a connection between certain types of games and (online) gambling for persons with a certain predisposition but to link the two in a direct line is plain wrong. Same with violence.

    I've played and loved videogames for the last 35 years. And I find gambling utterly uninteresting.
    Now imagine you're not 40 and didn't grow up in the golden age of video games, you're 15 and every single game you and your friends have played since you got into games have gambling mechanics baked it.

    The point is, for an entire generation, gaming has completely normalised gambling.

    Admittedly, they have had a lot of help from the 'go on, have a cheeky little punt, lol ladz bantz' gambling industry.
  • brainbird 8 Oct 2019 14:11:18 2,653 posts
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    @nickthegun Again, you can condition a person only to a certain level if there is no predisposition. There are plenty of boys and girls without signs of addiction even though they've played games.
    I totally agree games nowadays are of a different structure compared to what I grew up with - no doubt tailored to have you sucked in - but the general point still stands.
  • nickthegun 8 Oct 2019 14:14:23 82,376 posts
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    Nah, it doesn’t at all but whatever.
  • Carlo 8 Oct 2019 14:25:59 21,328 posts
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    IIRC, WoW was the first game to have 'psychologists on the payroll, to consult on how to make the game as addictive as possible'.

    Sometimes mentioned, but I've not found any actual proof
  • Derblington 8 Oct 2019 14:27:51 33,438 posts
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    nickthegun wrote:
    The point is, for an entire generation, gaming has completely normalised gambling.
    Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, a psychiatrist at the new NHS treatment centre, says no link between gaming-related activities "that may be toxic for young people" and gambling has yet been established. It's currently a "big controversial conversation", she says.

    "I believe so little is known in this country about both these behavioural addictions in children, that we need to hear it on the ground, we need to understand what these people are doing then work with policy makers, politicians and public health professionals to change the environment they live in," she told the BBC.
  • Alastair 8 Oct 2019 14:29:15 24,272 posts
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    neilka wrote:
    /silently rolls sausage through thread
    PERV ALERT!
  • Derblington 8 Oct 2019 14:31:03 33,438 posts
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    disusedgenius wrote:
    You can take it as read that when people talk about Fortnite, they mean the BR mode that's currently raking in the cash.

    Personally I wouldn't be surprised if they were taking note of gambling mechanics because, ultimately, gambling is generally pretty fun and often satisfying. There's a reason we've been doing it as long as we've been human.
    And Fortnite BR was also one on the earlier titles to drop lootboxes (though the original gamemode kept them). Either way it's read the claim doesn't make sense.
  • nickthegun 8 Oct 2019 14:33:43 82,376 posts
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    I know you're a corporate shill, but even you must see the word "toxic" in there, right?
  • CowsMakeNoise 8 Oct 2019 14:41:51 100 posts
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    disusedgenius wrote:
    gambling is generally pretty fun and often satisfying.
    Very true, walking by any bookies is like a glimpse of Disneyland.
  • disusedgenius 8 Oct 2019 14:46:43 10,546 posts
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    Yeah, I've heard that Las Vegas is essentially just Milton Keynes in the desert.
  • Derblington 8 Oct 2019 14:47:34 33,438 posts
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    lol
    I do see the word, yeah. Do you see the bit that says you're wrong?

    This isn't about lootboxes and shit, take that all away, I couldn't care less. There's still no proven link (yet, if you want to be more generous on the subject) that the two things are related. So blanket statements like yours are factually inaccurate and don't help any kind of conversation around the subject. Lets get one and then condemn modern gaming. Until then it's no better than the "games train killers" argument.

    Edited by Derblington at 14:48:11 08-10-2019
  • KD 8 Oct 2019 14:55:41 2,762 posts
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    Some will, some won't, personally I think everything resembling gambling and a real money component should be age rated, make it only accessible with an 18 or over account even if it is 1 mode that's locked from a full fifa game.
  • nickthegun 8 Oct 2019 15:24:33 82,376 posts
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    Derblington wrote:
    lol
    I do see the word, yeah. Do you see the bit that says you're wrong?
    Not really.

    http://www.saferonlinegambling.org/research/


    Our documentary analysis has also shown us that one in ten young people has accidentally spent money on in-game micro transactions and that this simulation of gambling like behaviour could fuel a sharp rise in underage and youth gambling addiction.
    Woo! Now I'm winning the quote-one-person world cup!
  • Derblington 8 Oct 2019 15:25:42 33,438 posts
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    "Could", fella. Not is or will.

    Edited by Derblington at 15:26:18 08-10-2019
  • nickthegun 8 Oct 2019 15:27:29 82,376 posts
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    And also 'wont' or 'cant'
  • DangerousDave_87 8 Oct 2019 17:56:47 6,811 posts
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    I have absolutely no sympathy for any publisher that tries to encourage sales in-game, either for randomly generated content, or specific content such as skins. Any game with a gambling element, or offering a service that involves spending real life money on a random outcome should be 18 rated and sold exclusively through gambling outlets.

    As for skins, themes and all that nonsense, developers are clearly praying on children (primarily) who fear they're missing out if they don't have the latest tat. A weakness that everybody on the planet suffers from at one point or another.

    Those developers should have to pay tax up the arse for every single transaction. Not only that, but such games should also carry an age rating that reflects an age mature enough for those playing to understand the value of money on the store front. And then such store fronts should be made invisible on any console that applies some kind of parental lock. That is to say it shouldn't even be noticeable that such options exist or that any other player they engage with has purchased anything.

    Edited by DangerousDave_87 at 20:48:04 08-10-2019
  • RGeefe 8 Oct 2019 18:06:04 1,098 posts
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    I work with young people and my god the level of gambling among under 18s is ridiculous. There is easy access to gambling apps and, as has been pointed out, there is an entire generation of young people who have grown up with gaming including an element of "pay money for stuff that you don't know what you'll win".

    On some level, it's sort of like sticker collections from when I was a kid but these cost a fuck load more and you don't have to leave the house to spend loads. I have kids who have lost loads to FUT packs and, before stricter phone rules came in, were buying them on their phones at breaks or on their way home. Couple that with the rampant advertising for gambling around football and it's normalising it for kids, at best and training them to get involved, at worst.

    As the report says, it may be "controversial" to talk about it but that's only because companies have set their entire business model around it.
  • Dougs 8 Oct 2019 19:25:15 94,683 posts
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    Agree entirely with you and Dave.
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