A couple months ago we advertised a video gaming survey anywhere we could. A simple three question survey. Today we are publishing the results and the true nature of the survey. The survey is actually an Australian gambling problem quiz.
So what can we learn from Australia’s gambling problems, and problem video gaming? Quite a bit actually.
Australia knows a little bit about gambling, being ranked second in the world with problem gambling issues. Australia has also tackled problem gambling from its own point of view, departing somewhat from the DSM, based on its own extensive research.
The parallels between problem video gaming and problem gambling is an important issue requiring increased study. Traditional studies into video game addictions have only focused on young men and their use of PC and console games. They measured social isolation and the like but lacked focus on the financial. The financial aspect is where you start to drift into gambling style problems and causes. With the rise of mobile gaming and other platforms being accessed by the public, that monetize the players for in-game status and progress, a fresh look is needed.
For that purpose, we did our own survey of people who played video games to see how they would fair on a problem gambling survey from Australia. To do this, we took the following quiz from the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation in Australia, and simply substituted the word ‘gambling’ with ‘video gaming’ or ‘gaming,’ and invited people who played video games regularly to participate in this video game survey.
So here is what we learned. We had 204 participants who said they played some type of video game regularly. 19 of the participants or 9% would have been classified as a problem gambler had they answered the same on the Australian gambling quiz. All but one of the 9% indicated they played mobile games regularly. One person under 18 felt the symptoms of problem gambling via video games, but most where older adults, including 4 over the age of 54.
A score from 4-6 indicated that a participant is starting to feel the ill effects of gambling and needs to consider taking action while a score above six means they have a problem they should address immediately.
This chart indicates where the growth in mobile games, and their gambling style addiction impacts by age. As some participants were older, they were much more likely to play mobile than console, or PC games unlike younger gamers.
These results are not done from a formal psychological study done by any university, but the answers were solicited without any of the participants knowing it was a gambling survey. It is our sincerest hope that a more formal study can be launched in the future to better enumerate the ‘problem video gaming’ versus ‘problem gambling’ indicators, especially outside the traditionally studied young male adult.
We do regret not asking the gender of players as that might show some additional stereotype diffusing data.