Ludomania in the Amusement Field: Searching for the Right Solution
The Entain operator and Game Quitters started the Mind Your Game program. It provides the necessary resources to support responsible gambling in the video plays and eSports industry.
Online Casino Market experts offer to find out if it is possible to identify and eliminate risk factors that may subsequently develop into addiction. You can also order high-quality software for responsible gambling from our team.
In the entertainment industry, great attention is paid to responsible gaming measures. They include defining excessive risk behaviour and introducing tools that encourage a conscious approach to gambling.
However, when analysing this phenomenon in the wagering industry, experts found some similar problems in the field of video games:
- Long sessions. Users spend too much time on a gambling resource and cannot force themselves to leave the site.
- The obsessive nature of the play. Gamers get out of control and constantly raise their bets, losing more money.
These factors can lead to gambling addiction.
Amid the first restrictions related to the coronavirus, the demand for video games has skyrocketed. Quarantine has given people more free time. When normal social stimulation stopped, many users sought solace in the entertainment world — sometimes excessively. In some cases, more active play led to risky behaviour.
Gambling addiction was classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a psychological wellbeing issue in 2019 after 18 months of discussion with 194 members. It has been added to the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases since January 1, 2022.
A 2018 WHO statement notes that the inclusion of ludomania in the ICD-11 follows the establishment of treatment programs for people with conditions similar to those of gaming addiction globally.
This step will lead to the raised attention of medical workers to the risks of developing the disorder and certain preclusion and treatment activities.
Despite the active growth in the popularity of video entertainment products over the past 18 months, excessive passion for them has long been a part of modern life.
Today, the first-ever generation of players is growing up. As a result, many charity organisations are starting to focus more on gambling addiction.
Game Quitters gives support resources for users experiencing some difficulty and their loved ones, such as spouses and partners. The training content is focused on curbing ludomania.
According to the representative of the organisation Cam Adair, the main nuance is the different nature of just passion for games and a genuine problem. For some people, entertainment solutions help deal with stress or discomfort in real life. Nevertheless, if users fail to control themselves, it can cause serious consequences.
Entertainment products are becoming increasingly commercialised, thanks to cybersports in particular. Functions that are considered elements of gaming mechanics are actively debated today.
Loot boxes - attributes that can be exchanged for other items - have been in the spotlight of the gambling industry for a long time.
- The Belgian government prohibited them in 2018. The decision was made following the controversy associated with the use of this practice in Star Wars Battlefront II.
- The Hague District Court (the Netherlands) has stated that the use of loot boxes is a delict (according to the Law on Sportsbooks and Gambling). DCMS (sports, digital, media, and culture department) announced a call for testimony in the loot box inquiry. Its goal was to determine whether the feature contributes to the encouragement of problematic behaviour.
According to Cam Adair, research has often found some connections between buying attributes and gaming addiction. However, the expert emphasises that they may not always provoke ludomania.
Experts continue to investigate and compare the relevant problems in the field of video games and wagering.
Martin Lycka, Entain’s SVP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling, points out a few essential things that the eSports industry can learn from the casino sphere:
- limits on the use of funds;
- session duration control;
- self-limiting functions;
- information materials;
- educational instruments.
The emergence of risky mechanics and the increased urgency of the addiction problem led to the creation of the Mind Your Game project. The campaign includes content dedicated to eSports. The Entain Foundation is sponsoring a series of training videos.
The course begins with the basic concepts that every user should know. Information materials explain what eSports is, how it works, and who is the key player in this field.
The issues discussed in detail are:
- the honesty of results;
- responsible gaming;
- user safety.
The campaign aims to move from the theoretical part to the real protection against the potential harm that comes from an uncontrolled approach to entertainment.
Research published in New Zealand and Australia’s Psychiatry Journal showed that the global prevalence of gambling addiction is 3.05%.
In 2019, when SNP MP Brendan O'Hara asked to explain the ethics of loot boxes, Electronic Arts Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs Kerry Hopkins compared them to Kinder Surprise eggs.
This shows that video game suppliers are not accustomed to discussing the controversial nature of the feature, especially concerning young people.
Martin Lycka believes that the amount of knowledge provided by the Mind Your Game project is critical to educating young users and supporting their parents.
However, an important nuance is that loot boxes have a strong impact on the gaming environment. It is a kind of interaction mechanism between users. The key task of experts and government bodies is to create a legislative framework that allows eSports to be regulated without destroying the special spirit of the community.
Some products provide the opportunity to buy and sell attributes for real money. The problem is that such transactions are often made by underage users.
The gaming industry has been dealing with ludomania issues for a long time. This is an extremely heavily regulated field. Over the years of fruitful work, experts have developed many tools that allow operators to help customers and teach them to perceive entertainment solutions more responsibly.
The video game industry is on the right track. Representatives of the gambling area are happy to share their experiences and simplify the process of implementing the necessary measures to prevent addiction.
The relevant methods of combating ludomania are as follows:
- the introduction of limits on monetary transactions;
- session duration control;
- the possibility of self-exclusion;
- the creation of information materials;
- the use of educational instruments.
Gambling and the harm associated with it are becoming incredibly relevant today. Society is in favour of tightening the rules, as evidenced by the change in age categories in recent years.
By making its products safer while still offering consumers a richer entertainment experience, the video game sphere could learn a lot from the gambling field.
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