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Thoughts on gaming and gambling 

What are the differences between gambling and gaming? Are both as addictive, as problematic?

Any type of gambling is addictive in that if you lose you see the opportunity that you may win back your money by having just ‘one more go’.

‘One more go’ is something you experience with gaming too. If it goes badly, depending on the game, then “let me try again, I know I can beat it” is a common feeling that people get.

I can remember trying gambling long ago in I think the last class or year before that, in primary school where it was not actually described as gambling. My view now is that that sort of thing does not belong on a festive day in a primary school. What happened was that you could put some money, possibly on a number, to get a possible win of something, I don’t remember what the prize was, but I tried it a few times. I didn’t have much money with me, possibly lucky at that time as I might have lost more from not having experienced such a feeling of loss in gambling before and not knowing, realising, when to stop. I realised later that I tried several times and that I did that was only because of wanting to win, and the cost was not taken into account as being a loss.

My view on gambling is that it is problematic for many people, and you should only do it if you are aware of the risks, and only spend what you can afford to lose. There are similar issues in life that are really just gambling such as ‘investing’ in the stock market, where experiments have shown that monkeys choosing stocks without realising that they were doing so (obviously) were more successful than stock advisers!

And yet investing in stocks is seen as prudent or respectable, whereas gambling is not. What is different is that many stocks can be chosen to be fairly reliable, as in that losing a lot of value over a year is very unlikely, but then they are also very low profit or low in increasing value. Such types of stocks can be seen as a way to put money away somewhere where you may not make such, but at least you are not likely to lose money as you will do due to inflation when that money is just sitting in a bank account for many years, at least with low interest rates as they are since many years.

With gaming the addictive aspects are most obvious in shorter action games, such as arcade games in the past and many types of games on phones these days. This aspect can be an issue in other games such as first person shooters or strategy exploration games, but mostly it is not coupled to money. An exception is games where you pay to play, or rather pay to get ahead. Advertisements for ‘gold mined’ used to be common, for certain games such as “World of warcraft” where you have to work to get ahead to buy equipment or become more powerful in some way and so if you are addicted to playing a specific game with such options then the buying of ‘gold’ or items for in a game can be a way to lose money. Some people spend a lot of money that way and yet these games and thus their content and the items that you bought are not guaranteed to exist in a few years… So what is their real value? Should you see it simply as paying to game, just as with arcade games in the past where you put in a quarter after the loss of 3 lives?

Currently gambling is made easy on the internet with casino and sports betting sites such as, which is, I suppose, good for those who like gambling and who can restrain themselves, but it could be bad for those who have trouble with that. When going to an actual casino you need to do more work to go there which is a greater hurdle before you actually spend any money which may be better for those who have such issues in not making it too easy to gamble.

My choice is computer gaming and in particular games where you buy the game in one go, which means that you don’t need to pay to play such as with online games where you can battle with tanks and need to pay to get upgrades or get the tanks you want so that you can actually have fun rather than feel frustrated.