The minors addicted to the online game are more and more. The situation is increasing and psychologists, aware of this situation, inquire into this problem. It is a situation that becomes increasingly complex. The online game is not only around video games, but also around gambling and gambling. It even goes further, as will be seen throughout the article, the appearance of "hybrid" games, only increases this addiction.
Throughout the article, the standardization and acceptance of online games, both video games and gambling, will be addressed. It will also review what mechanisms are used to create addictions and concrete examples of this type of strategies will be seen. Children addicted to the game, no doubt, is a growing concern due to the negative impact it has on their day to day. Let's get started!
- 1 Minor addicts: a tendency to normalization
- 2 An addictive game
- 3 Conclusion
Minor addicts: a tendency to normalization
The González-Roz team (2016) points out that "the high availability and accessibility to gambling and betting has caused public concern about the possible increase in problems related to them among the youngests ". The General Directorate of Game Management states that sports betting is the most common with 64.9%, followed by card games with money with 17.2% and finally video games with 15.9 % All of this must be added the great publicity that is carried out with sports betting, which leads to normalize this type of game.
Georgios Floros (2018) states that "game practices and opportunities have evolved to the point where they are widely available and they are considered a form of socially acceptable entertainment". In this way, children see this type of activity as normal, without warning signs even if their practice is abusive. This fact should not overlook parents. That a practice is normalized and extended is not synonymous with being acceptable, healthy or beneficial. So parents must be careful that their children do not fall into addictions or abusive practices.
An addictive game
Children addicted to online games do not have it easy, since they can turn out to be victims of very well-elucidated strategies. Among these strategies are the "hybrid" games. These types of games can be of various types, for example, video games that incorporate real-money bets and games of chance that adopt video game features. Through this type of "hybrid" games, confusion is created in the child and causes them to end up playing with real money while increasing their level of addiction. Nevertheless, reinforcements are the key to addiction.
Reinforcements and beliefs of addicted minors
As McBride and Deverensky (2016) point out, both gambling and video games "operate according to the principles of reinforcement, to reward and prolong the game, using stimulating sound and light effects within it ". In addition, not only that, but as the authors themselves point out, the belief that "Specific skills and practices are responsible for success, and that your acquired expertise can influence the outcome of a game of chance".
What do the authors mean by this last statement? Than They make us believe that our skills are important and necessary in gambling to winWhen, in reality, being a game of chance, our experience has no value. Can our knowledge make us win a lottery? The answer is no. It is pure chance, but if we are convinced that we can control chance, the addiction will be greater.
Many video games offer so-called "microtransactions", which allow you to have prizes or extra content to play. In this way, addiction to the game can be reinforced. José Pedro Espada, professor of psychology at the University of Miguel Hernández, says that the main reasons for the increase in addiction are "that the offer has increased considerably and that accessibility is very high".
Types of reinforcements
José Pedro Espada recounts what lies behind this addiction and states that there is no concrete profile. Sword ensures that "we cannot speak properly of a specific profile, since any individual is susceptible to developing an addiction if sufficient elements are given". The professor confirms that the presence of intermittent reinforcements gives rise to strong learning. Among these types of reinforcements, the following stand out:
- The economic value of the reinforcer.
- Motivational and activation processes aimed at profit.
- Expectations of profit and loss recovery.
- The illusion of control.
- The avoidance of negative emotional states.
- The escape from routine or boredom.
The ease with which children access online games both video games and gambling and gambling is growing. It is therefore necessary to increase parental vigilance. The resource of "leaving" the dependency
s children with the mobile phone or the tabletTo be entertained, it is not always a good idea if they are not supervised responsibly. Parenting and education of children is a responsibility and as such, it is an active, not passive task.
- Floros, G. (2018). Gambling disorder in adolescents: prevalence, new developments, and treatment challenges. Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, 9, 43-51.
- González-Roz, A., Fernández-Hermida, J., Weidberg, S., Martínez-Loredo, V., and Secades-Villa, R. (2016). Prevalence of Problem gambling among adolescents: a comparison across
modes of access, gambling activities, and levels of severity. Journal of Gambling Studies,
33 (2), 371-382.
- McBride, J., and Derevensky, J. (2016). Gambling and video game playing among youth. Journal of Gambling Issues, 34, 156-178.
- Villamarín, S., Vicente, A. and Berdullas, S. (2019). Gambling addiction in minors: a growing problem. Infocop, 86, 4-8.