Video Games Are Addictive...But Not as Much as Gambling

You love your Ms. Pac-Man cocktail table, but you aren’t about to transport it to work to wile away the hours until 5 p.m. (It’s a different story if you have a home office.) Thanks to the internet and smartphones, you can still access video games at work, and according to studies, many people do. But thankfully, even with the high popularity of online gaming, you’re not as likely to experience addiction as if you were gambling with money. Will that change now that casino arcade games are becoming a reality?

Gaming in the Workplace

PayPal conducted a study on gaming in the workplace and it’s clear that a significant percentage of Americans aren’t very entertained by their job alone. The U.S. Digital Media Consumers study showed that 30 percent of employees play mobile games, 13 percent play games on their computer and 10 percent play games on a console while at work (how do they have access to a console at work?). So video games are definitely more amusing than their daily work tasks, but are they actually addictive?

Online Gaming vs. Gambling

Oxford University conducted a clinical study of Internet Gaming Disorder, a condition in which a person’s gaming habit begins to interrupt their daily life. The survey examined the behaviors of over 19,000 men and women from the U.S., U.K, Canada and Germany. Of those who had engaged in online gaming recently, only two to three percent reported symptoms of Internet Gaming Disorder. Some of they symptoms they described included anxiety when they had to stop gaming, withdrawal from their social life and losing interest in other aspects of life.

Compared to gambling, online gaming shows a much lower prevalence of addiction. Even though gaming is sometimes thought of as highly addictive, the study’s conclusions say differently. Now that casinos are drawing on the popularity of skill-based gaming, should the public worry about an increase in gaming addiction? New studies will have to examine this exact question up close and in-depth once the games have had time to become widespread and integrated into casinos across the country.