Both gaming and gambling industries have recorded some incredible growth over the last two decades. The tech innovations, Internet, and social media platforms are making the gambling industry shift – and allowing tons of new gambling opportunities. On the other hand, the gaming industry has skyrocketed in 2020 and 2021. Developers including monetization of different in-game aspects made differentiating gambling from gaming almost impossible.
Both of these sectors have different virtual communities, which affect the mentioned industries. These communities serve different purposes in the gaming and gambling industries. While the discussion forums in the gambling world serve for sharing the experience and strategies or some gambling issues, gaming communities are mainly functioning inside a game. These are a crucial part of the gaming experience.
Thin Line Between Gaming and Gambling
Even if these two are looked at as different sectors, they are starting to look quite similar. The features of the two seem to be blurring the thin line between gambling and gaming. Typically, gambling is described as a risk-taking activity with chance elements and monetary features at casinos, sportsbooks, like Luckypennsylvania, or various land-based venues. On the other hand, gaming is typically described as an interactive activity where the player’s skill affects the progress in a game.
But, due to the technology divergence, we can barely distinguish gaming from gambling nowadays. The gaming sector increasingly uses monetary features or microtransactions for gaining revenue. Assets such as loot boxes, spinning wheels, and other chance-determined features also make gaming look more like gambling. Let’s not forget to mention that all the in-game items need to be purchased for real money. And online games such as the one variable of social media platforms such as Facebook mainly have features that depict casino games such as slots or roulette.
Social Element of Gambling and Gaming Communities
People need socializing – and that is one of the main reasons for the growth of virtual gambling and gaming communities. Online communities consist of people who have something in common and use the virtual space for interacting with each other for various purposes. This might have some consequences for a member, as identifying with the group’s members, norms, and social identity can affect the member’s behavior.
Different analyses of social media show that people indeed rely on information they found online, especially from other group members. Thus, addictive behavior is something they could pick up online from gambling and gaming communities. However, this might also be beneficial in overcoming the addiction. Sports betting can be seen as a negative actions, however, it is also a bounding tool, if you would like to get along with someone, who is fond of it. By visiting this link, anyone can check out all the necessary information about sports betting – all the procedures, techniques and resources needed to become an expert.
Online Gambling Communities
Suppose we are talking about the social aspects of online gambling and the monetary gaming aspect. In that case, we can define some key features and effects that gaming and gambling communities have on gambling and gaming behavior. According to a study analyzing scholarly or academic journals available on the Internet, these are some of the possible effects:
- Online poker communities are used for sharing experiences and looking for praise for gambling success, which can increase poker playing in-group members and create a biased attitude towards gambling.
- Active participation in such communities means less money spent on gambling. When members increased community activity, they reduced gambling-related consumption.
- If inactive community member’s increase activity, that might lead to increased money consumption
- Feedback from other members concerning playing skills can help reduce the risk of problematic gambling.
- Socializing by using interaction tools is linked with less problematic gambling types.
- Gambling problems are more severe among the lonely gamblers who avoid using social interaction tools.
Even if it has both good and bad sides, the fact that the gambling communities normalize gambling and make it more attractive is still a fact.
Online Gaming Communities
These communities, primarily MMORPG communities, exist inside a game, unlike the gambling communities mainly concentrated around forums. Players regularly collaborate by communicating with each other. Let’s see how that can affect gaming behavior.
- Members or players mainly use these communities to share their skills, knowledge, and virtual resources, and it is one of the top motivating factors in playing games.
- Social bonding in games via virtual communities reported positive social outcomes.
- The solid online gaming community increases the hedonic consumption experience.
- Women are prone to committing to a game that utilizes interaction tools more than men.
- Online community activity depends on financial incentives.
- Such communities have an essential role in consumption behavior within a game, and they can enhance self-esteem.
How Similar are Online Gambling and Gaming Communities?
Both of these have their similarities and differences. But let’s focus on their similarities here. Here are some of them:
- Gaming communities can also function in-game – some gambling games have interaction tools.
- External gaming communities also exist but are rarely used
- Both have community-specific norm systems
- Both are crucial for gaming/gambling-related identity development
The role of gambling and gaming communities n gambling and monetary gaming behaviors is enormous. Although these two are isolated activities, they have similarities. The biggest similarity between them is that these online communities have quite an influential role in the player’s behavior. On the other hand, they have many notable differences as well. Indeed, these can normalize gambling and gaming activities among members and affect in-game behavior in many different ways.