“Addiction” is a very major word, and everyone will have heard it once. There is a category called “addiction to actions/processes”, which refers to the dependence on a certain action (for example, gambling). However, only “gambling addiction” is actually the name of the disease, and Internet game addiction was not the name of the disease after discussion. What is the difference between gambling and internet games? We interviewed Professor Toshiya Murai, a professor of psychiatry at Kyoto University, who is an opinion leader in Japanese psychiatry.
About internet game addiction
First of all, regarding Internet game addiction, companies are making games like this as a commercial activity, so it is cleverly made so that users want to pay, that is, they want to continue playing games even if they are charged. However, getting users to continue the same game is not easy. Creating games that users will never get tired of is an eternal challenge for the game industry. In other words, in the case of games, one day you suddenly get bored. However, this is basically not the case with highly addictive drug addiction. This is the big difference between game addiction and drug addiction.
Difference between internet game addiction and gambling addiction
Now let’s consider the difference between internet game addiction and gambling addiction. What is the reason why gambling addiction is the name of the disease and internet game addiction is not? From here, I will describe what seems to be the “answer” I think. The difference between the two is whether or not there is (almost) a factor to bet money on. Of course, Internet games also have a billing system, which has a betting element. But at least for now, the scale of money exchanges is low compared to gambling such as casinos. I believe that gambling, which exchanges large amounts of money in a short amount of time, tickles a more instinctive part of the work of our minds than an internet game. In other words, a game with complicated rules and scenarios is related to the part of the hierarchy above the simple exchange of money in the hierarchy of mental work, while gambling (= winning or losing money) is the hierarchy below. In other words, I think it is related to instinctive desires. Some of you who have been to the casino may have some strange feelings when you see the various games lined up there. Most games, like roulette, are ingenious. This is in contrast to many internet games with complex scenarios and rules. In terms of game quality, casino games are probably the lowest-ranked. However, the only reason why you can’t stop is that you are betting money. We humans have a lot of irrational parts. For example, let’s say you keep betting on horse racing from the first race and reach the final race. At that time, some people may have the intuition that “I’ve been losing so far, so it’s time to win next time.” If you’re just studying probability, you’ll notice that winning or losing in the next race has nothing to do with the losing streak. Also, many gambling enthusiasts believe that they have special luck, and depending on the day, they say, “I’m on today” or “I’m off today.” Some people think that. Even if you have graduated from a science department at a university, or if you can easily calculate the probability of winning or losing and the expected value, once you get into such a situation, you will seriously believe in the bizarre jinx. It is. In other words, human beings are not rational creatures by nature, and their instincts contain many irrational parts, but it is gambling that goes into this kind of mental skepticism. That’s why adults are enthusiastic about “simple” games, such as roulette, which are ridiculous and quickly boring if they aren’t expensive.