Often, we when think of getting in trouble on the Internet, we think of pornography or online chat rooms that may lead to infidelity or just plain uneasy situations. There are, however, some other things happening on the Internet that don’t get as much press time, but can cause harsh personal and family troubles.
Part one of a three part series will discuss two of the most prevalent: online gambling and online video game playing (see part two for a few more).
● Online gambling. It seems like online Poker is everywhere and accessible to everyone. What used to be reserved for casinos and gambling houses is quickly becoming a very popular addiction for some. What’s the big deal about online gambling, you ask? Well, the same types of issues that surround gambling in casinos are present with online gambling; and I’m not just talking about loosing a few bucks here and there. The few bucks lost here and there may add up to a lot of money lost in the long run. Also, online gambling has become a time hog for some. Hours playing spent gambling takes away from potential time that could be spent with the family. We see and hear of people hitting it big and making it to the World Series of Poker with just a $25 buy-in on an online poker game. As good as it sounds-it’s a bit unrealistic for an industry that takes in over $5 billion a year (citation).
If you struggle with online gambling or know someone who is, check out page for online gambling at The Center for Online and Internet Addiction and the 3rd part of this blog series.
● Online video game playing. I enjoy playing video games. Sometimes I catch myself playing games instead of doing more productive work that needs to get done. It’s easy to play computer games since Microsoft has been shipping its Windows operating systems with games for a number of years (for example Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts). Since almost most pre-configured computers bought in the United States run some version of Windows, lots of people have access to games and may spend at least a few minutes playing games. Some of the Windows games also allow you to go online and play others from around the world.
The video game industry is now bringing in a lot of money from their massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. MMOs include hit games such as City of Heroes, World of Warcraft, Star Wars Galaxies, and Everquest that link lots of people from around the world through a service so they can play each other at the same time. Players pay small monthly fees to the use the service. These games can be extremely fun, but also very addictive and time consuming. Some players forgo sleeping and eating to stay involved in their online game. Similar to online gambling, time spent playing these games takes away from time that may be spent family and friends.
See part three of this blog series for a few suggestions for preventing or overcoming struggles with online gambling and video game playing.