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Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest

The Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest brings together addiction and mental health service providers, researchers and subject matter experts in the fields of gambling, technology/Internet use and video gaming to collaborate and share knowledge on emerging trends and clinical best practices.

I have chosen the following article:

Scale- The news article looks into some of the realities of problematic technology use through the experience of a clinic supporting those with video game addiction (Bowden-Jones, 2023). The article explains that they were overwhelmed by the amount of referrals and people needing help, receiving 800 referrals in 3 years when they expected to see 50 people a year (Bowden-Jones, 2023). I feel this shows how big of an issue problematic gaming is and how we may be underestimating the problem.

Symptoms- The article also goes on to explain some of the symptoms that arise from video game addiction such as violence, school refusal, anger, isolation, and suicidal ideation (Bowden-Jones, 2023). Knowing symptoms of problematic video gaming can help to identify those who are struggling and can allow for treatments to be created to support these symptoms. Knowing about increased suicidal ideation it is important to keep this in mind when working with clients to keep safety top of mind.

Common pathway – The article explains that commonly their participants have some sort of trigger event that may occur that starts their problem gaming, often including an isolating event like losing friends or a family break up that interrupts their current pathway (Bowden-Jones, 2023). They then turn to gaming as it supports them and can help them cope (Bowden-Jones, 2023). This move to continued gaming however can create isolation and reliance on gaming leading to conflict, low mood and anger if the gaming is removed or threatened(Bowden-Jones, 2023). Understanding the common pathway can help to identify those who may be at risk of developing problems with gaming and technology use, which can then be used to implement preventative measures and support those with known vulnerabilities. Understanding why they turn to gaming can help provide ideas on how to support those experiencing these problems.

Gambling Vulnerability- The article also stated that it is likely that patients being seen for problematic gaming have a higher chance of going on to experience a gambling disorder compared to the general population because of shared vulnerabilities (Bowden-Jones, 2023). This is clinically relevant to keep in mind when treating those with problem gaming to help address these underlying vulnerabilities and to understand that they are at a higher risk of going on to experience problematic gambling to keep this in mind and potentially use preventative precautions and continued screening.


Bowden-Jones, H. (2023, July 14). I was not prepared for what we came across when treating gaming disorders. The Guardian

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Great post! PTU is definitely something that is more prevalent that many would guess and there is a need. Understanding common pathways can be helpful for both clients and clinicians, as they can use that information to prevent things from getting worse, help come up with individualized treatment plans, and also to see that others are experiencing similar problems which can be helpful for many people to not feel alone in their problem. PTU is also likely to be co-occurring with many things, including gambling with some disorders likely to be a pathway to PTU and others happening as a result of PTU which can be complex.

Your article in interesting. It speaks to the large volumes of people who need help- for which more services need to be created. Interesting about the mention of trigger points/events in their lives. Similar to substance use, gambling, and other behaviours. And the fact that once you are delving into a world of reliance of these behaviours, you are more likely to engage in other activities that have similar features and interfere with healthy quality of life.

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