Playing to Escape: Examining Escapism in Gamblers and Gamers
Keywords:gambling, game-bling, escapism, gaming
This study examines negative and positive escapism in gamblers, gamers, and individuals who gamble and game. University students (N = 387) completed a battery of online questionnaires that included a demographic information scale, measures of the frequency and type of activity (i.e., gambling, gaming), and modified escapism scales that assessed both positive and negative escapism. Participants included 134 (34.9%) individuals who both gamble and game, 91 (23.7%) exclusive gamblers, 82 (21.4%) exclusive gamers, and 76 (19.8%) individuals who did not engage in either activity. The majority of the participants were female (74.2%). One-way analyses of variance revealed that both negative and positive escapism scores were significantly higher in gamers than in gamblers. Furthermore, individuals who both gamble and game had higher escapism scores associated with participating in gaming activities rather than gambling activities. This result suggests that individuals who play games have different motives to play than do individuals who gamble. Differences in motivation for game play may help in understanding the distinction between gamblers and gamers. As a practical implication, this distinction could be particularly relevant, given the recent blurring of boundaries between the two industries. Other practical and theoretical implications include the development of modified escapism measures for gamblers, as well as further support for the theoretical conceptualization of escapism as negative or positive.
Cette étude porte sur la quête d’évasion, négative ou positive, chez les adeptes des jeux de hasard, des jeux vidéo ou des deux activités à la fois. Des étudiants universitaires (N = 387) ont répondu à une batterie de questionnaires en ligne, qui comportaient une échelle de données démographiques, des mesures de la fréquence et du genre d’activité (à savoir, jeux de hasard ou jeux vidéo) ainsi que des échelles destinées à évaluer le caractère tant positif que négatif du désir d’évasion. Sur ce nombre, 134 (34,9 %) pratiquaient les deux activités; 91 (23,7 %), les jeux de hasard uniquement; 82 (21,4 %), les jeux vidéo seulement; enfin, 76 (19,8 %) ne pratiquaient ni l’une ni l’autre. Une majorité de femmes ont participé à l’étude (74,2 %). L’analyse de la variance à un facteur révèle des résultats sensiblement plus élevés, en ce qui touche les deux types d’évasion, pour les jeux vidéo par rapport aux jeux de hasard. Par ailleurs, les individus qui s’adonnent aux deux activités affichaient, dans la pratique des jeux vidéo, des résultats plus élevés que dans celle des jeux de hasard. Ce constat suggère que les motivations des adeptes de jeux vidéo diffèrent de celles des adeptes de jeux de hasard. Les différences relevées pourraient nous aider à comprendre ce qui distingue les deux types de joueurs. Compte tenu du brouillage récent des frontières entre les deux secteurs, cette observation pourrait s’avérer des plus pertinente. D’autres implications de nature pratique et théorique peuvent en découler, notamment la conception d’une échelle de mesure modifiée de la quête d’évasion s’appliquant aux adeptes des jeux de hasard, ainsi que des connaissances utiles à la conceptualisation théorique de l’évasion en tant que phénomène pouvant être négatif ou positif.
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