Online gaming communities enable gamers to form lasting relationships among one another. While this social interaction may help players relax and reduce stress levels, it could also become addictive over time.
Multiple studies indicate that participation in online gambling communities may lead to problematic gambling behaviors. These results are in line with the social ecological model of problem gambling, which describes multiple spheres of influence.
1. Increased revenues
Online casinos have evolved beyond simply being places for playing casino games; they have also become social spaces where players can connect and share their passion for gaming. Such communities create a sense of camaraderie among members that in turn leads to higher revenues for casinos.
Online gaming communities allow users to customize user profiles with avatars and personal images for enhanced player engagement, making the experience of gambling more accessible and attractive to newcomers. Gamification also encourages healthy competition with tournaments, leaderboards and other incentives offering added motivations for participation.
Studies demonstrate how online gaming and gambling communities provide their members with virtual spaces to fulfill their fundamental need to belong, particularly poker player identities and norms related to problem gambling consumption (Jarvinen-Tassopoulos 2016; Mudry and Strong 2013). Gaming communities may influence purchase intentions by providing critical feedback about in-game purchases (Kaptein et al. 2015).
2. Better customer service
Gaming communities provide an online hub where gamers can socialize and build meaningful relationships among themselves, ultimately enriching the overall gaming experience. Through such interactions, trust and camaraderie between members develop over time – leading to an improved overall gaming experience!
These communities promote inclusivity and diversity by encouraging game developers to include diverse characters and narratives in their games, and by supporting various initiatives such as community guidelines, anti-harassment campaigns, and safe spaces.
Gaming and gambling communities have also become hubs of support for people suffering from mental health conditions, with research showing these virtual communities offer users a sense of belonging that helps reduce anxiety and depression. Gaming companies must monitor these impacts through regular surveys or social interactions within communities – to ensure customer service excellence on platforms offering services securely with seamless customer experiences.
3. Increased social interaction
Online gaming communities provide gamers a platform for interaction between one another. Through chat functionalities, forums and community groups, gamers share tips and strategies while forging lasting friendships. Furthermore, social interactions within gambling and gaming communities normalize gambling behaviors by increasing purchase intent while augmenting enjoyment (Jarvinen-Tassopoulos 2016; Mudry and Strong 2013).
Gaming provides an ideal venue for introverted individuals to socialize and develop their social skills, as many online games support multilingual dialogue and understanding between cultures.
Gambling-related online communities provide a safe and comfortable space for problem gamblers to discuss their problems without feeling judged or rejected (Jarvinen-Tassopoulos et al., 2016). Furthermore, this study tested the mediation effect of online social capital on the relationship between in-game social interaction and gaming disorder while controlling for alienation.
4. Increased safety
Online casinos encourage responsible gambling by providing age verification, deposit limits and self-exclusion features, as well as offering helplines to assist players should any issues arise. Unfortunately, problem gambling may be hard to detect in virtual spaces and, left unchecked, may result in financial losses and addiction – potentially having serious physical and psychological repercussions.
Socially, online gambling and gaming communities provide virtual spaces to meet users’ needs for belonging and forming strong social ties. Studies of community engagement have found it to increase monetary gambling behavior and purchase intentions; conversely, communities provide critical feedback against problematic gambling habits.
Online communities can offer gamers a sense of safety through socialization and in-game communication tools, particularly beneficial to players without offline social ties and searching for meaningful activities.