5 Reasons Why Exploring Online Gaming & Wagering Will Give Us Insights Into the Human Psyche

Online gaming and wagering, a multi-billion dollar industry, have become a part of daily life in today’s digital era. Whether you do it yourself or not, you definitely know people who are completely invested in their online games. These platforms are not just hubs for online social interactions but they are also a great place to learn more about the human psyche. Unlike with traditional betting and gambling, online platforms provide access to data analytics which can help us explore the drivers of these platforms, the cognitive impacts these activities have, people’s emotional responses, and more. In this article, we will explore why and how studying online gaming can provide us with data on the human brain. 

1. Understanding behavioral patterns

Online gaming allows us to study behavioral patterns, motivations, and decision-making processes in a very controlled environment. On average, about 5000 people visit online hubs in 30 days for casino gaming. That is not to say that all of them start playing by signing up and making payments to access the games, but the popularity of visits illustrates the current trends that remain partially unexplored. On online casinos, payments and accessibility of +18 players are broad: with an ID and access to bank cards or crypto wallets, any player can start gambling if their region allows it. Thus, the sample size is both niche and big enough to learn about behaviors and understand what leads gamers to make the decisions they do. The diverse scenarios within the games that many of these platforms provide often copy real life experiences, providing rich data for a psychological analysis.

2. The impact of dopamine and reward systems

If you’ve been reading anything about psychology, you have probably heard of the term dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter linked to addiction and pleasure, and while it can be released in many ways such as listening to music and exercising, it can also be released through online gaming, shopping, and drugs. Exploring online gaming can help us better understand how these platforms lead to the release of dopamine and when. With this knowledge we can better grasp the triggers that release dopamine and lead to potential addictive behavior. With this information we can develop mechanisms to manage digital addiction and promote mental well-being.

3. Examining stress and coping mechanisms

If you’ve ever placed a bet you know the kind of emotional response it creates and the environment that’s created in. Online gaming and wagering can be high-stress and high-stakes, which can also showcase real life pressures and stress. Studying how people respond to these pressures on the online platforms can provide data on how to better manage day to day stress. This knowledge can also help draft potential healthy coping mechanisms for people who struggle with anxiety and contribute to understanding how different personalities respond to stress and how to provide relief.

4. Understanding the impact of storytelling

With the growth of social media and digital marketing, storytelling has become an inherent aspect of our daily lives. However, online campaigns and digital conversations are hard ground to understand the impact of storytelling and what form of storytelling actually works. Meanwhile, online gaming and casinos also integrate storytelling into their platforms, from the manner in which certain games are played to the conversations that take place within these games by the community, it all contributes to the overall story. Examining how players engage with the gaming narratives can give us information about empathy development and emotional responses to virtual experiences, in a world that is filled with online bullying, this data is essential. 

5. Problem solving skills

Online games require strategic thinking and problem-solving skills, it’s one of the reasons why people enjoy them so much. By studying the manner in which different individuals navigate online gaming scenarios and virtual challenges researchers can better understand cognitive processes like memory, attention, and spatial learning, all leading to a better understanding of problem-solving. This information is also crucial as attention spans are getting shorter due to short-videos and easy reward systems online, and can help create methods to improve learning. 

The exploration of online gaming and wagering can be a window into the human psyche and reveal complex information in regards to cognitive behaviors, emotions, and social dynamics. There are so many different ways in which this type of information can help us as a society and give us valuable insights into the psychological world to provide people with better psychological resources. Overall, the gaming world is an expanse of opportunities for researchers when observed from an open-minded lens.