Minecraft – Where Gamers Thrive!

Minecraft is an amazing game which is very popular among kids. Let’s split the word Minecraft into two, mine and craft. Mine means dig while craft means build. It is also known as a “sandbox game.”

You are supposed to build your own home on a virtual land by using 3D blocks, some more resources and most importantly your creativity. It’s a great tool to explore your imagination and know your original genius.

Elaborating

Do you love adventures? This game is perfect for you! You have to begin from scratch. You have to build a grand castle from the simplest of things available.

There are 5 gameplay modes available:

Survival mode- Here, the player has to build his secure world, find ways to protect it and take care of oneself.

Creative mode- This is where you are presented with unlimited resources and also an ability to fly!

Adventure mode- In this mode, you can use custom maps and not assign or destroy any blocks with tools.

Spectator mode- You can fly around shooting any block, I mean the video-shooting one, but cannot destroy any.

Hardcore mode- This is a difficult mode. On the death of the player, the world created is deleted as well. When he dies on a Minecraft server set to hardcore mode, he is permanently banned from that server too. You might be wondering what is a Minecraft server? They are multiple types of servers that allow you to play online or using LAN with your co-gamers.

You can also make some changes off record. They are called Minecraft modes. You can add some extra things, like an animal and it gives the player more powers.

Target audience

When we were small, we used to think being big is great! As we grew, we understood that it’s just an illusion. Now, we crave for those precious days. No tension, no worries. Nostalgia! Anyways, this game targets children of this age group, where they are in a stance or in-between childhood and adolescence, usually 13 and above.

Why is it so well-known?

Secret revealed!

There are two kinds of boys. The first types are those who you would find easily approachable, flirting with girls or completely extrovert and type two are those who like sitting at home, playing games. And unfortunately, type two is more as compared to type one. That’s the secret!

This doesn’t mean girls don’t play Minecraft games, maybe they are comparatively less in number. Saying Minecraft games is not appropriate though! It’s a culture in itself. Instead, you can say there are different things similar to Minecraft.

Also, Minecraft has no strings attached. It is inexhaustible. Your imagination can go beyond limits and it gives you that flexibility of creating a fancy and attractive house, castle, farm and much more.

Is it worth playing?

Yes, Minecraft is really good when it comes to improving your management and organizational skills and exploring your creativity. It’s a great choice to kill time! When you play with your friends, it builds team spirit in you.

It is recommended for autistic and ADHD kids who can create new friends, communicate and improve their social skills. There is a Minecraft server specially for these Special children too!

It’s a trendy way to learn, and is also implemented at schools too! They are trying something new, out of the box! How fun would that be!

Conclusion

Are you a gamer? In a good sense though. If yes, then I am sure you might be aware of Minecraftand if no, I am still sure that you have at least heard of it sometime, somewhere!

Reasons Why You Should Play Sudoku More

Sudoku is among the most popular brain number games. The game requires players to fill blank boxes in the puzzle using specific rules, thus pushing the brain extensively to solve. It is a good game that challenges and exercises the brain, bringing in lots of benefits too. Whereas it seems like a very difficult game that only adults can handle, there is easy Sudoku that suits children as well or beginners for that matter. If you like solving puzzles or playing other mind challenging games, then you should also consider playing Sudoku. Here are some of the benefits that come with the game making it worth trying out.

It increases focus – This game requires focusing complete attention to solving the numbers and in the end it helps improve mind wondering tendencies. By focusing clearly on the task, performance is greatly boosted and you will find that you are more alert. It is one of the reasons that the game is great even for kids.

It keeps the mind stimulated – This is because the number game keeps practicing the process of logical thinking. You also will greatly manage to improve number skills using this game.

It helps improve memory – The truth is that logic and memory do work hand in hand especially when playing this game. You will need to memorize the number and use logic to figure what the missing numbers are in the game.

It improves mental maths – This is an advantage that will work very well especially with kids. Sudoku has a way of polishing cognitive skills in children because it familiarizes them with numbers. It becomes very easy for them to work out sums without the need to write everything down and work them out.

It boosts happiness – By managing to accomplish the puzzles, you will have a happy sense of accomplishment and this keeps you happy. This is especially the case when you finally nail a difficult puzzle that gave you lots of challenges to solve.

It reduces risks of Alzheimer’s – It does this by keeping the brain active, hence lowering the risks of the condition. It is indeed very good for the brain.

It helps divert energy in a positive way – There are so things that can be done with extra time but not all of them are beneficial. In fact, most are time wasters and bring nothing positive, especially where children are concerned. This puzzle makes a very beneficial filler into that extra time and in the end it also teaches children how to be patient and never to give up.

The fact that Sudoku can be enjoyed in different levels makes it great for both children and adults. Even as a beginner, you can find puzzles that challenge you but are not necessarily difficult, so you can move up the levels according to how comfortable you are and how far you are willing to challenge your mind. The many benefits definitely make the brain game worth playing.

Nostalgia in Games

Nostalgia. The word brings to mind a joyous familiarity felt when engaging in something in the present that we really enjoyed doing in the past. Gaming is no different. Everyone has games that bring back memories from, what we think of now as, better times. Hindsight is a like the snob that points out what you could have done, hindsight tells us our childhood may not have been as bad as we thought. As adults we know how the world works. When we were growing up, we never really had a grip on the world. Hindsight tells us that those times were better, safer, less complicated. Games that bring on nostalgia puts us in the mindset of a kid again. It makes us feel safe, secure, and protected. Humans have a natural tendency to want safety and protection. Especially the adults, because as adults we know just how quickly the world can go from OK one day, to horrible the next. As gamers we seek safety and security in games.

I started gaming when I was very young as most gamers my age did. I grew up playing Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 with my mom and sister. Super Mario, Kirby, and Mario Cart were a few of the titles that we played. Zelda was perhaps the biggest game we played. My mom has problems with fast-moving games like Call of Duty and other highly graphic games. So we played Super Nintendo and what a time it was! Zelda on the Super Nintendo we beat many times. I say “we” but it was my mom playing not me or my sister. Even thinking about it while writing this I’m getting nostalgia. We kept getting close to the end and then the game wiping our save out so we started over like three times. It was good times. That was when I was around six or seven or eight. Long time ago. Nostalgia gives us hope for the future. It tells us that if good times happened in the past then more good times will happen in the future.

Later I started gaming on my own. It is hard to think about what game came next in chronological order but they all had a theme: single-player strategy. A broad gaming description that can fit a lot of games in it. Games like Pharaoh and Cleopatra, Age of Empires II, and of course Sid Meier’s Civilization III. I was not allowed to play shooters as they had bad language in them and so was restricted to single player games. My parents were very protective and games were not as prevalent twenty years ago as they are now. Pharaoh is a city builder placing you in ancient Egypt. The goal of the game was the build great cities using the resources at your disposal and it was quite a challenge for an eleven year old. Age of Empires II is a real-time strategy game that is completely different from pharaoh. You have to balance resource collection and troop production to take down either AI or other players. Civ III was probably my favorite game growing up. To this day, I still play pharaoh and age of empires II.

Think about what nostalgia is again for just a second. It is a feeling coming from a memory. A memory of “better times” that may or may not be accurate. Games we played a long time ago, that brings back those memories, might not continue to be fun. Civ III I played for hundreds of hours when I was younger is not as fun now that I am older so I do not play it as much now. Sometimes nostalgia lies.

In conclusion, nostalgia in games is a good thing. It allows us to relive parts of our childhood that we otherwise would not have a reason to bring back up from the depths of our minds. Many people say that video games lead to anti-social behavior, violence, and a drop in school grades. Video games teach us how the world is. When you are playing multiplayer of any game you will usually find people who are just toxic. It prepares for dealing with the worst society has to throw at us. Human beings are prone to violence. The first murder happened when Cain killed Abel back in Genesis. I am pretty sure at they did not have video games back then. So this point is always going to be moot. The only point that actually makes sense is the drop in school grades. It takes a great deal of discipline to do school work over video games. It builds character this discipline. So next time you feel nostalgia coming on, take some time to stop and smell the memories. Bask in the thoughts of better times and the hope that good times are still ahead, no matter what the world tells you in the present. This is what video game nostalgia teaches us.

Fortnite Basics

Fortnite is the name of a hit new game that was released back in September of 2017. When it was first released there was very little hype about it and did not receive much attention at its initial release. Due to that simple fact, the company that created it decided to offer a portion of the game for free and since the game has become probably the most popular in the world now. There are many aspects that make the game unique.

First off, it is a third person shooter but very animated in its positioning so not very serious in a manner of terms. Along with being a shooter game you are able to harvest materials such as wood, brick and metal and craft different building structures like ramps, walls, floors, and really anything imaginable. The point of the game is to be the last player or squad standing. The game starts out with one hundred players all dropping in from a school bus held in the air by a hot air balloon to a giant island with different little towns and places marked on the map. Each person drops off of the bus and once they land they loot for weapons and shield before someone else finds the loot first. There are many different types of weapons like shotguns, rifles, rocket launchers and many other different weaponry to find. Players open up golden chests that give you multiple items usable in game like potions and weapons as mentioned above. Once a player has the loot they want they must move into the storm circle as the outside storm closes in slowly and forces players together. The storm will slowly decrease your health if you are caught in it till eventually your health runs out. Once your health runs out there is no respawning into the same game as you must start over from the beginning.

The ultimate goal is to be the last one standing and achieve a “Victory Royale”. It is a difficult feat as there are many highly skilled players out there that play and compete viciously on a regular basis. The key that has been found by most of these highly skilled gamers is to be able to build more efficiently and quickly in the heat of a gun fight. These builders are usually the most skilled of players and tend to win more of the games they play. Inexperienced players that are still learning the overall flow of the game do not usually find their first win till many games played. As time has gone on the developers of the game have added special limited time game modes to the mix as well to keep the game interesting and their die-hard players entertained and not becoming bored after so long. The mode that has become a favorite of many is the high explosive mode which takes away all normal weapons and leaves players wandering around the map finding grenade launchers and rocket launchers and a few other specialty weapons to win the game with. These additional modes provide a skill change and allow newer players to become more accustomed to items that are less prevalent in the normal mode and allows them to experiment more freely so they are not unprepared in the regular mode.

When The Fun In Gambling Is No Longer Fun

Gambling is all fun and games until you hit the point where you cease seeing the fun in it, or you become irredeemably addicted.

Admittedly, most people do not see it coming. They start gambling for very noble reasons including,

1. The need to take time away from work and family pressures
2. Escape route from depressing thoughts on other issues.
3. Hopes of winning a fortune and living lavishly ever after
4. To bring a tinge of excitement into their otherwise dull lives
5. A chance to go out there, socialize and make new friends.

As you can see from the above points, no one anticipates that gambling will grow into the Frankenstein that now threatens to push them off the sanity cliff. A lot of people are able to keep their gambling under rein. They do it for fun, to pass some time and to socialize. Others lose it completely. They become slaves to online and offline gambling. It throws their lives off-balance. They start putting more time and money into gambling, and they gradually neglect other aspects of their lives.

At this point, problem gamblers look back at their lives and get surprised at how and when it happened. For a lot of people, the problem starts with a shift in mentality. A big loss or a big win, and you are hooked. You start gambling more money than you had planned to spend on gambling, you invest a lot of time in the casinos and before you know it, you are a slave to gambling. You can’t eat, sleep nor breathe without thinking gambling.

To help you understand how gambling addiction works, I have analyzed some of the most common factors that pull people deeper and deeper into addiction.

1. Illusion that You Can be in command of Chance
No one can control chance. It doesn’t favor anyone, smart or otherwise. Unfortunately many problem gamblers think that they can manage to overturn their luck on the tables through sheer power of the mind. They have this skewed illusion that they can win if only they can learn the tricks of the game. They spent hours on end in the casinos trying to perfect their game. They fail to acknowledge the fact that gambling is 100% chance and not something to be learned. There are no tricks and knowledge that will all of a suddenly overturn the tables to your favor.

2. The Lure of the Jackpot
Winning a few hands on the tables can make you feel unconquerable. Everyone loves winning, and science has proved that people remember their victories more than they remember their losses. Fortunately, or probably unfortunately in this case, new gamblers have what is commonly referred as ‘beginner’s luck’. They begin their gambling hobbies on the right foot. They become obsessed with the idea of winning the jackpot.

3. Faith of Changing Luck
In life, we are encouraged to get up after every fall. We will make it in the end. We will accomplish our goals if we do not quit. After all, who wants to quit while the gold vein could be just a few inches away. There is only one place where this advice does not apply. If your quests are governed by pure luck, there is very little chance that you will ever make it. The statistics are open for anyone who wants to take a look. Gambling only ends up in massive losses, debts and frayed social relationships. There is no better time to quit than now. Lady Luck will not smile at you anytime soon.

How To Know If You Are Addicted To Gambling
Although there are clear pointers that indicate you are going down the addiction lane, it can be extremely difficult to identify them if you do not know what they are. This is probably the saddest thing about addiction. We never know we are addicted until we take a step back and look at ourselves in hindsight, at which time the damage has already been done.

In this section, we will discuss the 5 major red flags to watch out for.

1. You Just Can’t Stop
Remember the wise Gambler who Kenny Rogers sings about? Every wise gambler knows when to hold and when to fold. Compulsive gamblers on the other hand do not have limits. They will gamble everything they have thinking that they are having bouts of fun, when in actuality they are driven by compulsions beyond their control.

2. Gambling with Money Not Meant for Fun
Problem gamblers will gamble with money that they can’t stand to lose. They do not have a set gambling budget and will often risk money meant for important things such medical bills and other utility bills.

3. Gambling to Win or to Recover Losses
If you find yourself gambling more for the sole purpose of hitting the jackpot than for fun, you need to reevaluate yourself. Same case applies if the main driving force behind gambling is to recover losses that you had suffered earlier.

4. Obsessively Thinking about Gambling
If you eat, drink and sleep thinking about gambling, you might already be too deep in the trench.

5. Borrowing to Finance Gambling
Have you ever borrowed money to finance gambling? Chances are if you have, things are not looking so good.

What other key pointers do you think indicate a problem with gambling? I believe that you know them better. You know what triggers that red flag and siren at the back of your mind. A lot of gamblers realize the symptoms that point to problematic gambling in their lives, yet stopping becomes a quagmire.

Gambling Addiction and Its Behavioral Effects

Gambling addiction is a serious mental health disorder, which can be identified in two ways: a person either a) continuously bet on things using money or objects that hold value even though negative consequences arise as a result, or, b) they cannot stop gambling even if they desired to. People suffering from gambling addiction often display a strong urge to bet on a wide-range of gambling mediums-from sports games to poker, to choosing lottery numbers and throwing dice. And although friends and family members of compulsive gamblers don’t see the symptoms physically, like they often do with alcoholics or drug abusers, the consequences gambling addiction has serious implications on their lives as well as the lives of their friends and families. Not realizing its severity or taking it too lightly can be devastating for the addicted gambler in the long run. Gamblers can reach a point of literally losing everything, from cars, to homes, to businesses, and even respect from those they care about.

It’s well-known that Florida is notorious for providing “the hotspot” for gamblers all over the world, as well as its residents. But how many gamblers actually endure financial problems? A recent survey by the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling shed light on card playing, reporting that 70% of these people had trouble paying their bills. But here’s the worst part, which is known to be a side-effect of excessive gambling–1 in 3 of these card players admitted to having participated in illicit activities in order to finance their gambling. Playing cards isn’t as harmless as we thought; criminal activity is still a cause for concern.

Gambling addicts are not always obvious about their situation; sometimes they don’t even realize it themselves. They don’t dwell on what has been lost as a result of their destructive activities and behaviors. Instead, compulsive gamblers only focus on the gains, or the supposed investment aspect of the games they play. And unlike drug or alcohol addiction, a person addicted to gambling will not display symptoms such as heavy fatigue, sickness, loss of energy or dizziness; instead, other factors are apparent, such as falling into deep financial trouble, losing quality time with the ones they love, and heightening the chances of entering into drug or alcohol addiction.

It’s difficult to establish who has a gambling problem and who doesn’t. Where is the threshold between social gamblers, and abusive gamblers? Are there any red flags? The answer is yes. Pathological gamblers often display one or more of the following signs: negligent of family get-togethers, acts on criminal behavior in order to acquire more stuff to bet on, would rather gamble then hang out with friends, talk excessively about gambling and winning money, use drugs or alcohol to distract them from wanting to gamble more, become irritated when not gambling, neglect vital responsibilities for gambling time, and lying to family and friends about going out gambling. A combination of these signs should be a red flag when identifying a compulsive gambler. But remember, none of these signs mention the amount of times a person gambles in a period of time. It’s not about “quantity.” A person can gamble every day and it may not affect his life. Also, gambling addiction isn’t OK if you’re wealthy; rich gamblers can still have issues like neglecting their loved ones and other vital responsibilities.

Florida is well-known for its casinos, entertainment arenas and cruise ship gambling. But environmental factors such as these may cause people to be more susceptible to the development of gambling addiction. Gambling addiction isn’t a problem that stands alone-it may lead to criminal behavior, psychological distress and depression, and fuel other more dangerous addictions. As stated earlier, a person may fall into drug or alcohol addiction in order to supplement or replace their gambling behavior. The combination of multiple addictions can be devastating and more difficult to treat; it would be like tangling a web of loose strings and trying to unravel them all at once.

Addiction specialists and counselors use a variety of methods in treating gambling addiction effectively, including: helping the addict understand what drives him or her to gamble, replacing their betting habits with more productive activities, understanding how it affects the people they care about, and finally, strengthening one’s will to live a more productive lifestyle. If you notice warning signs that you or your loved one is suffering from gambling addiction, it is crucial to intervene and find treatment before it is too late. Doctors treat gambling addiction as a serious brain disease, and people suffering from it are also prone to drug addiction. The importance of acquiring immediate treatment can be the difference between losing everything, and saving someone’s life.

The HQ Trivia Phenomenon

Live event trivia is a new gaming niche that has developed within the Apple iOS and Google Play App communities. The digital age has created this unique opportunity to combine trivia, pop culture and reality television into one nice bundle and for fans of these genres, we are better off, as a result.

HQ Trivia is a live game show that streams twice daily on your mobile device. The developers of this game are from the makers of Vine and it shows in their creativity.

Imagine a game show that is live and combines the excitement of predecessors like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and Jeopardy! with the old school feels of Trivial Pursuit.

One of the newer niches to develop within the last 12 months, the popularity arc has been nothing short of amazing. The concept for HQ Trivia is simple, yet addictive. Twice daily, a live host runs a feed. A series of twelve to fifteen questions are asked.

As a contestant, you have to answer each multiple choice question correctly. A wrong answer will eliminate you from the game. A correct answer advances you to the next question and fewer other contestants. At the end of the round, the contestants who have successfully answered all of the questions correctly get to split the money that’s in the jackpot.

Winnings have ranged from $0.25 to $6,500 USD. The number of contestants that play each game have a part to play in the amount of money available in the total jackpot. The number of remaining contestants, at the end of the round, will factor into the total winnings.

After you have downloaded the mobile app to your device, you’ll want to adjust the settings so that you can receive notifications. A few minutes before every round, you’ll receive a text message reminding you that the game is about to begin.

Playing this game for several months now, I can tell you that there is no legitimate way to “hack” or work around the game. Each question plays out in less than a minute, so there is no time to Google for answers or any of that other nonsense.

However, the best way to improve your testing ability and improve your chances of success would be to study the way the questions have been asked and answered in the past.

Harkening back to my college days, I can remember going to the Math Lab at Oklahoma State University and looking over old exams from my professors. This was important because it helped me understand the style of the exam, as well as commonalities within the multiple choice answers. Sure, I might have still flunked out of that Business Calculus course, but I was still able to learn, based on older exams.

I have a lot of free time on my hands these days. Mobile apps have been a way for me to keep my mind sharp, as my body mends from a cardiac arrest. If you happen to already be playing HQ Trivia, I highly recommend checking out sites that help you learn faster.

Read Through Several Video Game Reviews To Pick The Best One

Are you afraid of getting your kid into the wrong influence of video games? Are you thinking of buying a new game and don’t want to waste your time and money on the wrong one? Video game reviews will help you to understand the pros and cons of them, before buying for yourself or allowing your kids to play on it.

Video games are electronic games that can produce visual feedback on screen and monitors with the help of the user interface. They are available for all types of gamers, from middle-aged parents to teenagers, to the kids in your home. The different genres of games, like shooting, educational, role play games, etc. can give a different experience to the gamers.

Video games with extra violence, sexual part or abusive languages can be a bad influence on the gamer. It is always important to select the one with appropriate contents and that is beneficial for you. If the gamer is your kid, then it is your responsibility to give them a good one.

At this point in time, there are many types of video games, both good and bad available at the market. To choose the right one, it is better to look out for the reviews and ratings they have got. First of all, you should decide on the game you want to download or buy and then search for the reviews on the internet.

There are ratings given by the Entertainment Software Rating Board for a video game, which can be less accurate at times. But for initial researches they can give you the knowledge, whether the game is good for children, or whether they have violence or abusive languages in them, etc.

Different rating codes are: E for everyone; T for teen (age 13+); M for mature (age 17+); RP for rating pending; AO for adults only (age 18+); EC for early childhood (age 3+). These letters can be found on the box of the video game and a brief description of the contents can be found at the back side.

Once you have selected the game of your favourite genre according to the rating, then it is the best time to read real-time reviews on it. As the rating may sometimes fool you a bit, these reviews from those who have already experienced the game can give you an exact idea of the video game.

These reviews help you to decide whether it is appropriate for your younger ones or whether it is the right one for you as well. Some websites may also include expert gamer reviews; commenting about the technical facts like graphics quality, lags, etc. of the game.

At times, you will also come across reviewers who give good or bad ratings for fun or for their own benefits. So it is always advisable to do your own researches and ask your gaming friends for suggestions.

Reasons Which Make Video Games the Most Addictive Interface

Talk about video games and all heads start turning. In the present scenario where the technology is advancing rapidly, the games are gaining huge momentum. Whether kids, youngsters or even elderly people, all seem to have swayed with its addiction. These have been in existence for quite a while now and is also one of the largest source of entertainment around us. To understand it better, let us have a close overview of the types of games and the negative and positive effects it has.

Types of Video interface games- These are of various kinds and have different skill sets, with time limitations as well, some are quite basic while others are too advanced. A few of them are-

• Casual Play Games- These games are generally of small duration and are easy to play. They do not need any specific software or system.

• Online gaming – These types of games can be played on any sort of browser and thus attracts a larger audience, involves strategy and role plays. These games need no specific operating system and are more often played by dedicated gamers.

• Social Network games- These are very common games which are played with the help of social networking forums in order to access its users.

Effects of Video Console Games- Playing such games comes very naturally to kids, something which needs not to be taught to them and they get well conversant with it as they keep playing and has its own effects, some which are quite positive, while others which are detrimental to the health and the overall well- being. Let us take a look at its positive and negative sides.

Positive Effects

• It is said that playing video console games makes the brain very sharp and improves hand eye synchronization.

• They become more adept in facing situations later in life as the skill sets of each level are different and they have to keep the pace going in order to play the game.
Negative Effects

• It is more of an addiction and kids give it the foremost importance.

• The attention diverts from studies due to playing games

• Few games involve getting violent in order to kill the opponent and win it so the player starts practicing the same in the real life as well.

• Physical exercise gets reduced as kids want to play video games and not outdoor games.

Even though video games are the most comfortable and user friendly gadgets for people of all ages, especially kids, yet if proper care is not taken it can prove hazardous for the health. So it is of utmost importance that these are given for a stipulated time and are played under proper guidance.

When Gambling Takes Over

The casino is a world onto itself. There are no windows, no clock, but there are flashing lights, and the din of clacking coins and whirring slot machines. Beyond the slots, figures are mesmerized at the crap table. Interest in poker hit new heights with televised Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments. For the majority of gamblers, this is excitement, recreation, a fun diversion or escape from the ordinary and a chance to beat the odds. For others, an estimated three percent of the adult population, it’s an addiction, an endless roller coaster of excitement and despair.

A pervasive characteristic of addiction of any kind is that the repeated behaviors have led to a range of negative consequences. This may be putting it mildly in the case of pathological gambling, because someone in the grips of compulsive gambling usually suffers severe blows to finances and relationships before seeking help. His or her life may be in shambles.

Often the compulsive gambler’s denial leads him to believe that the next round will save the day. Of course, if the numbers come up right, the cash or credit won is then “invested” again. Gambling addiction is hardly a recent development, but the advent of electronic poker and the break-neck speed of today’s slot machines, as well as Internet gambling have actually sped up the time it takes to gamble for fun and when it slips into problematic, then compulsive behavior.

Pathological gambling, like other addictions, is both a biological and a behavioral disease. While we don’t know all the factors leading to gambling addiction, they often include social, family and psychological elements. We do know that the brain neuropathways involving the brain’s mechanisms are affected in an individual’s perception of rewarding experiences. The emotional escape that an individual finds in gambling may become entrenched.

We have seen from 15-20 percent of patients who suffer from cross-addictive disorders, such as alcoholism or drug dependency with problem gambling. Some estimates state that 35 percent of those with substance abuse or dependence also have met the diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling at some point in their lives. The SOGS (South Oaks Gambling Screen) is the accepted psychosocial diagnostic tool to identify a gambling problem and its progression.

Both substance and gambling addiction are progressive diseases, and may be characterized by inability to control impulses (to use or to gamble) denial, anxiety mood swings and depression and the need for instant gratification. Gambling, like chemical dependency, offers euphoric highs, which are inevitably followed by emotional valleys and usually remorse and shame. A major difference in gambling versus substance addiction is that the alcoholic or drug addict doesn’t believe the substance is the answer to recovery and to his problems, while the compulsive gambler believes the Big Win will be the answer to all his problems.

Gambling addictions can also result in symptoms such as blackouts and sleep disorders and hopelessness. Divorce, relationship and work problems, even arrests are some devastating consequences of compulsive gambling. A person’s general health is often neglected, including medical conditions that have been ignored. Gambling addiction is certainly a family disease, creating a dysfunctional family system that revolves around the individual’s addiction. Children may be emotionally stranded as well as physically neglected. Kids are affected long term too, with studies estimating 35 to 50 percent of children of pathological gamblers eventually experiencing gambling problems of their own.

It is important that when chemical and gambling addictions co-occur, they are treated at the same time. Like chemical dependency, gambling addiction is addressed in holistic treatment based on the Twelve Step Philosophy. Treatment is individualized and takes into account issues of gender and age.

Gambling: is it the money?

Some experts, including Dr. Henry Lesieur, St. John’s University, NY, who co-authored the SOGS screening assessment, believe it isn’t really about the money, even though money becomes a looming issue. Seeking action seems to be the major impetus for many. Being in action may be similar to the high of taking cocaine. “Chasing losses” is term use by habitual gamblers to describe attempting to recoup the gambling losses by winning. The action gambler usually likes to gamble on site, at a casino, racetrack, or other “live” venue. Often they are identified by casinos as “high rollers” and received comped rooms and meals. Others, though, don’t gamble for action so much as numb their feelings with compulsive gambling, so it becomes the ultimate, albeit temporary escape.

Age and gender as factors

A study by University of Connecticut Health Center psychiatrists published in 2002 evaluated gamblers seeking treatment and found significant differences by age and gender in pathological gamblers. Middle aged (aged 36-55) and older gamblers tended to include more women, at 45-55 percent, than younger gamblers (aged 18-35) at 23 percent. Middle aged and older women didn’t begin gambling regularly until the age of 55, while older men reported a habit of lifelong gambling. Perhaps surprisingly, the women also wagered greatest amounts in the month prior to treatment. Younger gamblers reported most problems with substance abuse, social and legal problems, while older gamblers found more employment-related problems.

There is hope for recovery

Pathological gamblers, like others who suffer from addiction can and do recover. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, with Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, can change unhealthy behaviors and thoughts, including false beliefs, rationalizations, and self-destructive feelings. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy also helps individuals to meet life on its own terms rather than escape painful emotions with compulsive addictions.

A holistic treatment program that addresses the root issues of addiction as well as any co-occurring disorders is an effective approach that treats the whole person. Continuing care may be essential, especially for impulse control, as well as ongoing participation in support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous. The recovering gambler may also need professional financial advise, and family therapy can help to develop a supportive, healthy family structure for sustained recovery.