Towards a better understanding of addictions in virtual space
Technological development over the last few decades has had a marked effect on the world of gambling, in particular through the digitization of gambling and its greater accessibility via the Internet. Significant transformations in the format and nature of gambling and video games and their accessibility raise questions about the effect of these changes on individuals and society in terms of: 1) the impacts on individual and interpersonal gambling and gaming experiences, 2) the central role of these experiences in identity construction and sociability, and 3) the positive and negative effects associated with these new forms of gambling and video games and their risk of addiction.
The HERMES team was created to explore the aspects of addiction issues specific to the Internet.
To examine these questions, it is necessary to analyse the relationship between gambling, video games and the Internet and the ways in which they interconnect and overlap. The HERMES team was created to explore the experiential, social and health aspects of addiction issues specific to the Internet.
The team's research program was designed within the framework of the biopsychosocial model, which explains virtual behaviours as the result of the interaction between biological, psychological and social factors.
A multidisciplinary approach based on social epidemiology, sociology and psychology was used to develop projects structured around two complementary axes: 1) a population component, concerned with the study of observed Internet behaviours and their determinants in the general population and its subgroups with a focus on risk, problem detection and prevention; and 2) a clinical component focusing on the study of addictions associated with online gambling, video games and Internet addiction.
Main researcher: Sylvia Kairouz, Concordia University
Original title: JEU.COM : Équipe de recherche sur les jeux de hasard et d'argent, la virtualité et la cyberdépendance