Learning to Play Online: Social Gambling and Identity Play in Social Networks

Jani Kinnunen

Abstract


This paper analyses the gaming experiences of Finnish online gamblers and Finnish Facebook gamers. It compares the similarities and differences between different game types and social interaction connected with them. The focus is on the social learning processes of online gaming. Both Facebook gamers (18 interviewees selected based on the questionnaire data of 134 respondents) and online gamblers (16 interviewees selected based on the questionnaire data of 409 respondents) have similar gaming careers. New games are learned based on the examples of other members in players’ social networks. Playing continues if players identify with the games they start to play. If the games benefit their identity play, eventually gam(bl)ing becomes part of players’ everyday life.


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