Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 461-469

Understanding the means and objects of addiction: Technology, the internet, and gambling

  • Howard J. ShafferAffiliated withDivision on Addictions, Harvard Medical School

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This article describes how using new computer technology and the Internet for gambling can represent both the means and object of addiction. However, these technological factors do not represent the cause of addictive behavior. Given the widespread availability of computer technology and the remarkable expansion of the Internet, it is not surprising, however, that these technological advances have become associated with intemperate gambling activities. By discussing the concept of addiction and its associated social setting, neurochemistry, and gaming characteristics, this article suggests that addiction is the result of shifts in subjective experience and that new technology and the Internet can provide relatively reliable and potent contemporary vehicles for changing emotional states.