A pioneer of addiction research, the Division on Addiction (DOA) at Cambridge Health Alliance (a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate) has been conducting studies with Entain plc/bwin.party since 2005, investigating gaming behavior on the internet. The analysis and results of the studies have brought about a massive shift in addiction research.
"For the first time ever, the studies conducted in cooperation with Entain plc/bwin.party use the accurate records from computer-based internet gaming to study actual gaming rather than what people remembered or were willing to say."
Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
One of the core goals of the project has been to aid the development of a safe and entertaining gaming environment.
- This research project has enabled programs to be developed which can prevent and mitigate the further escalation of users’ gaming-related problems
- In order to achieve this goal, we are working to identify and create algorithms which can identify risk patterns for gaming-related problems
The research carried out during this project has provided significant scientific results which have been published in international scientific journals:
- The myth of online gaming being a powerful seductive force can be challenged with the overwhelming majority of online gamers playing in a very moderate manner, spending minimal amounts on gaming
- Responsible Gaming measures can be effective at promoting changes in gaming behavior. Although deposit limits imposed on players did not affect gaming behavior, self-set deposit limits did produce significantly lower gaming frequency and intensity
The results of these on-going studies provide the international scientific community with an empirical basis that has long been lacking in the area of addiction research. On top of that, our cooperation with the DOA ensures that we can implement our vision of a "safe and recreational gaming environment" on the basis of scientifically proven Responsible Gaming measures.