OP-ED | Chances are, app-based gaming will cause some issues.

BARTH KECK

I have always been a fan of dystopian literature with its premises and caveats. “by George Orwell”1984”Was one of the early favorites, soon followed by that of Aldous Huxley.Brave New World. “TV shows such as the Rod Serling classic”fuzzy area“And the contemporary of Charlie Brooker”Black mirrorcome up with similar plots that match my thematic interests.

More recently, “Squid game”Caught my eye along with 142 million other Netflix subscribers, making it the streaming service most popular original series nowadays. Produced in South Korea, “Squid Game” envisions the consequences of debt-ridden people playing reimagined children’s games for considerable costs. Violent and horrific, it is a dystopian allegory that criticizes a rapacious capitalist society in which people are so desperate to get rid of their debts that they would stake their lives.

“Many South Koreans despair of making progress in a society where good jobs are increasingly scarce and house prices have skyrocketed,” reported Kim tong hyung of the Associated Press, “prompting many to borrow heavily to bet on risky financial investments or cryptocurrencies.”

Just like I started watching “Squid Game” a few weeks ago, my CTANewsJunkie his colleague Christine Stuart posted this story:

“From 6 in the morning [on Oct. 19] residents across the state will have a casino in their pockets. This is because residents will have access to three different online gambling platforms, two operated by the tribes and one by the Connecticut Lottery.

“The Connecticut Lottery Corporation in partnership with Rush Street Interactive will start taking bets through PlaySugarHouse.com, the Mohegan Tribal Nation will take bets through FanDuel and the Mashantucket Pequots will take bets through DraftKings,” explained Stuart.

It was no accident that commercials for DraftKings started appearing on TV as I watched NFL games and on my Twitter feed as I scrolled through the posts. I could now place bets on my smartphone at any time of the day from almost any location. The dream of an absolute sports bettor!

Or maybe more like a nightmare.

Before being labeled as a prudish, anti-gambling crusader, I admit that I have placed friendly bets on athletic competitions on occasion. I understand the attraction of betting. But I also understand that gaming can be powerfully addicting, and I’m afraid making it as easy as checking the weather forecast on your phone is a tricky proposition.

“The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services says that wider access to gambling with online betting exposes players to ‘vulnerabilities’, such as financial hardship, difficult relationships with family members and loved ones, poor job performance, an increase in money-related crime, and a reported increase in the severity of mental health-related symptoms, ”according to the Hartford Current.

Diana Goode, executive director of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, said Connecticut does not allow players who know they have a problem to self-exclude or submit to casino and online bans. », Reported the RunningIt’s Stephen Singer. “Self-exclusion is” incredibly difficult, “she said – players should notify the State Department of Consumer Protection and both casinos.”

The National Survey of Problem Gambling Services estimates that 1.1% of adults in Connecticut – nearly 40,000 in total – have a gambling disorder.

Suffice it to say, I find the confluence of these two events – the massive popularity of the “Squid Game” and the introduction of app-based gaming in Connecticut – more than a little ironic. Even as gambling continues to destroy lives, we are finding ways to make it more accessible.

Before being labeled as a prudish, anti-gambling crusader, I admit that I have placed friendly bets on athletic competitions on occasion. I understand the attraction of betting. But I also understand that gaming can be powerfully addicting, and I’m afraid making it as easy as checking the weather forecast on your phone is a tricky proposition.

Dystopian literature has told this story before. An episode of the “Twilight Zone – “Fever”- features a character who is transformed from an anti-gamer to a gambling addict. It seems he just can’t resist the siren song of a slot machine he thinks he calls his name.

An absurd plot, a bit like that of “Squid Game”. But it is a theme of dystopian literature that nonetheless deserves serious attention.

Barth Keck is in his 31st year as an English teacher and his 16th year as an assistant football coach at Haddam-Killingworth High School in Higganum, where he teaches journalism, media education and language courses and English composition AP. Follow Barth on Twitter @ keckb33 or email him at [email protected]

The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of CTNewsJunkie.com or Regional School District 17.

About Herbert L. Leonard

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